I have far far too many pictures in this post because I couldn’t work out what to show off, so you get everything.
For a blissful 2 weeks I am being spoiled rotten by my parents and the lovely people at Mysteries of India. We met in Bangalore (they flew down after spending a week in the golden triangle), where we saw very little and I have almost no insight to give you except:
1) Eesh, the rickshaws here are expensive. You know, comparatively. I’m getting worried up about spending £3 to get to the hotel.
2) Apparently you can carry a cow in a rickshaw.
3) Holy mother of God the standard of my accommodation has gone up a wee bit. In Mysore I didn’t have a shower. In Bangalore we had a kitchenette, 2 televisions and THINGS IN THE BATHROOM! The fact that I am most excited about free shampoo is probably a very sad sign.
We got up the next morning (reluctantly) to meet our private driver, Prem, who is lovely and has been ferrying us around everywhere for the whole 2 weeks – nearly over by the time I’m writing this :( Unfortunately I seem to have gotten myself used to bumpy rides and now that I’m in a proper car with suspension and air conditioning I’m getting car sick. Ridiculous. I’ll work on that.
The nice thing about having a driver is that we can say things like ‘I didn’t get to see the palace at Mysore yesterday because of the parade, can we stop for a look on the way through?’ (Palace and parents provided above, ta da). It did cause a small issue when we arrived at Bandipur national park as, due to no one really knowing the correct timings, we had arrived too late for our evening drive. However, the staff here are magnificent so they offered us an extra morning viewing the day we left at no extra cost.
We are staying in the Windflower resort, which has no TV, no phone signal, no WiFi, just cute little huts surrounded by monkeys (my mum is in love and plotting to take some back to Scotland) and very good full board food.
The game drives are organised by the national park service so guests from lots of different hotels come together for them, in 16 seater open sided trucks – I thought it would be a bit noisy at first, but everyone settled down once we got inside the park. Sadly the closest we got to a tiger was some footprints, but we did see laughing birds, kingfishers, crested serpent eagles, lots of peacocks, sambar and chital deer, bison, wild elephants, a mongoose, grey langurs and on the second drive 3 sloth bears! The first was only for a split second and far away and the other two were closer to the truck, but by then it was too dark to take decent photos, so I’ve treated you to a photo from Mysore zoo instead. I am of course being very honest in admitting this, as otherwise I’m sure you’d never be able to tell which of these photos was taken in a controlled environment.