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Vidya and I spent a delightful three days at the Jungle Lodges at Vilaspur. It was a wonderful experience, and we hope to do it again sometime.
We drove from Hyderabad to Vilaspur – a distance of about 135 kilometers. It took us a little over 3 hours – we stopped on the way for breakfast and pictures. The road was a National Highway all the way to Zaheerabad and except for a few patches around Zaheerabad, it was quite alright. After Zaheerabad, we turned into a state highway – this was bad in patches, but again, was not too painful. We continued driving past Bidar and past Naubad till we came to a sign for the Black Buck Resort. We turned off the state highway into a narrow road which soon petered out into bare rock. After about 3 kilometers of following signs on bare rock, we reached the resort.
Fiction inspired by the incredibly addictive game, Temple Run
The air was dank but cool – a contrast to the fetid all-embracing warmth of the heavy air rising from the steamy swamp outside. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could make out the inside of the temple. The light from the large door through which we had entered had petered out once we had taken a couple of turns in the labyrinth. I wish I had my flashlight – “You don’t need it. All you need is to walk in, pick up the idol and walk out,” was what the man had said. I wished I had listened to my instincts instead of him. Of course, he was the boss – he was the one paying me to do this, plus he was the one with the helicopter that had dropped us off a couple of kilometers away.
Saturday found us on a birding photography trip after a longish break.
We set out early to catch the 6:17 AM sunrise at Narsapur, and managed to make the 50-odd kilometers in time to reach there at dawn. We stopped first on the trail leading to the ANGRAU research station. As we drove along the trail, we saw a sounder of boar slowly walking away from us into the undergrowth.
We parked off the trail and set off into the woods. While the others wandered off into the scrub, I walked along a trail that separated a patch of scrub jungle from a cleared area where some sort of farming activity had been attempted. The transitory zone between two habitats would make for some interesting birding, and I was not disappointed.