Saturday, November 28, 2015


We left Jaipur for Ranthambhore and a small boutique style lodge on the edge of the Nation Forest. We traveled thru the rural India that most visitors don't see. Many many small villages and tribal areas. Women in bright saris working out in the fields. Many camels pulling carts and plowing apparatuses. Small markets of fruit, and the life that almost 70% of all Indians live.  Very rural, very poor, but the rhythm of life was very evident. The roads were awful! Bumpy and rutted, but not as much traffic as in the cites. Still, crazy drivers and much car dodging. If I only knew what it was preparing  us for later.
We arrived at our comfortable lodge about lunch time and it was a peaceful oasis in a bustling village that had literally grown up around this park.  These were our rooms. Very spacious and comfortable. The lodge grew all their own vegetables. And the food was the best we have had so far on the trip, with a different regional flavors. A bit spicy, but absolutely fresh and wonderful.
Of course, we traveled all this way to see the Bengal Tigers in this area. The village people used to kill them, and be killed by them. Poachers,of course used to be a big problem. India  has made a huge progress in Ranthambhore to protect these magnificent animals, and it has worked. They have almost completely eliminated poaching, and also hired the villagers as guards, guides, craftsmen, and that has  eliminated   the need for guides for the poachers.  In fact, ALL tigers in India are FREE. Not in zoos or private homes like in America. Completely free to do what tigers do. They do not interfere with males killing cubs, or anything of the natural order. We spent two days with the most wonderful Naturalist on "drives". We were bounced, jostled, dirty and exhausted, but successful and happy.  It was a lifetime thrill and a totally different "India" than many see.

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