A Travellerspoint blog

Kaziranga National Park - Day 1

===It's Rememberance Day in Australia - a minute's silence at the 11th hour for our fallen in battle - Lest We Forget===

Up and on our first safari by 6:00am to the West section of the Park. Camera fees are Rs 500 ($US10) for still cameras & Rs 1000 ($US20) for video camera per trip. Each vehicle gets an armed Parked ranger to ride shotgun in the event of trouble.

The areas consists of tall grass with the occassional large waterholes...there is a wide variety of animals including rhinos, tigers, elephants, buffalo, hog deer, marsh deer, wild boar and the ever present array of birdlife.

10mins into the trip up a dirt and bumpy track & Polus our guide calls a stop and indicates there is a tiger somewhere in the 'long grass' beside the track. 'Long grass' is about 18-20 ft high and like a wall so it's pretty hard to see anything beyound the edge of the road. We played the 'waiting game' for 20 mins, but the tiger refused to come out, so we moved.

The rest of the drive is spent looking at the changing scenery....a herd of buffalo in a waterhole and a solitary rhino on the floodplain (unfortunately a bit far away.
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Back after another 20mins only to find a set of 'pug marks' in the dirt crossing the road.
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Our guide, Polous is visibly upset that he failed to be patient, however we assure him that if we see a Kaziranga tiger we would consider that a bonus to our rhinos.

On the way back to Wild Grass, we stop at the nearby tea plantation and watch the pickers.....that is hard work for the women.
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The afternoon drive commences at 2:30pm since it's dark by 5:00pm. Straight through th 'horde' of vehicles containing sightseers and visitors who have to shout at the top of their voices despite the sign - SILENCE WHEN IN PARK - NO HORN

Polous takes us out into the far back tracks in the hope of getting a rhino to ourselves. After about 20 minutes of watching monkeys, birds, buffalo, we stop beside a waterhole to watch a lone hog deer.

A movement in the long grass to the side catches my interest & I quietly signal a warning. To our surprise a large 1 horned Asiatic rhino emerges like a heavily armoured tank no more than 50m away
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Our contact lasts for 15 minutes till the setting sun forces us to head back to the main entrance. We are absolutely awed by being so close to this wonderous animal.
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Posted by Australia0811 21:05 Archived in India Comments (0)

Delhi to Garwahti to Kaziranga National Park

The very early flight (6am) to Garwahti took us over Nepal and Bhutan with the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas peeking through the clouds...no photos as we were on the wrong side of the plane.

From Garwahti to Kaziranga is a 5hr car trip (240kms)...mainly becuase the roads are either heavily conjested or in a sad and sorry state of repair....the scenery is beautiful, even with the high level of military security, given that Tibet (China) border is just up the road.

Getting into Wild Grass Lodge in time for dinner is like being transported back to the British colonial era with a giant eating hall with photos, deer antlers, and other replica 'antiques'.
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Again early to bed as there is no TV or internet.....just good old fashion peace and quiet + it gets dark about 5:00pm

Posted by Australia0811 18:47 Archived in India Comments (0)

Delhi - Day 3

Today we head off to Chandni Chowk...the largest bazaar in Delhi...a maze of small alleywares and shops selling just about anything you could think of...silver, spices, flowers, sarees, wedding accessories...the list goes on. 5hrs later and the crowds and noise has just about go to us. Lunch was fried bread sandwich with vegetable stuffing (bread pukao)......many of the other Europeans taking their 'tourist' cyclo ride were astounded to see 2 Westerners eating at a everyday street stall.

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Unable to find a meter taxi, we settled on an 'auto' to go back to the Defence Colony Market for some quick photos. The best experience in Delhi traffic we have had and it was dirt cheap.

Into bed early for the flight to Garwahti and Kaziranga National Park.

Posted by Australia0811 18:21 Archived in India Comments (0)

Delhi - Day 2

8th November 2011

sunny 32 °C

Awake abt 0800hrs - great complimentary breakfast - cereal - juice - coffee - omelette - toast - jam - & Indian toasted bread.

So what to do with ourselves today - maybe check out the nearby Defence Colony market since we need to change money.

It's only a short, safe walk to the market with loads of cafes, restaurants & bars - change the money at the only legal money changer INDIABULL - got an exchange rate of $US 1 = 47.7RS - far better than Thomas Cook at the airport (RS45).

The shops are a maze of wonderful things, aromas and very friendly people - lunch was a bunch of spicy wedges with spicy/chilli sauce for RS200 and Happy Hrs at 11am-11pm - Kingfisher Heavy Beer 650ml 1+1 free for RS200.

Down stairs at the Wine/Beer Supermarket - 500ml Kingfishers cans for RS60 (cold)...note it's illegal to consume alcohol in the streets and both locals & police are particular so respect their wishes.

Everybody loves cricket - India vs West Indies at the moment on all Indian TVs - Australia in January 2012 in India.

Back to the Residency for an afternoon nap then back to the market for dinner with a multitude of foods to chose from - South Indian, North Indian, Punjabi, Italian, Subways, Chinese, Japanese, Seafood - too much to chose from.

We have planned an early morning trip next day to the Chandni Chowk bazaar - Delhi's biggest traditional market area - more to our style.

Posted by Australia0811 15:43 Archived in India Tagged india happy money cricket exchange colony defence kingfisher residency hours ahuja markey indabulls wedgies Comments (0)

Delhi - Day 1

overcast 28 °C

After finally clearing Immigration (3/4hrs wait) - we find a suitcase missing - a quick search finally found it sitting in the middle of the arrival lounge with the security warning of "don't leave your bags unattended" blasting through the loud speakers.

Our booked driver is no were in sight - no signs - no nothing - getting a simple Pre-Paid mobile SIM for my phone was like opening a major bank account.

Advised by the hotel to grab a taxi to the address supplied, we end up a some seedy hotel in Karol Bagh - differently not what we booked and no-one seemed to know our hotel - "you stay here - very good". No one would give us internet access to show them the Hotel we were booked at.

The streets were dirty, full of rubbish and many of the people hanging around seemed less desireable. The atmosphere is full of smoke and a dirty haze. No cafes, restuarants, street stalls.

Since we are booked into the Ahuja Residency during the safari, we opted to go there. They are great - yes we can accommodated you for 1 night for $US46.00 with complimentary breakfast in a differently mid class suburb (Defence Colony). Straight to sleep - we have been up for 30hrs

That afternoon, a taxi ride to Khan Market (RS 200) abt 1530hrs is our first look at an Indian market - not what we expected, but still pretty good.

Happy Hour is 4pm to 11pm at all the Bars, Cafes, Resturants - we chose Cafe OZ with Kingfisher pitchers (5 x steins) for only RS695 with the second free. A traditional Aussie theme with Aborignal paintings & maskes on the wall but modern techno music - bring on Jimmy Barnes or Icehouse.

Dinner is at The Big Chilli Cafe - prawn & mushroom rissotto for only RS 350 - no beers - had enough - a quick call to our taxi service (RS 200) and safely back home - in bed by 1830hrs.

All up a long day but fullfilling.

Posted by Australia0811 01:53 Archived in India Tagged people taxi india market the big delhi cafes cafe meals oz khan beers chilli residency ahuja Comments (0)

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