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Old 19th January 2009, 16:02   #16
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Looks like you guys had great time Suman Da !!

Waiting for next installment
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Old 19th January 2009, 16:23   #17
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Great drive and pics Suman da, Waiting for more !! Bring them in soon.

Abhi
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Old 19th January 2009, 17:16   #18
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Dada, one helluva narrative and exciting pictures. Only if you had followed my tip, the stripes would've been arrested inside the Rebel..
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Old 19th January 2009, 17:24   #19
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Thanks guys for all the compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Glad you made the trip.
Thanks for convincing me to go with Tiger Camp, it was the best decision of the trip.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Only if you had followed my tip, the stripes would've been arrested inside the Rebel..
Boss, everything, trust me, everything was in place - 55-250 was zoomed to 250, AV was set. It was just that we were awestruck & gawking & the bugger was at right angles to us & vanished in no time. That was it. Had he been strolling or lolling - different story.

Anyway, no regrets - we saw it, was worth the safari. Next time, hopefully, will have a picture for you

Last edited by suman : 19th January 2009 at 17:25.
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Old 19th January 2009, 18:19   #20
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Will wait for April. Who knows you might find a certain Scorpio tailing you as well..

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Anyway, no regrets - we saw it, was worth the safari. Next time, hopefully, will have a picture for you
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Old 20th January 2009, 08:15   #21
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SUPER!!! Worth the wait to the core.
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Old 20th January 2009, 08:24   #22
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Great Suman. Was interesting to read. And we could feel the love you have on your 4x4

Last edited by mjothi : 20th January 2009 at 08:25.
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Old 20th January 2009, 11:44   #23
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As a child I had a great fascination for Phantom & Mandrake comics. I still do. It was said that the voice and sight of Phantom used to freeze the blood in the veins.

Maybe something similar happened to you as well when the King of the jungle appeared...!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Boss, everything, trust me, everything was in place - 55-250 was zoomed to 250, AV was set. It was just that we were awestruck & gawking & the bugger was at right angles to us & vanished in no time. That was it.

Last edited by gd1418 : 20th January 2009 at 11:46.
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Old 20th January 2009, 11:51   #24
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Default Day Three & Four

1st January, 2009

The first day of the New Year! Took our time getting up & then had a lazy, laid back breakfast. Met Keith at breakfast & he wasn't looking his cheerful best since his liquid diet session had continued well into the wee hours of the morning, long after we had come away. So he was, understandably, a little fuzzy!! It was a nice, clear morning (that's the road to Ramnagar)
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and we had the following options in front of us
  • Pack some lunch from the resort & drive up to Machor or Kauth-ki-Naula, a viewpoint/village on the Ranikhet road with great views of the Himalayas. Total time for the round trip would be about four to five hours.
  • Drive up to another eco-resort run by our Host called Riverine Woods; cross two or three rivers to get there (Gypsy territory primarily but can be comfortably tackled in a 4x4 Safari as well), have lunch, laze around in the gardens, check out the fishing & then come back. IIRC, fellow bhpian DKG had gone up to this place & had spoken highly of it. Total time for the trip would be six hours plus.
  • Try an Elephant Safari in the afternoon in the Buffer Zone just across the road - couple of hours or so. A rare sighting of a Tiger AND a Leopard was made by a Guest a week prior, during this ride.
  • Drive to Sitabani Reserve Forest once again, late afternoon or evening. Time depending on one's own convenience.

The first option was shot down since it was late morning already & no point driving three hours to see the snows as it would be partly obscured by the clouds by the time we got there.
The second option interested me quite a bit (especially the chance to cross a couple of deep water crossings in 4L and generally have some fun). But six hours plus was a long time & my daughter also wanted to get back to her revisions. So that was shot down as well.
My son was quite keen on the elephant safari (he was hopeful of another tiger sighting) and it was just about right in terms of the time span. So that was what we finally decided on.
Sitabani was "already been there, done that" so kids were not very keen.


Decisions, decisions! Anyway, with that out of the way, just lazed around in the room & the grounds pre & post lunch
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Decided to take out the 50mm 1.8 lens and try my hand at Macros. Need to keep practicing LOL
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3.30 pm & it was time to "board" Padma, our carrier for the afternoon & start our long ride in the Buffer Zone. Now, it has been much debated about which is a better mode of doing a safari - Gypsy or Elephant. Having done both, I'd like to table my "expert" opinion to the forum -
  • If you actually have a sighting, its probably a good idea being on Elephant back (opportunity to take pics for a longer time & in less bouncy conditions)
  • If a sighting is not on the cards, then its a DRAG! Never ending ride, seeing the same thing by way of Deer & Birds. And after a while, your under-thigh muscles SCREAM cos they're hanging in mid-air for two hours. LOL!!
In our case it turned out to be the second scenario, except that my son enjoyed it more than we did (but even he was disappointed by the fact that there was no sighting). In hindsight, it was a BIG mistake not doing the Sitabani drive again 'cos another guest who went there had a sighting at 4 pm, when we were being "rocked" on Padma's back going up a steep incline! But then, you can't expect to get too lucky can you? Hoping for two sightings in one trip would have been a tad greedy, methinks.

