After the big ‘come down’ from our Everest experience (more literally than mentally), we left Kathmandu the day our Nepal visa expired, hoping we would avoid complications resulting from the frequent bus strikes (Nepal politics are in a constant state of flux during 2008). Well, in a way we did and didn’t, I’ll spare you the details but the bus did finally arrive at the border only 11 hours late. Later that day, back in India, our train taking us west back towards New Delhi was also 12 hours late, resulting in yet another sleepless night in a train station this time.
Enroute to New Delhi we made a stop at a town called Ramnagar, located near the Corbett Tiger Reserve on the foothills of the Indian Himalaya. The Corbett National Park represented the first conservation effort in India to preserve spectacular jungle, birds, mammals, reptiles etc as well as a habitat for the endangered Tiger. The Indian Tiger has been under threat for decades (many ending up on the wall of eco retreats), but have finally been making some headway, in no small part due to the Jim Corbett Reserve.
I had come to Ramnagar primarily to see the Tiger Camp Eco Retreat that my sister would be volunteering at next year and report back to her my findings. The resort offers magnificent views of the nature of the Himalayan foothills, but in addition to the tiger sighting trips you can join, there’s trekking, rock-climbing, rappelling and bird watching activities in and around the Corbett Park.
Along the back of the Tiger Camp Eco Retreat runs the Kosi River which drains out across the reserves boundary. The Kosi was the first river I had seen in India that I would ever consider swimming in, and one had a certain duty to do just that under the circumstances (it was also about 35 degrees).
Once we were satisfied that Ramnagar and the Tiger Camp was fine for my sister to volunteer at, it was back to New Delhi and the guesthouse we previously stayed at that was owned by the ever helpful and friendly Mr. Singh. After all, it was the least we could do after Mr. Singh made us aware of the existence of the Golden Temple and langer in Amritsar.