India: How I Imagined "Incredible India" III.
We spent New Years Eve and New Year on camels back, unusually, in the Thar Desert in Rajastan, near Pakistan border. We danced around fire in the sound of side drums together with tourists from all-around the world. We ate Indian meals with Kari, chili and sand.
Camels got their share of food and happily chewed. We ascended to the top of a sand dune to see beautiful sunset of a giant red disc. Shinning sun, heat raising temperature up to 35 degrees Celsius forced us to wear sunglasses and a Bedouin scarf around head. Bit worse it was in the night for we faced night low temperatures under cotton-wool blankets. However, the night sky rewarded us with unbelievably beautiful view of stars, a view you would never see in a city. We were thinking what all these goats we met along the road accompanied by their shepherds feed on. It seems, small bushes are very nutritious and tourists don’t know about them yet.
Our Rajastani camel guide showed us his book, his memoirs where were writings in all sort of world languages thanking him and wishing him well. His name was Hari and he didn’t read nor write so I read him few wishes from his book and write one wish from us. He had already several similar memoirs at home, he started his guide career when he was nine. Today, as a 25 year old man he saved his money to buy a camel within next 15 years and establish a family. He untied his seven meters long turban which was skillfully folded on his head and was made of beautiful orange textile. Only ten meters long sari surpassed it.
Finally, the sea! No, it is just the Indian Ocean in which we swam together with dolphins. To our surprise, water was relatively warm in January. We were on a beautiful sandy beach under coconut palms. It looked like somewhere in the Caribbean. We weren’t able to resist fresh coconuts which were sweet and of green color and refreshing in this extremely hot weather. We were accommodated in beautiful wooden bridges and we had fresh fish from the ocean for lunch. Together there were cows taking rest; they love human company for they were raised so. We had local girls to paint us with henna and we also bought some beads from them. The evening is coming and fishermen collect their nests and started counting what they caught.
Well, the time of our departure had come. We remembered what we experienced during three weeks in India. Of course, we corrected our memories. So much new experiences and realization that we live in the part of the world where there is abundance of drinking water, electricity, heat and food. We were not ready to experience so much misery and dirt. The more we saw it the more we admired the people of this country, their smiles and desire to live in such harsh conditions. Thank you for a new perception of life.
Text/foto: Štěpánka Rysová
Kochi is the most important port in southwest India. For many centuries, it had been the center to spice trade. The city was known to Romans, Greeks, Jews, Syrians, Arabs, and Chinese.
The Indian sub-continent offers many places to explore. This is one of the reasons why we stay there even this time. We take a look at another of its cities.
In the northwest part of Indie, a state of two Czech Republics and six times its population is set – its Gujarat. In this state, about six thousand years ago the Indus Valley Civilization along the Indus was born.
India is so interesting to us that we had to simply stay there for a while more. We will visit the state of Karnataka today which is to be found in southwest Inda.
Meals are served in a form of a buffet. Chapati or naan are the most tasteful dishes of local cousine, I could eat without restrictions. And I also like lamb, which is really very good here. A big attraction are various desserts, they are very good, but also very sweet; true calorie juggernauts. I prefer to have exotic fruits.
The nature reserve is huge, spreading over an area of more than 392 square kilometers, with only a section that is divided into several sections. When ordering a safari you must specify which zone to visit. Passing from one zone to another is forbidden, except for the all-day safari. But the price for this type of trip is enormous.
The wake-up call at 4.45 pm, and that's really the latest time for the wake up possible. After five, we are leaving at the reception. There is no risk of breakfast now, I wouldn't have gotten anything so soon. However, you can have tea, coffee or masala.
This time we visit zone number 6. Nafees found out in the morning that there was a good chance to watch the female T8 Ladli and her kittens. Well, they're teenagers ... Mommy probably killed sambara, so they have a feast. Although who knows, these teenagers are able to catch food alone and are pretty eaters. The tiger can eat up to 30 kg of meat in one day.
Today we return to the most beautiful area zoneto the Talao Lakes. It is about six o'clock in the morning. Unbelievable, right in front of us, the queen of arid lakes, the tigress Arrowhead, are walking down the road.
Today we try zone 4 with the cubs again this morning, but we are not so successful this time. There are no cubs here, we see only one tiger in the distance on a hillside. Of course, visiting this park is not just about tigers, we see a lot of other exotic creatures today, such as kingfisher and local squirrels.
Pakistan is a country that suffers from bad media presentation. News we read about the country are mostly informing us of terrorist attacks that, however, are off tourist areas. This presentation that suffocates other things about the country such as kind people, rich history, beautiful mountains, and divine cuisine.
The Heart of Pakistan or the Cultural Capital are probably the two most common nicknames for this huge city.
The afternoon safari has reached roughly its middle. Maybe I already mentioned what I know now that I could take pictures better, from other angles, from different perspectives. After all, I realize on the spot that you can never really know if you really see the tiger. It always depends on the professional work of the driver and the guide and the great dose of happiness!
Before I travelled to India I had only uncertain idea of what I can expect from India. I imagined the India I knew from Bollywood movies as I love beautiful colorful saris, clinging bracelets, large earrings and mostly songs of Bollywood.
What dos afflict one’s soul? Omnipresent beggars, mostly kids who are dirty and usually ill and mutilated in purpose. They try to catch you and making gestures they are hungry…
A city that is located in the Indian state of Karnataka is named after the Hindu goddess Mangaladevi. Mangalore is also a very significant Indian port on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The city is lined with the River Netravati on north and Gurupura on south that flow to the Arabian Sea.
New Delhi is situated in the northern part of India and it is also the capital of the country.