Friday, 31 October 2008

Jungle Bits

After an amazing few days in Varanasi, a short spell in Kanha, we are now in Jabalpur, en route to Bundi.

On our last morning stroll along the Ghats, Keith had a haircut and I had a massage in a unexpected way, that can only happen in India.  OK Keith was thinking of having a haircut anyway, and the barbers were doing a roaring trade in shaving pilgrims head.   Having a bit of a tea break he suggested that K might like to have his hair cut.   Making sure that it was a trim only he agreed.  Meanwhile, his friend kindly covered a stone wall with a rag for me to sit on.  Within seconds I was having a head massage, neck, back, and eventually a full massage.  Keith was the next 'victim'.  How did that happen?!!! 

We took the overnight train south to Jabalpur, then car to Kanha National Park.   Driving through teak and sal forests -the sal tree grows straight and very tall, used by the British as sleepers when the first Indian rail tracks were laid - fertile land where crops were being harvested.   Lakes and dams, lots of dhobi wallers working hard.

We had booked to stay at Pugmark Resort - quaint and a total shambles.   However, we did two safaris. Buffalo, spotted deer, antelope, monkeys by the cartload, parrots and assorted birds but not until we were on our way out of the park did we see the back of a tiger disappearing over the hill.

The elephant was also looking - no luck there either.

It was Diwali - festival of lights while we were in Kanha.   The night sky was full of fireworks, whizz bangs, and chinese crackers going off at a great rate.
Rangoli designs on the floor - made from coloured powder.

Our own little Diwali light outside our 'hut'

We decided to cut out losses and head back to Jabalpur, try to transfer our train ticket and get to Bundi a day early.
No luck with the ticket, being Diwali everyone is on the move - rare sight nowadays, people hanging out of trains trying to get home for the festival.

It was meant to be!   Here I am sitting in the Hotel Krishna, on my laptop with wifi connection, happily passing the time until tonight's train at 8.15.    We took a trip to see the Marble Rocks on the holy river Narmarda - in a boat, probably meant for 12, but carried 28, and I don't swim!   There is a very interesting museum opposite the hotel.
Felt I had to mention in the visitors book that perhaps the entrance charge could usefully be spent on a bit of dusting.
The textiles were filthy.

So, moving on, time to pack ourbags and catch that train.

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