May 2, 2008 - Around The World, Day 7 - Ranthambore

We wake up early on our second day in India and head immediately for Ranthambore.
We park just outside the gates for about 5 minutes and get accosted by people selling hats and shirts, literally putting them in your lap and in your hands. Meanwhile, the driver and Satish (who is from Ranthambore and can thus act as our naturalist) head to the guard station where they draw lots. The park is divided into 5 parts and only four cars can go into each section.
(Come to think of it, I can't believe they actually followed these rules; no one follows any other rules in India.)
Anyway, they get the route assignment and we get frustrated with the locals trying to sell us cheesy crap.

Within 10 minutes, we're on our way into the park, passing red faced macaques.

The park road is rough, but better than many Indian interstates.

We don't have to go far to see tiger tracks...

...and not too mch further for who made the tracks...
...a very large tigress.

She's a big girl, right... hard for her to hide...

Think again. She's actually in this shot (just to the right of dead center), though you have to
click here to compare this high-res version to the picture below to actually find her.

There she is.

Jill and I hadn't known this, but tigers have a little white mark on the backs of their ears. Cute.
After quite a while (maybe 20 minutes), she walked into the trees and over a hill where we couldn't see her anymore.

We never saw another tiger in the park, but there are other animals worth checking out.
There are two kinds of deer, Sambar deer...

...and spotted chital.

This Indian mongoose decided to pose for us.

There are peacocks everywhere!
You can hear their god-awful call whenever you stop the car.

Sambar deer again (no spots).

The trees were unique, too. well, maybe banyan trees aren't that unique, but they were for the trip.

Serene watering hole...

The other primate - a black-faced langur.

They were all over the place, too.

With the drive almost over, we start the long, bumpy ride back to the entrance.
(Or, at least we thought it was bumpy at the time...)

Awesome pileated woodpecker.

With the first successful safari over, we pose with the driver and the Matchbox safari vehicle.

Original itinerary:
5/2/2008 - Ranthambore