Wednesday, 1 March 2017


On the road leading to Black Buck Lodge on Monday our taxi passed a 'watering hole' where a farmer was leading his nice clean white and brown oxen into the dirty water and they emerged a lovely shade of grey following their mud baths.

Had Joshi been driving I'd have asked him to stop so I could take photos but our driver had been booked by the Lodge to collect us from the airport, his English was virtually non-existent and he didn't actually know how to get to the Lodge once we turned onto the track. We ended overshooting the drive by about 5 kms, having to ask the way and then turning back on our tracks. Never mind.

We asked the Manager yesterday if he could suggest somewhere within walking distance of the Lodge grounds which would be a good place to get the feel of the local community and I was hoping to get as far as the 'mud hole'. He offered to rustle up a jeep for us to do a short tour at 5pm which was nice of him. Once again he asked what we specifically wanted to see so he could tell the driver but my explanation about the oxen and the mud hole was misunderstood so we got a tour of the local village which is mostly devoted to cow/oxen farming ..

Ladies we passed on the track

Looks strange ... but it works!

Cows, cows, cows

Another strange jalopy ... 

Lots of the cows had these 'blonde' hairstyles .. quite cute aren't they?

 We caused havoc at this farm ... the cowherd was so intent on chatting to us/our driver that he left the gate open and there was a breakout .... confusion reigned for 10 minutes till all the escapees were rounded up again

 Even the old folk are roped in to do their bit ... this couple were repairing a barbed wire fence around some livestock

A bit incongruous, but this yellow wagtail was hopping around so I had to get a quick photo - such a lovely colour

We had a fun trip out, said hello to lots of families/kids en route and distributed some biros for their school work. Our driver asked if we wanted Chai and David said yes, expecting to find a little cafe/shop tucked away somewhere but we were driven to a small family house/farm which was an 'interesting' experience.

The courtyard housed a lovely mare and foal and various cows/calves who were being fed hay/straw by rota from piles on the raised floor where we were invited to sit on low slung 'hammock' type beds which are common out here for Indians to recline/rest on. Traditionally you're supposed to sit cross-legged on them but no chance of that with David and I – we're not supple enough for that. 

Rounding up the mare and foal

These are very 'backlit' but I did the best I could from a wobbly seat on a 'hammock/bed'

Such a pretty mare ... the ears aren't deformed, they are common to the Marwari horses - a breed that comes from Marwar  region (Jodhpur) of India

The cows stood on the mud floor of the courtyard and ate their fodder from the 'patio' of the family home which was up a few stairs and raised about 3 foot above the courtyard floor

 The cattle were allowed about 15 minutes to feed before being led away so another lot could get to the feed.

The family spoke no English and our driver spoke about a dozen words so communication was difficult. The older couple were holding forth and there were 3 lovely young sisters in identical clothing and one young boy. A younger man was running around organising the animals at the feeding 'stations' to ensure they all had a turn.

One of the girls ceremoniously offered us tin mugs of water which we had to decline (we only drink bottled water) then Mum/Nan disappeared into the kitchen area whilst the girls/boy were kept busy replenishing cattle feed and sweeping up stray bits of straw.

One of the sisters gathering dried dung which is used for fuel in India

Putting out more fodder for the cows

Our driver was given a tin saucer of tea to drink and we got posh little cups and saucers (bone china and probably family heirlooms) from which we sipped graciously – little fingers crooked. The chai was lovely but then Mum/Nan appeared with a tin bowl of boiling milk for David and showed him that he was supposed to pour his cup of chai into the boiling milk and drink it from the bowl. She then did the same for me. We've never had chai served this way … a bit too milky for my liking but it was all freshly boiled and the milk didn't have far to travel from cow to cup so keeping everything crossed we have no ill effects ....

 David with his bowl

We tried to give the children some biros and the older man got very annoyed but his wife took them from us and gave them to the kids … so we know who wears the trousers in that house.

Then it was time to say goodbye ... such a lovely family and every member was so hard-working

So our jeep dropped us back at the Lodge and drove off into the sunset!!


  1. Wow what an amazing experience! I hope the husband wasnt too offended with the pens, it can be so hard sometimes to gauge how to thank hospitality.

  2. What an experience, really gives you a feel for the country and its people, away from the touristy things. I especially love the photo of the exceptionally pretty girl in the very colourful sari.

  3. It was an interesting experience Jenni. I would have liked to have taken more photos but the older man kept trying to hold conversations with us and we couldn't understand a word so were trying to make do with sign-language and lots of smiles. I had expected to make a little payment to them for the chai but after his indignation when we offered pens to the kids I'm glad we didn't risk offending him further. Actually he was OK - his wife and children were very happy too.