Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Python Point

So I have survived the pythons.

The Keoladoe National Park was amazing, an oasis of life and water. There are over 300 species of birds at this time of the year. It is a great place to cycle around, though the bicycles do take you back to 'A Passage To India' (they were probably built around the same time).

The marshes are covered by thousands of nesting birds. At one point we went near the nesting trees of the painted storks and the maddening noise of the hungry chicks gave a new perspective to the noise of Delhi. It was like 10,000 30something women at a Take That concert, re-living their teenage years. Not that I’ve ever have been at one….

My camera is no good for this type of job so I’m afraid I’ve got no pics.

Some of the wildlife we saw included storks, ibis, igrits, cormorans and darters, or as they’re known locally - snakebirds. Hovering above in the sky we saw harriets, hawks, one eagle and a number of vultures. Sadly most vultures have died after being poisoned or as the result of eating animals that have been treated with too many chemicals.

We also saw jacals and antilopes, so an amazing and broad array of wildlife...so why did i agree to finish the day going to Python Point?

It is a bit like Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, everyone goes there to get a picture, and naturally so did I.

As we were cycling towards it my stomach was tightening up, then turning, then spinning and then all three again at the same time, like some new generation washing machine. I was not expecting to enjoy it or to appreciate the beauty of these very large reptiles. I just prayed not to be overcome with fear or start screaming in unknown languages.

I didn't need to get to Python Point. While cycling through rough terrain I got too close to the edge of the path and I hit a small stone. Suddenly, a Common Cobra felt attacked and lifted its head and got ready to attack my leg. As if I had drunk some Asterix potion I turned into Lance Amstrong and Miguel Indurain all at once, and sped up past both Charles and our guide. You can not imagine how close I was to sh*tting myself.

Breathless I waited for them to get to where I was.

But we still went to see the pythons, and they were there.

First we saw two entangled, then another three. I still managed to scream while I was looking at them, because a fourth one moved, next to my left foot. We had missed that bloody one.

I will stop trying to beat my fears by facing them. From now on, the further I stay from snakes the better. Indiana Jones may have said that brave is not who has no fears, but he, who beats them.

Frack that, from now I will be a coward.

Tomorrow we are going to Jaipur, and we are taking our first long distance bus...


  1. you DID go to a Take That concert once!

  2. It is not true, all a lie!!!
    How would you know?
    were you there checking?

  3. no, but i remember you saying they were AMAZING! let's face it, you were sceaming along with the 10,000 30something women reliving their teenage years....