Since my first trip to India last March I've had another visit on my radar, this time focused on tiger safaris. Looking around for what was good to
do this time of year, this worked.
Additionally according to the Chinese lunar calendar this is the year of the tiger, and Tiger Woods would be making his comeback at The Masters while
I was here- so the stars were all lining up.
Some quick interesting facts:
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 3200 tigers remain in the wild, while 5000 exist in captivity in the U.S. alone!
The largest threat is illegal hunting and trade, which has cut the number of tigers in the wild by 95% in 100 years.
DELTA 4963* AUSTIN 1045A to ATLANTA 159P *Operated by ATLANTIC SOUTHEAST
Sat next to a guy that needed a seat extender.
DELTA 28 ATLANTA 325P to PARIS-DEGAUL 610AM
I was very disappointed with Delta here, no in seat entertainment. Also apparently my ticket was too cheap to get any seating upgrades.
Lots of empty seats, so I moved to the bulkhead row where I had two seats to myself, but the armrest was fixed- so no laying down.
Looking at this waiting area I was wondering if I was a on 10-person prop commuter plane to Delhi?
Since I had a few hours here I thought about going to gate F35 to try and capture my
U2 "Beautiful Day" video pics, but
I was at a different gate with security in between, so may be when I am back here in September instead.
Day 2: Delhi
DELTA 8650* PARIS-DEGAUL 1040A to DELHI INDIA 1035P *Operated by AIR FRANCE As AF Flt 226
Thankfully I again had two seats to myself, and on this flight I got
to watch "Sherlock Holmes" and "
The Lovely Bones".
Disturbingly this was one of those flights where at the beginning they walk up and down the isle spraying insecticide- inside a closed plane.
I've seen this done in South Africa as well. You just know that health-wise nothing good can come from that.
I found it interesting that we were flying over Afghanistan- I guess the Stinger missles we gave them in the 80s
aren't a worry to shoot down commercial airliners.
And my friend Dave was on a business trip to Singapore- funny how relatively close we were.
"On arrival at the airport meet with our representative, and then transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel."
The 2010 Commenwealth Games are going to be held here in Delhi, with Shera the tiger its mascot.
11.5 hour time difference
About 30 minutes to get through the one guy working customs, then another 30 to the hotel.
#4 of 456
Made it in just before midnight, this place was OK. That late at night it was hard to get to
as police block off access to many of the side roads.
I was able to get fried eggs and bottled water (less than $2) from them for a late dinner.
The shower here is where there is no shower area, it just sprays the whole room. Can't say I like those much.
I was up around 6am and in the lobby by 7 where I could connect my netbook and via
Slingbox was able to watch the first half of the game, and then catch up to where
it was live, but had to leave for the airport with about 13 minutes left.
At the airport I was able to briefly get on-line, long enough to see a pic of Scheyer with a smile on his face! That took the edge off, we had accomplished
"Transfer to the airport time to board flight for Khajuraho."
Traffic was horrendous, bumper to bumper most of the way, and took almost an hour to get to the airport.
Flight = Jet Airways 10:25 - 13:20 $90 Flight was delayed.
The Indian food starts. I recently heard in the U.S. Continental was the last to provide food on domestic flights, and
now that has stopped.
We made a stop in Varanasi on the way.
"On arrival meet at the airport and transfer to the hotel."
Stepping off the plane the heat smacked me right in the face. Humidity was low in the areas I went to (until Mumbai) so you didn't sweat much,
but between the temp and about three days of travel I felt like just passing out in the hotel room as much as seeing any temples.
Hotel Clarks #12 of 20
Spacious, clean rooms. Decent place to stay, but seemed mostly empty. Very close to the airport.
"In the afternoon temple tour of
Khajuraho temples which includes
Kandaryia Mahadeo Chaunsat Yogini, Chitragupta temple, Vishwanath Temple
and Matengeswara Temple. They are the Master pieces of Temple architecture. Of the temples many have exquisitely
and explicity carved scenes from Kamasutra. Build in the 10th to 11th century by the chandella dynasty, they are in a
marvelous state of preservation."
I was able to get a small break and wasn't picked back up until 4:30pm.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
First we visited the Western Group of Temples.
After another short break I was picked back over to head to the restaurant Medditaraneo, which was on the roof over some shops on a main street in town.
Had some lasagna/Coke/water ($7) there, and while waiting to be picked up got to hang with some locals and cows on the street, then to bed.
One benefit of getting older is getting to know yourself better- the guide had mentioned there was a sound & light show offered back at the temples, or
a cultural dance show. While I would normally recommend and push to do as much as possible, I figured I was better off falling asleep in a bed
than in front of some poor dancers. And since the novelty of the temples were in the details, which you wouldn't see at night, I was likely safe
skipping the sound & light as well.
Kama Sutra info