Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday November 19

Got up at 4:00 am to get ready by 4:45. Had cookies and coffee in the room and Manoj took Somnath and us to where the elephant safari starts from.

This morning we will be taking a safari into the Western Range. We rode a 55 year old female elephant. It was a 4 passenger elephant and we had to wait for the other two to show up before we could start.

We were the last ones of the bunch but no harm done. We saw four rhinos including a mother and calf from quite close. Trying to take videos from top of an elephant is an adventure in itself.
We also saw a number of Hogg Deer, one with pretty impressive antlers although still in velvet. We also saw wild pigs and heard varieties of birds.

Came back and visited the 6 week old elephant calf, Visya with his blind mother. There were two aides, tending them and also keeping the over eager tourists at bay.

Back at the lodge and had breakfast, which was a buffet and a large spread including freshly made dosas and omellettes.

After breakfast, came back to our rooms to freshen up and then went to the bank for exchanging currency. Very pleasantly surprised by the friendly and helpful staff of the State Bank of India Manager. The young officer was pleasant and very interested in wildlife, so we had a pleasant chat.

We took some time to walk around the resort, it was sprawling and well thought out with lots of flowers and vegetation.

Had lunch, specially made to order for Sudip and mutton biriyani for myself.

Left for jeep safari at 2:00 pm and went to the Central Range. This was a private jeep and Somnath accompanied us. We saw wild elephants, several Hogg deer, rhinos, and many common birds.

On our way out we stopped to admire a glorious sunset behind a valley were several rhinos, buffaloes, and one wild elephant (probably a large bull without any visible tusks).

The safari was a little over 2 hours and it got rather chilly as the sun set.

At the lodge, went to have tea/coffee and decide on the dinner menu. We mentioned Aheli, a famous restaurant in Calcutta, and the wonderful restaurant staff prepared the most liked dishes from there. I am tempted to say it was better yet than Aheli's and of course the fact that was specially prepared for us made it even better.

Restaurant Staff:
Guha - Food Captain
Aloke Bhattacharjee - Restaurant Manager
Chef - Adity
All were just wonderful.

Retired for the night tired but happy.

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