Trip Start Aug 22, 2005
46Trip End Feb 06, 2006
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The buses are not ideal in that they stop approximately once every four hours by which time your bladder is ready to pop
If you're REALLY lucky they'll make the shaky head motion. A cross between 'no' and 'so so' in English body language but means everything from 'yes' to 'no' to 'ok' to 'I have absolutely no idea but I'll try and give you an answer anyway that will invariably be wrong'. It was frustrating trying to get a simple 'yes' or 'no' out of people when we first arrived. Now we have realised it is not in their culture to give such a definitive answer. This is fine if it's not important, but when you've just got on a train for a 15hr journey and you're checking if it's the right train as it pulls away from the station, it takes the patience of a saint not to start screaming!!! I guess people don't have the same sense of urgency/don't seem to notice that we are anxious! Now we get around it by asking about 20 people until we feel reasonably sure. Oops am I ranting again?! I have also earnt myself the nickname 'Ranty'!! I prefer to call this merely commenting on my surroundings :)
Anyway, we to Periyar to see some wildlife... Except there wasn't much. The tiger and elephant numbers have depleted so seriously in the last 20 years that the odds of seeing either are VERY slim. I knew we would not see a tiger but was hoping to have a walk around some of the trails. Unfortunately, we couldn't do that either, as a guide is needed and it was too expensive to do so many treks in a day. We got to the park at 5.45am for a morning hike, which was lovely
We didn't see very much but the exercise was nice, we climbed to the top of a mini mountain to see the view over the park. I was content to know that there were at least a few tigers in there somewhere, probably sleeping after the night's hunt. We did see a bison in the mist. I saw it's horns in the darkness and the glint of it's eyes, the outline looked almost demonic. We also got a glimpse of the Malabar giant squirrels we saw in the zoo... I'm considering changing my mascot... If only I could get a decent photo!
The boat ride later was nice. We took LOTS of pictures of deer, as they seemed to become more and more fascinaing the longer into the 1 1/2 hr boat we went... It just didn't seem likely that anyone ever sees anything from the boats. They're either filled with noisy Indians who shriek everytime anything remotely resembling wildlife pops it's head up, or the animals have written down the cruise times and take their drinks another time!