Saturday, 19 April 2008

I went on safari and all I got was this lousy leech bite

This morning we rose early (5am!) to be picked up by the jeep that would take us on safari. After a bumpy ride through a misty tea plantation we stopped off at a small concrete hut serving fresh local tea, coffee and freshly made paratha (being expertly made in the back of the room). The coffee was the best I have ever tasted - it had loads of cardamon in it and was so amazing I went back for more.

After that we entered the Wildlife Reserve - acres and acres of thick jungle which is apparently home to 46 tigers and over a thousand elephants, as well as many many other creatures.

We drove through the jungle in our jeep for a couple of hours hoping to glimpse something interesting. We saw a few giant squirrels which were pretty, but we were hoping for something a bit more exciting once we started trekking. After breakfast no. 2 we met our guide who took us off on an exciting 3 hour trek through the forest. We encountered far too many leeches (much to Adrian's horror), and lots of frogs, but sadly not much else. We both really hoped to glimpse some elephants or perhaps a tiger, but as our guide had lived in the jungle his whole life and only ever seen one tiger, we were perhaps being a little over-optimistic.

We did see a few more squirrels and even a couple of black monkeys, and then it was time to head back. A quick trip to the ladies revealed a rather alarming patch of blood on my trousers (please refer to revolting photograph) and on my t-shirt, which on further inspection seemed to be coming from my stomach! Some girls in another group had been exclaiming about a leech on the floor of the park's restaurant moment's before - it transpired that it was MY leech!
Horrible though they are, I couldn't feel a thing and it only left a tiny mark. We were so well protected with this crazy big socks over our lower legs (on the insistence of our guide) that I never thought to keep an eye on my stomach too.... slippery little blighters.


TEDDY said...

YUCK amy yuck yuck yuck

b-cuz said...

yo! We went to Periyar as well! And it sounds as if we stopped in exactly the same concrete tea hut for tea and paratha! we saw Elephants right at the end on our way back, and got leeched to the max as well. Some guys we were lunching with had a leech in his belly button that he hadn't noticed, he freaked out and threw it on the ground and stepped on it, and it squirted his blood all over the wall of the lunchroom - delicious. Mike