Indiana Jones and the Temples of Doom

Trip Start Oct 18, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
The Nest Inn

Flag of India  , Tamil Nādu,
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 64 – March 9th

The alarm went off at 5:30 and we dragged ourselves out of bed.  It was still dark and we stuck some trekking gear on (i.e. not Thai fishermen's pants and Jesus sandals) and headed out to meet up with what would be two guides and a driver.  My theory after last night was that there were so few animals around that one expert tracker just wasn’t enough to find them.

I probably should point out at this point that when it comes to wildlife there are two points to note.  Firstly as mentioned before I think we live in a truly magnificent world full of wonderful creatures and we should do our best to preserve and protect what we have, I’d vote for it and give money to it however I’m not all that into sitting in a shed for three days to see a badger eat a carrot.  The other point is that having been to a good number of wildlife parks in Africa it’s  fair to say that both of us are a little spoiled to say the least.  Don’t get me wrong if I saw a tiger in the wild my month would be made but somehow I just don’t think that’s going to happen.

Our first stop took us to a small shack that sold tea and coffee and we all had a cuppa.  It surpassed the coffee from the last two days as the worst I have ever tasted.  I watched the guy make it and he used one quarter of a teaspoon at the most of powdered coffee for each cup!  To add insult to injury we reckoned we paid for all the coffees.  It was dirt cheap but again I don’t remember saying "Tell you what, I’ll get these, don’t worry about it".  Again we had to bite our tongue as you don’t want to get on the wrong side of someone at the start of a tour possibly involving tigers.

We stopped along the road running through the park and headed on foot into the scrub.  Before long the sun began to rise and lit up the scrub and the mountains beyond with a warm amber glow.  It was a shame that this morning had not been advertised as 'A 3 hour sunrise walk through Indian woodland surrounded by hills and with a small possibility of seeing wildlife’ as we would have approached it in the right frame of mind and really enjoyed it.  However after an hour and a half of not really seeing anything on this ‘wildlife walk and if you are lucky you might even see  tiger or leopard’ it was obvious that we weren’t going to see much at all and if we did come across a tiger, or more accurately the other way around, we were in big trouble.  Neither of the guides had guns and we were miles from any sort of shelter.  This was obviously never going to be a problem no matter what the guide claimed about the “oh about 5 weeks old” tiger footprint in the mud that was probably fossilised from a by-gone era. 

Once back at the hotel we had breakfast around 10 am and got picked up at 11 to head out to see some temples used by tribes’ people in the area.  This was actually very interesting as both temples were unlike any we had seen before.  After eating a cactus flower fruit we headed back again and had a couple hours before the next amazing outing.

We had been forewarned at least that we were heading to an elephant sanctuary and decided to approach it with a ‘ah well there’s nothing we can do about it’ frame of mind.  Thankfully we managed to avoid the elephant washing and didn’t stay too long at the feeding.  I mean c’mon!  These are the things you take your kids to.  After that it was time for another night safari and this time ....  was no different from the last.  Sorry I think I’m being too negative, Rach had reminded me that we did see some wildlife: deer, elephants, mongoose and more peacocks than you can shake a stick at.  A large fire on an entire hillside did provide quite a spectacular view as it became dark, and I wondered if the tigers which I assume live on the hillside, would head down to eat us tomorrow morning!

Having already had an Indian meal for lunch we fancied a break and so after our safari set out to find some fruit to make a salad. We walked around the 2 street town in the dark and bought a load of fruit and couldn’t resist the temptation from the top shelf of a shop– a packet of cornflakes!   Back in our room we carried out the first food preparation we’ve done in well over two months and sat on the bed enjoying our ‘labors’. 
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