B - We visited the small (and frankly quite scary) town of Bharatpur as it was near to a National Park and Bird sanctuary. It was really relaxing, stayed in beautiful small hostel run by friendly hindi family. Was nice enough to stay all day - big jungly tropical gardens with plenty of wildlife to keep us occupied. Without leaving the hostel we saw many unusual birds, gheckos, lizards, lots of creepy crawlies, includng my first big cockroach (euw!) and monkeys and what the hostel owner thought was a sambir (nocturnal feline - I thought it was a monkey).
We spent 5 nights there we liked it so much! The mum looked after us and cooked lovely food. Have gone vegie but no need to eat meat as veggie stuff so nice. Curries nothing like standard curry house fare back home, more like Thali but much more varied and fresh. Indian home cooking is great! Made friends with their small puppy and son, who spent an afternoon teaching us how to play karoom and other games (it is too hot to go out and do much!). We didn't want to leave.
Had to get up at 5am to go to bird park as it already starts getting really hot around 10am. Went twice, first time with a man pulling us along in a shaded cycle rickshaw(he also doubled as a guide, pointing out all kinds of birds we never would have spotted, like woodpeckers and owls) then the second time more adventurously on bicycles - don't think I've ever sweated so much! Luckily all the trees provided shade. Saw many different birds, but wont bore you with all different kinds. Lots of other animals too, all v tame, including monkeys, jackals, monitor lizards, deer and antelope.
Bear - We are staying in a beautiful hostel, with jungle gardens full of birds, only down side is no air con so we are a bit restricted to keeping cool as possible and we havent managed to get to the bird sanctuary down the road yet! Its 42 avarage temp and the owner of hostel said it can get to 49.5 at the hight of summer, we are nearing the monsoon now and there was some rain yesterday but hot hot hot today. The electricity goes off between 6.15 and 6.45 to allow people with not enough power to pump water to there houses and then again between 9 and 10 so the fans go off!!! Still despite the heat its an amazing place and we have managed well so far looking after eachother.
We had an emtional farewell from Jungle Lodge (Bharatpur) where we hade a truely heartwarming stay, we made freinds with the family, playing games with Annou the owners son for hours, playing with the puppy and chilling out, bird watching in the beautiful garden. ( Bird watcher among you we saw- Indian sarus cranes, four species of Minar birds, spotted owls, golden backed woodpeckers, eagles, parrots, wooly necked storks, black backed storks and a thousand song birds 5 species of herons, a monitor lizard, flat backed turtles, deer, jackels and antelope). The train station leaving Bharatpur was strange, think we stumbled upon a crowd of over excited people and stayed too long beacause as we sat down to wait for the train litereally a circle of familys, men, women and kids thought we were the most fasinating exhibition ever and stared at us with amusement and couriosity, they only tried to 'help' but still felt intimidating so we ran away. Expecting this to happen again in quiter rural stations but will not be so much of a suprise!