We purchased some sweets along the way, fueled ourselves with a picnic in the park amongst monkeys, deer and sambar and headed out on safari. There was one over eager Sambar, evidently the park pest, who somewhere lost his "wild" and became just an animal in search of lunch off of everyone else's plate. Here being fed by our driver.
With a bit of luck and severe lens envy, we sat in the second row behind a huge safari buff who had been spending the week at the park photographing animals. He clued us in where to look, having spotted a tiger earlier in the morning - a rare sighting.
Driving along and minding our own business, we managed to come face to face with a large elephant who, feeling threatened by our sudden appearance, charged our bus! Trying to make himself appear bigger, he thrust his ears out to their full extension and raised is huge trunk at us, stopping a mere few yards in front of us in a stand off, he luckily retreated into the bush after hearing the trumpet of his companion. Where was my husband, during this tense moment? Why, hanging out the window trying to photograph him! You can tell by the photo - out of focus and almost fully blocked by the rear view mirror what a tense moment it was.
Although we did not see the tiger, sadly, we did see a severely injured leopard, dragging himself into the undercover of the bush. The guide suspects, judging by the wounds that he was attacked by the tiger earlier in the day. Devi was extremely disturbed by this, a sight I had not anticipated seeing. Luckily, the frolicking monkeys and cute spotted deer seemed to make up for it. Throughout our journey, she searched the bushes with binoculars raised to her eyes...a very cute sight. When we arrived back to civilization she said, "That was the best safari ever!" so I guess the wounded animal did not scar her too terribly. She was, however, exhausted. So tired in fact that she fell asleep on the way home and we could not even arouse her for dinner....she slept right through. At 4:30am she woke up and asked, "How do you do karate?" and then asked for a snack. Thankfully, Nimi came to our rescue by sending us to bed with a chappati and jam sandwich for her.
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