A man can only resist so much before he gives in. I tried hard. Told myself that I had already done a few trips this year, and maybe I should wait till next year. Then people started posting photos of cubs from Tadoba. And other gorgeous tiger photos on Facebook didn’t help. In the end, resistance was futile, as the Borg had predicted.
I have been to Tadoba a few times, and end Oct/early Nov is not the best season for sightings. But I was hopeful that Tadoba wouldn’t disappoint, given that it hadn’t received much rain during the monsoons.
This was another solo trip, and an overnight drive. I started from Bangalore around 10 pm, since I wanted to reach Tadoba in time for the afternoon safari next day. A few years back, during my first Tadoba trip, I had started after midnight, and after a crazy 1100+ km drive, with just a 45 minute nap at a fuel bunk, I had reached Kolara Gate in Tadoba by 14:15 pm. This time I wanted to take it easy, given I had other plans after Tadoba.
I have a déjà vu feeling every time I get onto NH7, my favourite highway in India. This was the fourth time this year I was driving on the longest highway in India – I had already done two roadtrips to Satpura, and a long one to Uttarakhand. Before a long drive, I always have targets in mind, with multiple waypoints and ETAs. This helps in breaking monotony, and keeps the mind alert. I try to get down and stretch for a couple of minutes after two hours of driving, and always drink a lot of water. This time I didn’t plan to stop for breakfast or lunch, so carried F&B such as bananas and oranges, black coffee in a 600 ml Pepsi bottle, biscuits and chocolates, and nuts.