>Travel Pictures


Current stop: Ranthambore Road
Previous: Tiger Safari
Next: Ranthambore Fort

We weren't sure what to do now that we had three days left with our mission accomplished. We liked the clean air and low-key atmosphere, so we decided to continue our stay and do our best to stay warm. We watched cricket on TV (huge hoopla between India and Australia which challenged the British ‘it’s just not cricket’ adage), ran around with the puppy, played a lot, and went for many walks. Join us as we check out the sights along the roadside...


Of course we saw kingfishers, like this one on a power line...
As a Hindu corner of the world, we saw cows and water buffalo being used for beasts of burden, poop suppliers, but never food. One picture we never took was that of the cows with painted horns. In any case, we saw women herding cattle, men walking cattle, and inquisitive cattle mugging for the camera.

Breck noticed (and photographed) a couple of genuine camel droppings one day...
which was a pretty common sight along Ranthambore road, as it was a main thoroughfare for camels hauling supplies between the various hotels, farms, and businesses in the locale.

He was soo proud of his camel!!
A local farmer found us meandering on a road one day and offered us a ride on his camel cart. We all hopped on and plodded along for awhile. Susan, always the observer of some things, noticed how long and flat a camel's tail is. She always thought they would be long and skinny with a tassel at the end, like a cow's, to swat flies. But they are flat with hair growing straight out the sides, she now realizes, to keep sand out of the camel's rear. Dave, always observant of other things, had a good laugh at how the farmer controlled the ‘speed’ of the camel (notice the 'instant accelerators' hanging just past the drivers fingers!!!).


There were any number of shops with things for sale up and down the road. We hit several of them during the time we were there; sometimes walking, sometimes in a rickshaw (with Breck waiting - bored out of his skull - as we bargained merrily away).
One of the places had local men making tiger-skin-pattern rugs and painting in the 'Ranthambore School' style. What I found most amusing was that they were actually just copying from a photograph!

Another place had women from local villages that they brought in to teach 'consumer goods oriented' sewing techniques. They were paid the princely salary of 100 rupees per day (about $2.50) in addition to room and board for making all sorts of woven items


Village life is always pretty picturesque (regardless of what Susan says!), and we had a number of chances to see what life in the real India was like. From getting themselves to and from town on any number of different types of transport to scratching out a living, we saw a glimpse of the country that we had missed living in the big city.
Forget about a single family vehicle like a bicycle, most people get around on Rajasthan's version of public transportation -  the tractor pulled open bed! And working for a living can include selling fruit, herding cows, or even assembling bricks around delicate trees, as these workers are doing alongside Ranthambore Road.
Throughout the smaller hamlets off the main trunk road, life moved at a far different pace. As women carried the daily water back home, men walked to the fields and monkeys scrounged for scraps (see them, on the left hand side of the picture on the left?). Kids are spared much of the heavy labor, but are still expected to contribute to the family income from an early age.
The men were strong, rugged individuals. I met the first two at a tea shack, the middle one at a vegetable stand (where he asked me to take his picture - a printed copy of that picture is now on its way to him), and the third guy was working in the fields with his sons.
The women are usually more reticent about having their pictures taken but these girls weren't (maybe it was the red betel nut they were chewing), nor were the ladies at the roadside fruit stand (except the one covering her face!), nor was this mother with her baby
Which leads to...
probably dad's favorite picture of the trip. As we were walking down the road, I saw this woman flattening out cow patties and laying them out to dry. I motioned, asking if I could take a picture, and as she nodded, her child came into view. He was naked from the waist down and reached shyly for her dirty hand. She was obviously intrigued by this white person asking to photograph her, and not quite sure how to deal with it. The smile on her face made my day, and I felt really lucky to have such an opportunity.
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Next: Ranthambore Fort
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