Rajasthan would have to be one of the most colourful places on earth. From all the beautiful sari rainbows zooming past on motor bikes,to the billboards of bright bling advertising gadgets and blockbusters. I hereby declare it 'Photogenic capital of the world!'. A weekend escape from Delhi/Switzerland could not be more amazing than zooming across Rajasthan to take my chances on seeing a tiger in Ranthambore National Park.
I was met at Jaipur airport by Jainarain (possibly India’s best driver (safe even among pot-holes withgiraffe’s heads poking out!)) and local guide, Pankaj Joshi who’s knowledge shined the light on many a random question .Arriving extremely late at the splendid Hotel Regenta Vanya Vilas, I tucked into some yummy food before collapsing in to bed. I woke up bright and early and jumped in a ‘Gypsy’ jeep to embark on my safari adventure. Hot winds in my face, excitement buzzing and bird song in the air...would a tiger show his stripy face for me? Not this morning...but I was spoilt to see a leopard on the prowl and a black-bear hoeing into a termite mound! Wow!
A paradise day for 'me-time' in the super clean pool, reading my book enjoying 42 degrees heat, a massage, siesta...la vie est belle! I was surprised by the swimming inability of the Indian guests and took it upon myself to help teach some kids to swim! More big smiles! But will I see a tiger I ask? Finally after 8 safaris and 18 years, I finally got to see Mr. Stripey meander through the jungle and plop down into a pool and to eye us over with amused look. My life is complete (if only it was that simple!) Next day, one more safari, an astounding shiva temple, a flying visit through the picturesque and buzzing Jaipur bought me to a total count of 38 camels, 5 elephants and a million happy smiling faces.
Thank you Rajasthan, I hope to be back before another 18 years fly past!