Sariska, Tiger Hunt and the Samosa off the roadside.
Seriska Travel Blog› entry 3 of 13 › view all entries
March 1st 1990
Itâ€™s so pleasant, living in a real life palace, even if, for just one day, if youâ€™re going to do so, make it in Sariska Palace.
Well, today we have a very early start 6.30am we have to be up and ready for a tiger hunt! We are loaded in to open topped Jeeps, about 6 â€˘8 to a Jeep, with just a narrow metal bar around us, we feel very exposed and cold as it is before sunrise. So, we all huddle together holding on to one another to keep warm and to make sure no one actually falls off as we bounce along over rough terrain.
I am of the opinion that the last tiger stupid enough to show his head in this park, had it shot off, by the Maharajah, and is now showing his stripes off on the walls or the floor of Sariska Palace! The Palace is full of the most beautiful tiger skins some complete with the head and fangs! All around there is luxurious furnishings in huge rooms.
Absolutely all we managed to see were about 4 deer, though apparently some of the other jeeps-full did see some wild pigs too, there was just too much noise to see much, wild animals donâ€™t sit around waiting to be spotted when 23 people start squealing and yelling on the back of jeeps. So basically it was a completely pointless long cold drive when we could have been snoozing.
When we got back a quick breakfast was served before we were off again in the bus for another long bus trip, but not before we had another group photo taken on the steps of the palace. Most off us had at least a little sleep on the way even though it meant missing lots of things as we sped through the countryside.
I notice that there is really no places that have absolutely nobody living somewhere in the picture. At all times there will be a shack in the trees, or a village compound of half a dozen buildings, or a youth standing among sheep, goats, bullocks, geese or camels as we got nearer the Rajastan, minding and protecting them. Or maybe a family group walking along the road or a lady breaking branches off trees for firewood, or a man dragging leafy branches home to feed the livestock.
We asked the driver to stop the bus so we could have a toilet stop, in seemingly deserted place, and when we got out and walked behind the small hedge we found about a dozen people huddled there, so much for that idea! He then took us to a small village where there was a tiny hotel that allowed us to use their hole-in-the floor type Indian loo, for a price!
It was rather strange to find all the men in this tiny hotel were huddled around a small TV set watching a Cricket Match, India v New Zealand!
Once out on the street the children of the village were all over us, wanting to try out their English with us and ofcause to beg for ruppees or anything we might have to hand out, they were very freindly, with big smiles, but scruffy.
We were able to quickly buy more bananas and oranges for lunch, the village was incredibly dirty so we didnâ€™t linger for any other food, just got out quickly and back to the bus.
Beside the bus a little old lady had set up a tiny stall, just by spreading a blanket on the ground, in the dust and the dirt of the roadside, and setting her wee stove and stones in place, she was making and selling samosas. I watched a moment then asked her to make one for me. She started from scratch, broke a piece of pastry dough off a big ball she had made, rolled it out on a flat stone with a roller made from a stick, spooned in some potato and green peas and a little curry paste, sealed the triangular pie up and fried it in hot oil right in from of me. All this, for only, about 20c of my money; incredibly cheap. All the rest of the group watched in horror, specially all the doctors, as I ate this lovely yummy samosa, holding their breath waiting for me to come down with the dreaded Delhi belly, but I didnâ€™t get sick, I knew I wouldnâ€™t because I had watched closely as it was prepared and eaten it hot and fresh.
The driver kept a good stock of chilled water, for sale, so we were never thirsty.
These drivers were very good drivers and we never felt scared by their driving, they were also quite freindly, one of them talked quite often to me when the bus was stopped at some scenic thing for us to enjoy..
We headed off again in the bus towards Bhaptar, where we had been told another Maharajahâ€™s Palace awaited us, and the thing I had been waiting for a Tour of the Bhaptar Bird Park with a noted Ornithologist, as I am a member of the New Zealand Ornithological Society.