Satpura National Park

Wakey Wakey!!

David preparing our snack

They are not set up here for tourism at all, this has become obvious. Every time we go on the game drives, we have to wake people up at the boathouse this side of the river, in turn they then phone ahead and wake people up the other side of the river to send a boat over to get us. Whenever we come across a gate we need to pass through David has to go in search of someone to open it. Most of the time we have been the only vehicle in the entire park, which would be absolutely wonderful if we could actually find some animals to watch, but I'm beginning to wonder if there is really anything here at all other than the handful of animals and birds we've seen and I guess this is exactly why we are alone here. The park itself is beautiful and there is much to be said in favour of the lack of tourism here and the experience that alone provides. The daily ritual of waking everyone up and the ensuing scenes that follow is amusing, however I'm not sure it would be on the top of my list of places to visit to see tigers, which is essentially why we had come here.

Silence Is Golden?

Spotted Deer

There is no atmosphere at this lodge, none at all, maybe it's the lack of people, although normally that wouldn't bother me, maybe it's because we had such a fantastic time at Bandhavgarh, I don't know – but for the very first time on the trip neither John nor I wanted to be here. We couldn't put our finger on the exact problem, but we just lay and hugged this morning on a bit of a downer. We very quickly reminded each other that we are here now and will be for another two nights, so we'll just make the best of the way things are.

Deserted

Tea Stop

We had a quick piece of toast each before starting off on our journey. On the way we stopped at a tea stall in the middle of rural villages and John asked if there was a toilet he could use, which made me smile. The driver points and John asks if he means round the back of the stall ....... so I have to tell John that he means find a bush!! So now he has become a true local, well not quite, otherwise he'd have whipped it out at the side of the road! We sit in the sunshine with a drink for a bit, then we're on our way again. The rural villages are much different than the big city, there seems to be much more of a sense of community, which is probably true of most countries you go to I guess.

We were told that we would be taken to the train in Jabalpur and accompanied to our seats – so imagine our surprise upon arrival at a bustling train station when it very quickly became apparent that we were two hours early and our driver was about to ditch us and disappear!  At all times whilst unloading our luggage, setting it down and even just prior to driving off into the sunset, the drivers response to Johns questions of "You are staying with us aren't you?" was "Yes, yes, yes" although that roughly seemed to translate as "No, not a chance" when we watched him speed off leaving only a trail of dust!!

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