Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Back From India and Nepal!

After what seemed like too much time away from Asia, my brother and I finally hit the road again. Below, my photo and written reports.
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Click on the photo above for a slideshow of impressions and somnambulant experiences... click middle arrow to begin auto-play

A Very Happy Diwali, Indeed:
My Report on the Status of Magic in India and Nepal

My brother and I were seated high off the ground in a howdah.  Directly in front of us, our mahout was straddling the neck of our elephant for the morning, Kanti Kali (fierce goddess of the dawn). The sweet girl had just carried us out of the thick, liana draped Nepalese jungle and had begun to meander through some of the pristine marshland bordering the Nariyana River. She stopped and scooped up huge wads of grass with her trunk to snack on.  We were puzzled, though, about what the low, rumbling sound we heard behind us was. Finally, Mr. Prasad, our naturalist who was seated right behind us, volunteered an explanation in his formal, British-Indian English stating, “Elephant fart, Sir!” We smiled.

Our mahout resumed kicking Kanti Kali behind the ears to get her moving again.  She obliged, but after just another few minutes stopped again, shuffled her huge feet and lifted her trunk into the air letting out a soft trumpeting sound. Mr. Prasad reached over my shoulder pointing at some low trees bordering the marsh, whispering, “Rhino! Over there, Sir!”

Yes, on our second morning in Chitwan National Park we were a mere 75 feet from an immense female and her equally immense baby feeding under the trees. Their attention was riveted on us as they made their own shuffling and snorting noises to let our elephant know we had intruded into her personal space. The communication was clear, we had better not move any closer or there would be trouble. Instead, we took a good look at our quarry, snapped a few pictures, and let our mahout know that it was OK to move on.

Our mahout seated on Kanti Kali just before we climbed aboard for a
 fine stroll through the Nepalese jungle.

MORE... (Click below for access to the full report)

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And a few more that didn't quite belong in the slideshow :)


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