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Published: February 13th 2016
After spending 2 nights in a tented camp, we returned for one night in Jaipur before heading to Rathambore National Park. It was a 5 hour, sometimes bumpy ride but still never boring. I continue to be fascinated by the sights in the small villages we pass through and the rural life we observe in the countryside. At one point a large group of women were coming down the road in the brightly colored saris, singing. Our trip leader (Singh) stopped the bus and we all got out. They were thrilled to have their pictures taken and invited us to dance with then in the side of the road. They were heading for a celebration of the wedding of one of the women's sister-in-law.
Throughout the day, Singh had told us to have low expectations of our accommodations near the park. He said it was a small, basic hotel. As we neared it, he pointed out a massive white castle and said it was owned by one of wealthy Raj families and that our hotel was located behind it. We drove along side the high fence and suddenly turned in and went under the archway and into a courtyard. Singh
was delighted to have fooled all of us as we stared in awe at the place we were staying for the next two nights. The place is massive with Multiple courtyards, two swimming pools, a spa and unbelievable rooms. My room has 7 windows overlooking one of the courtyards and a bathroom that is bigger than two of my bedrooms. I'm hoping I'll be able to attach a couple of the pictures I have taken with my IPad since the phone pictures aren't syncing.
We then had our first (and only hike) to an 11th century fort that is mostly in disrepair, though the government is making some effort to do some restoration. It was fascinating seeing the old mosque, Jain temple and a couple of Hindu temples where people still come to pray.
Our walk-up call this morning was at 5 am so we could head out for our first "Safari" in hopes of seeing a tiger. We were told time and time again that only a small percentage see one and that we would see other animals such as deer, antelope, monkeys and a wide variety of birds. About midway through our morning expedition we
saw a leopard, which is often not seen, but it moved so quickly I only got a quick glimpse. We were headed out of the park when a tiger was seen by a group ahead of us. It was lying in the grass and didn't budge so everyone had a chance to take pictures and get a good view. These pictures will probably be on Facebook since I've had more luck posting pictures there. Anyway, it was a very successful morning.
This afternoon is another safari, though I'm almost tempted to skip it and go to the spa.....but I'm too afraid I might miss something in the park!
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