02.02.2008 - 02.02.2008 0 °F
We decided early on in our trip that we wanted to see some tigers. After some research we discovered a safari-like experience at Bannerghetta National Park outside of Bangalore and decided to experience this on Saturday.
We had the hotel taxi take us out there around 11 and the driver helped us get tickets and told us how to get in the line for the safari. We loaded into the bus and decided to sit closer to the front so we could get pictures out the front window if needed. After sitting in our seats for about a minute, the guy loading people on the bus motioned for us to come up to the front seats. I figured we were getting special treatment because we both had cameras (you have to pay extra to take pictures) and we were foreigners. So we started off on the trip and stopped a few places for animals. I was sitting on the window side so I had the easiest view for pictures. The guy would motion for B's camera and he would take pictures for her from the seat in front of us where he was sitting. At one point, he mentioned for B to move to the front seat. I thought he might be tired of taking her pictures and thought it would be easier. When we would get to places where the action was on the right side of the vehicle, the driver would take my camera and snap some shots for me. I thought that was nice.
Eventually, the loading guy had B sit in the front passenger seat in the bus and he stood in the door area behind my seat. She had the best seat on the whole bus.
We saw lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), leopards, white tigers and an elephant. At the end of the trip we waited to get off the bus since we were in the front. After everyone else had left, we started to get up but were confronted by the loader guy who wanted 100 Rupees for him and the driver. They had after all given us good seats zand taken some good pictures for us. We had been conned!
Now, I had planned to tip the driver since he did take my camera and shoot a lot of pictures for me. However, 100 Rupees is out of the question. That is only about $2.50, but it's all relative in India. And I was especially not going to give him that much money when he did not tell us upfront that we could pay for better seats. We probably would have paid since this was a really important part of our trip. I tried to give the driver 5 Rupees for helping me (not the loader guy) but he waived me away. So we each handed the loader guy 5 Rupees and got off the bus. B is better about being firm than I am and had she not been there I probably would have given him the 100 just to get him to leave me alone. As we got off the bus we hear the driver sortof yelling at the loaded guy. B thinks he was yelling at the loader guy for trying to get money out of us. Hopefully he was!
In any case, we got some really good shots. This is one of my favorites. This boy was just posing for me!