We traveled into the hills of Kona Park where it was cold enough to remind us that this is the month of January. Neeraj, his wife Deborah, their 3 year old son, Duguu, and Prerna were our guides. It was overnight trip and heavy blankets were in demand at the lodge where we stayed. Number one on the agenda was to spot one of 96 tigers in the park on our safari ride.
The journey took us first through crowded villages lined with businesses with dozens of men on motor bikes with women riding behind them. Then the crowds got smaller as we traveled though smaller farming communities with large pills of hay and women walking in bright saris carrying firewood and water buckets on their heads.
As we got closer to the park the road (if you could call it that) was full of giant potholes. To say it was very bumpy would be the understatement of all understatements. But we press forward as Carla and Betsy prayed their Dramamine would hold out.
The next morning, we set out in separate Jeeps and kept our eyes peeled and saw peacocks, black- faced monkeys, foxes, one water buffalo, and a lot of spotted deer. Unfortunately tigers were not where to be seen. Carla, Nancy, Betsy, and Prerna are claiming they saw 5 tigers, but the rest of us are very skeptical.
Then it was time to head home and as we entered the outskirts of Mungeli, I’m thankful we’ll get to sleep in a little before we have gather for Sunday morning church.