Mother India - Corbett Tiger Reserve PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Saturday, 11 April 2009 11:13
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Day 37: Monday 29th October 2007 - Corbett Tiger Reserve

The happenings of the early hours came to light, to the rest of us who had slept through it, over breakfast at 5.00am before our first safari into the reserve to find Tigers. The six hour ride (6.00am to 10.00am and 2.00pm to 5.00) through the park on the back of a jeep was awesome. We knew there was little, if no, chance of seeing anything burning bright but all of us felt it was worth paying the £34 per session to say that we had done it.
I can't really do justice to this beautiful habitat of one of the world's most endangered animals. The forest consists of Teak and Banyan trees, Latana bushes which although a mass of beautiful little orange flowers are a weed and causing problems and of course the wildlife. Within a few hundred yards of the entrance we sat looking at and being looked at by Black Face and Macaque monkeys who showed no fear whatsoever of our presence. Spotted and Nanchak deer's grazed nonchalantly as cameras clicked and the guide explained what they were. However, the real gems of the reserve are the birds.
Before we came I looked the park up in The Lonely Planet and discovered that there are more types of birds here than in all of Europe. Unfortunately neither Anne nor myself can remember all the types we saw even though our guide identified them all in his Bird's of The Indian Sub Continent book. It is a bind having to change from sun glasses to reading ones and back again everytime he pointed out another. I should have written them down each time but I'm sick of writing while bouncing about. I do remember the Crested and White Breasted Kingfishers and a yellow billed one, Crested Hawk, Tree Pikes that made a din like Monkeys, a pair of magnificant and very rare Great Horn Bills, Bul Buls, Rose Ringed and Green Parakeets, a large Vulture which I think was also a crested but not sure, a Wagtail slightly bigger than ours in England and with a longer tail. Although the nearest we came to a Tiger was a couple of footprints it was well worth the cost.
On returning to the camp it seems another police beating had taken place and witnessed by Das who'd stayed behind with what we think is a bus virus and spreading. He's the third after Ben and Jim. This time the incident took place in a little separate room in between the bungalows. Also waiting on our return was Zoe, Andy and Mike with buckets of bottle beer they'd bought in town. The manager come owner did not look well pleased after the money he'd made from drinks the night before. Even the price from an off licence was extortionate at 100 rupees. After few arguments about hot water, non-working air conditioning and a rather big ugly spider under Katie's sink, another meal of chicken, veg and lentils we settled down to get drunk. Went to bed at 11.00pm and immediately fell asleep after such a long and lovely day but with no thanks from the money grabbing owners of the camp.
The place is run like Faulty Towers but without Sybil. Everything in this place is designed to maximize the owner's profits. The water is turned on after the complaints but only to be turned back off again a half hour later before many of us had had a shower. The toilet rolls have about a third the amount paper in a normal roll and are taped down with red tape. Tea bags only appear at breakfast after they have been asked for, as is milk and sugar and knives. All three meals have been exactly the same presumably to avoid any waist i.e any leftovers go in the pot to be warmed up the next time. A young lad sits in the outside toilets handing out tissue and towels and the best trick of all they never have any change at the bar so beer is invariably rounded up to 200 rupees and water doubles 50.
Last Updated on Sunday, 19 April 2009 20:05