Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bandgavharh Day Five
This morning was pretty much a bust for everyone in regards to tiger viewing. None of us have seen a tiger in a couple days, but that’s the way it goes with nature sometimes. I think people sometimes have the misconception that wildlife photographers get off the plane, take a few pictures, have a few laughs and go home with great images. When there are a lot of good sightings it almost feels that way. When there aren’t any sightings, it is 7 hours a day of driving around on bumpy mountain roads, hanging on for dear life. That’s okay though as it is still driving around a beautiful forest and mountain side. To be fair, there are tons of spotted and sambor deer and monkeys all over the place, but we are here for the tigers, so 90% of the time we speed on past them. Thankfully I have a few pictures of them. Spotted deer are beautiful. They are much prettier than any deer that I have ever seen before.
Large Male Spotted Deer

 On our way home from our morning game drive, we did come across a large troop of languor and red faced monkeys as well as a herd of spotted deer. The deer and the monkeys work as a team as they both send out alarm calls if they see a tiger. It is entertaining watching them as the monkeys will break off large leaves the size of my foot from the tree tops and drop them. The deer love to eat the lush green leaves and don’t leave any behind.

I was trying to ask my guide some questions today and he tried his best, but gets frustrated with me when I don’t understand him. The Indians are very nice, but they say certain syllables in ways that we have a difficult time repeating and we say words that they have difficulty with as well. That, combined with the broken English that they speak and we often have communication difficulties.

My question for my guide this morning was “Have you been to Pench National Park before?” We are going there in two days and I was curious what the park was like. The response came back “Yes it is very beautiful. The forest is teek”. I nodded that I understood. “Yes, your forests here in India are very thick.” I replied. He looked at me like I had a hole in my head and responded “teek, teek. “The forests there are very teek.” This game continued for about two or three minutes until I figured out what he was saying. What he was trying to say is that the forest is very teak. The forest has a lot of teak trees in it.

That is just one example of the communication break downs. We have them daily and sometimes it’s kind of entertaining.

This sign is located at the exit gate of the Bandhavgarh National Park.

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