Incredible India Strikes Again!
Incredible India continues to surprise each day I am here. I took another long bus journey from Munnar (tea country) to Mysore in the state of Karnataka. It was a 13 hour bus ride that turned into 14 (which is actually a good thing considering I was supposed to arrive in Mysore at the yippy do dah time of 4 am but arrived at 5am instead).
The ride it’s self was drama free, no creepy men, trying to look out for me and no one hassling me. I was on a deluxe sleeper and the seat reclined half way!! Despite the pot holes, passing other equally large buses on narrow lanes, constant braking, horns blazing, it was a smooth ride.
Let me get to the Incredible India part of the story. About 3 am, we pass through some sort of protected wildlife park. Why our commuter bus is going through a park instead of around it, I’ll never understand, but I stopped questioning these things. Well at exactly 3:03 am, there is a mid size elephant on the road eating a late night snack. Our bus approaches it at warp speed then slows down to observe. The minute the driver yells to the bus patrons there is an elephant, the thing comes charging our bus, trying to alpha his territory. The elephant also belts a loud ‘ Get the f*ck out of my space’ roar. The driver quickly steps on the gas to avoid an ivory tusk going through the buses belly.
Then not another 10 minutes later, another elephant is eating right next to the road and our renegade driver stops again next to it. The elephant was content to keep on eating until we pushed out luck trying taunt it. This one got madder than the one before and leaped out of the bush at the bus (I was on this side of the bus and got front row seat). Our driver nailed the gas and we narrowly missed getting shished by it.
This story illustrates that India is such a mixed bag, who would have imagined we would see 2 elephants at 3 in the morning while traveling from Munnar to Mysore. Incredible India Strikes Again!
Warning: I do not recommend Indian buses for overnight journeys. The roads are terrible, windy and Indian bus drivers are Formula One rejectees. You absolutely will not sleep, even with aid of pharmaceuticals.