Better Late Than Never

Several weeks late… but getting photos proved to be the tricky part!

We had a lovely quarter break, with a friend of ours visiting from the UK. We went down to Jim Corbett National Park for a few days to go on a few tiger safaris, and then off to Rishikesh, Delhi and Agra before coming back up to Mussoorie. The heat of the plains made us appreciate the cool of Mussoorie all the more – as I write this, I’m indoors with slippers and a sweater, and Asha layered up in fleece-y things; in Delhi, it was a short-sleeved onesie for her – and the Ergo was just too warm! We have a faux-monsoon going on right now, the past several days having borne hail and rain and grey clouds everywhere, and after two weeks of having 18+ degree overnights in the bedroom (which is partially inside the mountain: go Hobbitses?), it dropped to around 16 last night.

So… back to Quarter Break. We experienced a debacle with regards to Corbett. They’ve moved to an online-only system to book lodgings within the park (and if you want to see Dhikala, that’s really the only way). Adam and I tried all of our cards, and had problems booking online – so we had to use connections and had someone help us out, finding someone on the ground (who had an excellently-connected driver) who could get us rooms and give us safaris. We went in with very little clue on what was happening, and ended up having a good three days in Corbett (safari one afternoon, then one morning & afternoon, and a morning elephant safari before heading back out). I’d definitely do it again… but would also definitely fight a lot harder with the online system. No one answered the phone when we called to try to talk to someone, and no one has answered Adam’s emails – now more than two months after we started sending them!

This is another one of the elephants we took our elephant safari with (L), and on the right is a wild lone tusker.

This is another one of the elephants we took our elephant safari with (L), and on the right is a wild lone tusker.

Alas, no tigers.

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Delhi was as it always is — hot, smoky and smoggy, “Which country?!” every thirty seconds, and the new tradition of everyone commenting on Asha in Hindi, and looking shocked when I respond. We explored a couple of new restaurants (Barbecue Nation in Connaught: well worth it!) and gloried in the food at Mamagoto in Khan Market, our usual staple (along with the Hard Rock). We discovered the perfect time to visit the Taj Mahal: 9:00am on a Tuesday morning in April. No lines, anywhere – and the sun wasn’t terribly hot! It was a great zip through, and Asha’s second visit; it’s becoming old hat, and I’m at the point where I’d like to explore other vantage points for photographing it, and really would only like to go there again at night on a full moon to view it. I’d also like to take Adam around to give him the chance to do some of the nice art shots, like the Taj reflected in the Yamuna, but it’s hard to justify the trip down unless we’re going to spend a day or two in order to do all this stuff.
Since getting back up on the hillside, we’ve been at less than our best: Asha currently has a cold, Adam’s had some cold symptoms plus a few other ailments, and I’ve been running a low-grade “ugh”. I’ve considered trying to pick up running (Couch to 5k style), but I don’t have a good way to carry Asha – she’ll bounce too much in a carrier – and since I was almost run over last Monday (the 5th), I’m less than excited about the prospect. The end of the term is coming up on us quickly: this Saturday is the JSB, next Saturday is a get-together, the weekend after that is, effectively “pack up everything” – then graduation, then gone.

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