Let the chaos begin!
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Many had prepared me for the chaotic experience that awaits me at Delhi airport. I expected people to be yelling at me if i needed taxi or touching my belongings in order to help me for a small fee
The journey to Tiger Camp, on the outskirts of Corbett Reserve, was supposed to take 6 hours - I think it may have taken more like 7-8. My driver hardly spoke English - not that we would have been able to converse due to the constant, constant tooting. During my time spent in the car i figured out that the tooting on the most part is for people passing and waiting to pass to let the vehicle in question know. Strange as I'm pretty sure that is what indicators and mirrors are for in New Zealand!
The bustle along the road is immense. Picture huge lorries carrying people or testing fate with overloaded goods, hundreds of motorcycles (Honda does well here) and people in cars such as I was, making nodding off for a kip impossible. Everyone narrowly misses each other and there was some suspicious veering to the sides - i swear my driver was catching a few cheeky winks!
Our lunchstop would be the first of many cultural 'realizations' shall we say.
The journey continues and when we pull up to a stop due to an oncoming train my driver gets out for a wander. Maybe he is off to be one of the many men i have seen peeing on the side of the road or on the street. I see stray dogs, piles of rubbish, cows roaming free and men fixing motorcycles in their tiny street stalls. Men sit in groups in the shade and seem deep in discussion. I can't help but think what all the villagers do - especially battling the heat. As we wait for the train to go by, 2 boys, 3 then 4 until about 10 young curious boys are outside my window. They're trying to sell me peeled cucumbers - its very disarming the way they smile and joke - although i cant understand this language. A wave goodbye is all they get from me and we continue on.
I drop in and out of dozing until I realise the sun has set, which means people driving along with their headlights on full..not ideal when the roads are pretty basic and its hard enough normally to cope with that!We draw closer as more and more tourist buses and lodges crop up
Where I am staying, is a homestay with a lovely Indian family who have two rooms a bathroom and office above their place near Tiger Camp. I feel very safe and welcome, not to mention the food and clean living facilities. I think i will be very comfortable here indeed.