After the Taj Mahal we were on our way to Ranthambore national park to spend the evening there.
Ranthambore national park ended up being one of the most memorable experiences of our life! We were up and at it by 6am, before the sun even rose. Layering all the warmest clothes we had and sipping hot chi tea as we waited on a jeep to pick us up for the safari. Mornings and nights,both, could get quite cold in Rajasthan. Keeping that in mind, 6 of us drove a jeep around in Ranthambore as the sun rose. While driving around we witnessed things like deer picking at leaves, and hogs rooting around the park, it was all so peaceful. About 45 minutes in I notice something that I can not actually believe I am seeing with my own eyes. A TIGER! We were passing it at the time so I beat on Aj as I pointed in the Tigers direction, yelling in a whisper to look...... I have never seen so much joy in a persons face before. A tiger is the one thing Aj wanted to see this whole trip but hadn't really expected to. The driver stops and we all stare in awe, reminding ourselves to take photos of this special sight. Life was now complete, even the safari driver was excited and shocked beyond all measure. It was, in no way, a normal thing to see! Mating season was upon us and only 65 tigers were left in this whole park. It's such an unfortunate truth that tigers are an endangered species. Without caution and compassion they could very easily be extinct in our life time! Can you imagine a world with no more tigers?! Future generations would only see them in photos or from behind steel bars. My mind running a mile a minute while we watched this female tiger call for a mate. She didn't seem to mind us at all, her only concern was for where the hell her boy friend had went. Don't worry girl, many of us ladies can relate, ha! We were able to creep along by her side, following a few yards behind as she wandered through the forest.
Every now and then she took time to stop for a drink of water or to grab a quick rest. All the while being close enough to pounce on us and claim her next meal if she really wanted to. Every moment was a perfect photo! Lush Indian landscape, the sun peeking out from over the tree tops & rock crevices, light hitting her beautiful exocit coat of fur. I couldn't believe we were living this fairytale; hanging out with a wild tiger, studying her every move for at least an hours time. Our whole trip was made that day! We returned to the hotel and ate such a delicious, and free, breakfast before heading to Jaipur.
I bet Aj watched the video of the tiger about a thousand times. While I sat and pondered on just how blessed we had been to witness this. This is why I travel, why I chose India! Simply to see all the rare, dangerous, and uniquely beautiful aspect it had to offer.
A true travler should come with low expectations and they will never be disappointed. Going into any situation expecting nothing in particular opens your mind to be so much happier. With this type of mindset you can explore more deeply & be free to appreciate what comes along the way. I believe this to be true in every day life as well!
2 very excited people !!