Thursday, December 25, 2008
kink in khajuraho
After the holy city of Varanasi we tried to head to Khajuraho, a double feature town with both UNESCO World Heritage listed Hindu temples as well as a national park with lots of indigenous animals to see. Alas, the transport gods do not love us. We waited for our 11 pm night train for 4 hours, finally getting on at 3 am only to find the conductor setting up his office in our sleeper birth, conducting business all night. After a two hour tipsy-turvy taxy ride from the rail head (I think our driver thinks he is racing the Indy 500) on little to no sleep, we trudged into Khajuraho...
...Only to find out that evening that Alex had contracted food poisoning which was getting slowly worse as the evening progressed. The night passed along with plenty of bodily fluids fleeing his ailing system, and we spent the next day nursing him back to health. It is these particularly trying circumstances that really made us want to enjoy where we are, to take it in, to see what we came here to see. Forging ahead, we spent the next day giggling at the sculptures on the temples, as they are famous for their depiction of Kama Sutra, and the following day we got up before dawn and went on a safari. Our main goal was to see a tiger, but because of human greed and negligence, the tiger population has dwindled drastically over the last decades. Knowing our chances were slim for a tiger spotting, we could relax and enjoy the creatures we did get to see: Nilgai (giant antelope), Sambar (large deer), Chital (small spotted deer), Wild Boar, Langur Monkeys, Kingfisher birds and Storks. The landscape was a combination of teak forest and savannah-like grassland with a few craggy trees dotted in the foggy mist. Oh, it's the moments that make travel what it is.