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Cyber cafe Fri: 20:30

I've not just been out of comms, I've been busy!

I went to Nameri Wildlife Reserve and stayed at the Eco-camp in Potasali at lat/long n26 55.460 e92 49.649 and took a dawn walk in the reserve over the river and saw a couple of the local hornbills which are big and enormously noisy birds. They sound like someone flapping rags.

The next day I went to the local Yamaha garage where despite confirming it the day before it turns out they don't have a drill but do do have welding gear. Just what is it with Indian mechanics? Anyway, after a load of palaver it turned out that the little Japanese-ish guy with wrap-around shades next door in the general mechanics shop knew exactly what to do and drilled the existing bolt out and used his thread-regrooving tool to patch things back up. Having swapped the panniers over to reduce stress on the remaining bolts the heavy pannier had broken the bolt on the other side... That was done too. It then transpired that I'd bought the wrong replacement bolts or at least not brought the proper replacement for these bolts so some inappropriate bolts are in use instead.

I then raced over to Kaziranga National Park and stayed in the Bonoshri Lodge at lat/long n26 34.999 e93 24.326 which was the only one with any rooms. A guy at Nameri had just come from Kaziranga and said the jeep safari was a waste of time and the elephant safari was much better.

So I did two elephant rides, dawn and dusk. The headline animal at Kaziranga is, of course, the tiger and there are apparently regular sightings by tourists but the most easily seen animal is the one-horned rhino (rhinocerus unicornus or something). These are very different to African rhinos (so my memory states) as they have several flaps of skin which give a riveted paneled look to them.

The first safari was quite misty and atmospheric, the second had much better lighting and, with a shout from the armed guard behind me, a tiger pugmark neatly inside the sunken footprint of an elephant in the muddy bog we were traversing. The elephant footprint was a foot across and the tiger's pugmark is about 80% of that. HUGE! I have a photo but this cyber cafe isn't terribly accommodating. The range people/hangers on suggested the tiger might have been through within half an hour of us though sometime today would be my guess for it to leave an impression within the elephant's. A very large male was the other comment. Yup.

Currently at lat/long n25 34.601 e91 52.884 in the Hotel Boulevarde in Shillong, Meghalaya. I've had a trot around the shops and been told that Shillong doesn't do stainless steel bolts (only iron ones) assuming it does any bolts at all. I found one DIY shop where they had a few anchor bolts but that's the limit of it.

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