Saturday, December 22, 2012

NEVER GET OUT OF THE BOAT! India 2012 part 10

Tourist bus outside of the Wall Street, Jaipur.
We met our crew outside of the Wall Street in the early morning. We were to make our way to the Raj Palace Resort in Sawai Madhopur. 

Saw more great sites leaving Jaipur. I would never see anything like this back home so I cherished all of the great memories! 

These guys were hauling down the freeway.  A little unnerving? You bet! On the road out of Jaipur.

So much delicious fruit! 

Leaving Jaipur.
Pimped out, Indian style. 

Salutations on the road out of Jaipur.

Where were these guys heading to?
After another death defying trip out of Jaipur, we made our way to the Raj Palace Resort. This is a very cool old hotel and it has a pool. Some of our fearless team members have already made their way into its blue waters. Feels good to be out of the city again. This is some real peace and quite. There is a great jungle like atmosphere here at the Raj. When we came in, the hotel staff placed marigold necklaces around our necks and painted red dots on our foreheads. There is one gentlemen here who is decked out. He's wearing an authentic period outfit and is impeccable. He has a mustache to die for. We're eating box lunches that the previous hotel prepared for us. Bananas with tomato and cheese sandwiches. So good. We're all getting comfortable now. We will be heading to the Ranthambhore National Park shortly to see if we can catch a glimpse of some tigers. Our group leader has a special ride planned for us. 

Hotel Raj Palace, Ranthambhore 

Our room.

C'mon in!
I wanted to know who his tailor was. 

I really like this hotel. There is a writing desk and it fits me perfectly. I would very much like to take it home with me. The other hotels really didn't have this type of furniture and it gives me some time to really work on this blog. 

Yup, this is all you'll need in India!
Well, we definitely were in for a treat. The excursion of the day was to visit the Ranthambhore National Park. We were going to try to spot some tigers.  The special ride was an open top safari bus. If we were going to find some tigers, we would be pretty damn close. The bus fit about 18-20 people. Our guide looked like the b-movie actor John Saxon. Heading into the park was nice. There were ruins scattered all over. I once again felt like we were heading back into time. Even our bus was a creaky old beast. She threatened to fall apart at every curve and turn. The roads were ridiculously bad and we literally were in each other's laps as the bus tossed us around like dolls. Our park guide tried desperately to find us the ever elusive tiger but did not have any luck. We did stumble upon some tiger tracks. We were close to finding one. Well, we did see a crocodile and some deer though.

The Beast!

Tiger tracks! That tiger was near!
Undaunted, our guide pushed the driver of the bus to venture down a path that they really weren't supposed to go down. We all vowed our secrecy (oops!) and we pressed forward through the bushes! We really felt that we were on to something. Mr. Saxon dashed like a madman down the aisle of the bus peering intensely into the forest before finally stopping the driver. We've been beat! No tiger today. I'm glad we stopped as it appeared that the trail ended. I don't know how far we could have gotten without getting stuck out there or going off a cliff. 

The scenery was great out there in the sticks. The rocky bus ride was slightly amusing until it was time to head back and I realized that we had the achingly bad road to weather through. As we headed back tree branches whipped around smacking people in the faces and even whipping one guy's hat off his head. That's the price we paid to see some tigers!

Ruins of Ranthambhore National Park. 

The temple. 

Tower of Ranthambhore.
Thankfully, it was a short drive back to our hotel. It was getting a little cold. We all stumbled off the bus in pain and took a small break. Dinner would be in an hour. My mom and I decided to do a little shopping. There were some shops a few blocks from the Raj. One small shop had some great finds. I bought my son a tiger t-shirt and we walked to the next shop next door. This place was really nice. I was about to buy some souvenirs until I saw something that made me sick. The entire store was covered in small mosquitoes. There were in the blankets, the shirts, everywhere. I looked up at the ceiling and saw that mosquitoes were dropping like rain. That freaked me out. I literally grabbed my mom and we ran out of the store. The poor salesperson didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.  

As soon as we got back, there was some entertainment and drinks waiting for us in the courtyard  A small band was playing some music. The singer was great. One of the dancers came to our group and grabbed my mom. He started dancing with her. Man these guys know how to shake their hips! I ordered a round of Indian rum called Old Monk for one of the group members and I. It was good. He ordered a round for me too. The dancer did a little routine where he spit fire. He then came around and pulled our whole group to do some dancing. I broke out some mock breakdancing moves complete with a bad handstand. We finished our drinks and headed into the restaurant for dinner. 

Fire at the Raj Palace Resort. 

It was getting cold!!
It was an early night for me. Tomorrow we head to Bundi. Fireworks would be exploding for the remainder of the night. 

Bad road at the tiger reserve. 

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