Friday, November 18, 2011

Travel to Pench National Park and Day One

We had a long drive from Bandhavgarh to Pench. The countryside is beautiful, but if you've seen one village, you've seen them all and even in the tiny villages you will see people relieving themselves right on the street. They aren't even modest enough to turn around. I would have thought they could at least go behind a building, but nope. They don't seem to need any more privacy than any of the other animals do. Seems bizare to me, but what do I know. Below is a typical countyside traffic jam.

By the time that we got to the resort, it was still four hours away from dinner time and we were all hungry. Dinner time was late at this resort and we were starving! It was finally dinner time and we were all quite anxious to get some food. Between the hunger and a little bit of disorganization at the lodge, amoungst the six of us, three photographers were trying to lead the group. Unfortunately only one of them should have been speaking as she was our leader. I felt badly for the Indians at the resort. They have a difficult time communicating with us with their broken English at the best of times and they were getting conflicting instructions from three different photographers. This; combined with hunger and a long day set off world war III! Two photographers were all of a sudden not so happy with one another to say the least. I was a tad embarrased and could only imagine what the people of the resort thought of us.

Pench Day One:
Considering that we almost had world war three between two of the photographers that turned into the entire group, the air was cleared and everyone was very friendly and civil this morning which was nice.
This resort is quite nice, but a little disorganized. The service isn’t as good as in Bandhavgarh and they have no internet connection here. Arg! I will have to catch up on the blogs when I find some internet again.
Game Drive Day One:
On this morning’s game drive we saw lots of the same game as in Bandhavgarh. We did see a blue bull though. (which is a large antelope that Bandhavgarh doesn’t have) and lots of peacocks. Pench National Park is 800 square kilometres with each game drive route being 50 square km’s where as Bandhavgarh is only 500. They estimate that there are 33 tigers in this park as opposed to 25 in Bandhavgarh.
So far Richard and Janet are the only ones who have spotted a tiger, but I am optimistic about this park as the grass isn’t as high and the forests are not nearly as thick. In most places you can see up to about 75 meters into the bush as opposed to 0-10 meters and in some places up to 30 meters in Bandhavgarh. Because the bush is much less dense here, it should be much more conducive to photography. This morning we photographed a golden jackal and some monkeys for a few minutes, but that’s it. Hopefully we will have more luck on our coming drives.
Indian Roller
On this afternoon’s game drive I would like to report that we saw at least one of the three tiger families. One tigress in this national park has two cubs, one has three and the third has five cubs. We did see some tracks, but that’s it. We had a fun game drive and did bring out the cameras a few times. We photographed two different coloured spotted owls, a purple headed eagle and a sambor mother and baby. Hopefully before we leave I will have a better chance to take a few pictures of the spotted deer in good light as they are very pretty and there are hundreds of them all over the forest.

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