The elephant ride was an experience all the same, looking down from a height & having to duck now & then when stubborn branches got in the way
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A rustle in the bushes but alas.....(how we'd shamelessly hoped you had "stripes"!!)
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Some jungle flavor & the trail we took
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And finally, the one & only Padma (she has a reputation for sniffing out the tiger but maybe she just had a bad cold that day )
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Thus ended our Elephant Safari & we came back with the general consensus that our Safari Elephant gave us a far better & way more comfortable ride
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The rest of the evening went off uneventfully by the Bonfire, with the Tandoori snacks & the Peanut Masala & the soft drinks. Wait a minute, forgot the main stuff - the Old Monk & the Smirnoff! It was quite cold, despite the layers & the Bonfire so ended up knocking back quite a few & "killing" the bottles between Keith & myself. Old habits die hard. Then we finished our last dinner at Tiger Camp & decided to call it a night. Next day was the drive back to Gurgaon & we hoped it would be as quick & uneventful as the day we came to Corbett. Fingers crossed & eyes closed, we drifted off into peace & tranquility........

End of Day Three


2nd January, 2009


Our last day at Tiger Camp (in fact the last few hours actually, since I wanted to get an early start & try to hit Delhi before dusk) dawned chilly & clear
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But we really didn't have much time to soak in the scenery 'cos, very soon, it would be time to go :(. All good things must come to an end & we had mixed feelings - happy to have had a great holiday but sad that we had to go back to the hustle & the bustle & the madness of the NCR. After Breakfast & a final click
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and after saying our goodbyes to all & sundry (our Host was missing though, he hadn't come in yet) we managed a fairly decent start at 10.23 am. We crossed the Amadanda gate at 10.30 am
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and got down to the serious business of some major mile munching. Covered 50 kms in the first hour & found heavy fog from Kashipur onwards, all the way through past the Moradabad bypass (light in patches). Despite the fog, made pretty good progress & made the 158 kms to Giani's Dhaba at Gajraula in two & a half hours (12.56 pm), the last half hour being the best by way of progress. A paranthe & butter naan (my son, who else!) lunch & we were on our way again for the crucial last leg of our journey (Garhmukteswar & Hapur being the terror spots) at 1.47 pm.

Lady Luck was smiling on us so we encountered no obstacles thereafter; followed the same route back through Noida in reverse sequence, stopped for a couple of minutes at my Office in Jasola (to collect the Voxtel X430 GPS that had arrived from Satnav a couple of days earlier) and then we were back home. Reached at 5 pm, 305 kms covered in 6 hours & 37 minutes including a 51 minute halt at Gajraula. Good timing, helped of course by the fact that there were no jams & scanty traffic. But I could feel the effects of driving in that fog - eyes were feeling stretched & tired.

Freshened up, switched on the Set Top Box, put my feet up & browsed the newspapers of the past few days. The chill set in, the Black Label was opened & the clinking of glasses & ice-cubes was heard.

Cheers!
Here's to a great holiday....


And thus the curtain came down on our Corbett Holiday. Thanks for your patience folks & for all the compliments!

End of Travelogue
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Old 20th January 2009, 12:09   #25
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Hi Suman,

Very nice narrative - enjoyed reading every bit of it!

PS: all that glass-clinking is making me thirsty; can't do anything about it while I'm in office :(

Cheers,
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Old 20th January 2009, 12:42   #26
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Nice pics and congrats that at least you spotted one.

i really liked the resort too.
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Old 20th January 2009, 13:09   #27
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My sincere thanks to all of you for the compliments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Will wait for April. Who knows you might find a certain Scorpio tailing you as well..
Sounds like we have a plan

Quote:
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Nice pics and congrats that at least you spotted one.
Thanks Sandeep! As far as sightings are concerned, our Host told us that local people including Naturalists were a little perturbed at the sudden rise in the number of sightings lately. The earlier concept was that this time of the year was "too cold" for sightings but that's not valid any longer. Its mating season now & people have spotted pairs. Just a few days before our trip, a villager (lady) was almost pounced upon inside Sitabani (the road we drove through on Day One). A day before our arrival there, a guest in their adjoining sister resort TARANGI spotted a Tiger just across the river when he was sipping his evening Tea on his Cottage verandah. Even though it was on the other side of the river & there was a broad expanse in between, he kinda freaked

So, effect of global warming or general ecological imbalance? Don't know but good for visitors as long as the Tigers don't get too ambitious & start walking up to people. LOL
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Old 20th January 2009, 13:54   #28
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Hey great travelogue. Fortune favors the brave. I guess being the first person to venture out in the cold did the trick. Great effort.

I read another Travelogue thread sometime back in TBHP were they managed to spot 3 tigers in a day !!! He's finished his quota of wild cats for his lifetime
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Old 20th January 2009, 14:36   #29
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Great travelogue Suman! Good to know you guys had fun!
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Old 20th January 2009, 14:44   #30
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As usual good travelogue Suman Da.

Regarding the tiger sighting thingy.. i believe it is purely luck based thing, Good thing was that you guys were lucky
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