Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drama Always Follows Us

After a pretty successful "alternate" itinerary in Ranthambhore National Park sighting a wild royal bengal tiger as well as a leopard, we're now back in Delhi to spend the night before flying out to India's northeast tomorrow morning. That's where we expect to see the first of the India Waterfalls on this trip.

Like I said earlier, the original itinerary included Chitrakote Falls in Chattisgarh state (discouraged by tour operator due to Maoist activity and time/cost constraints) and the Barehipani Falls and Joranda Falls in Simlipal National Park in Orissa state (again due to Maoist activities). So I've been chomping at the bit to see waterfalls in the country and really look forward to the off-the-beaten-path locales we're about to journey to.

However, before I sign off, I must mention that drama always seems to follow us around, and today was definitely one of those drama-filled days. To make a long story short, there was an accident involving our vehicle where a local village boy was hit about an hour from Ranthambhore. Fortunately, he was taken to hospital and he's fine. I'm not sure if the driver will get through OK as the villagers want money either from the driver or from the tour company.

I feel bad for the driver because driving in India is very difficult (the roads are pretty chaotic and it's shared with camels, bikes, rickshaws, lorries, buses, tractors, scooters, foot traffic, cows, goats, dogs, you name it). And for all we know, the accident may not be the driver's fault (the kid could've dashed out in front of the car). All I can say is that our driver's quick reaction may have made the difference in keeping the boy alive as opposed to becoming another traffic fatality (not all that uncommon in India).

I certainly hope our driver makes it through this ordeal. He's been real nice and the tour company has also been excellent with our trip so far...

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