Today I cycled to Mt Abu sanctuary. A sign there proclaimed that in 2001 there were 40 panthers, 108 sloth bears, 46 hyenas, 185 jackals, 85 wild boar, 44 pocupines, 2 wolves, 63 jugle cats, 393 peacocks & 7 crocodiles. Unfortunately I didn't see any of them during my visit, but with the number of Australian eucalypts in the sanctuary I was half-expecting a few koalas to make an appearance. From the tremendous variety of animal shit on the ground, however, there clearly were plenty of animals lurking about. Perhaps the best part of the visit was the experience, for a time, of quiteness - a rare commodity in India. What is it about so many Indians & their apparent intolerance of silence? Surprising in the country that presumably invented meditation. While I was in the sanctuary, a 4-wheel drive load of Indian folk (8 of them) arrived. The noise! (and this despite signs everywhere saying keep it quiet). Then another driver arrived & started doing some car maintenance, banging away with a hammer!
I'll leave for Udaipur tomorrow morning - by bicycle. I was briefly contemplating catching the bus again, having been put off by someone I asked who described the route as being "hills ... a tribal area ... no accommodation". However someone else, who seemed more knowledgeable (I hope) assured me that there was indeed accommodation on the way (it's somewhere between 153 & 180 km - a little too far to make in one day, especially with hills on the way). I am looking forward to whizzing down Mt Abu for 27km!