Tags: towns


Bus ride from Goteborg to Linkoping, 150614

It was to be a 4-hour bus ride to get to Linkoping (by the way, the latter is pronounced lin-show-ping and the "shoping" is similar to the modern English "shopping"...there were markets which then grew into these towns/cities .) Linkoping, the wiki entry tells me, was founded in 1287!

I started with a prismatic tram-shelter seat as we waited to get to the Central Station:


As we took the tram through Goteborg, to the central bus/train station, I saw some buildings.

I looked at what I felt must be an ancient water tower, and Google tells me that it is, indeed:


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But at Linkoping Station and Bus Stand, my journey came to an end!


Day 7, VTP, Kudremukh: Sat, 240514

Saturday, 240514, Day 7

There was an early-morning “Malabar Whistling Thrush” walk, the highlight of which was the sighting of the Blue-eared Kingfisher.

Sarath made a presentation on the tiger, the facts and figures of this charismatic animal. There were several inputs from VMR, regarding recent findings and theories.

VMR then talked about the Wildlife Protection Act and its ramifications, enforcement, and otherwise. Rather than a dry disposition, he showed the participants the other side of the Act...the ways and means that poachers and traffickers adopt, and the measures the Forest Department takes to counter them. The Forest Department is hobbled by limitations such as jurisdiction; the poachers are not limited in any such way. He showed the photographs of sandalwood being smuggled, especially “Rakta Chandana” or Red Sanders, as well as other trees like teak and mahogany. He mentioned how Red Sand Boas were trafficked for as much as Rs.20 lakhs each, during the Bellary mining boom. Other trees such as Durvasane mara, Saptarangi Selicia chinensis, were also being poached.

VMR talked about poachers-associates/ Carriers/ Middlemen and buyers, and the nomadic people..Pardhi, Bawaria, Bahelia, Banjara, Kalbelia, Kanjar, Sapera, Gujjars, Bangala...central to northern Indian tribes, called Khanabadosh, who are repeat offenders. The Bawarias rule now; they are from Panipat in Haryana.

The presentation was an eye-opener in the almost Bollywood-gangland-style operations of these poachers and criminals, and the way the Forest Department has to deal with old criminals and constantly arising new threats.

Every evening, there were informal sessions with VMR, Sarath and the participants, where a lot of information was exchanged, and a lot of bonding happened!

Finally, certificates were distributed to all the participants, who thanked both the staff and team of Bhagavathi Nature Camp and the team of KEDB and JLR for organizing and conducting the course so well. The participants dispersed with great goodwill, some of them staying back to enjoy the waters of the Bhadra river, and going down to Kalasa together and taking the overnight bus to Bangalore.

The day started with some great bird sightings from the Watch Tower, including this



I got the id of this tree, Gordonia obtusa, from Arun Kumar. Apparently it is in the tea family:


Here's the entire tree:




in the summers develop a slightly golden coat to go with the dry brown of the sere leaves:


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I enjoyed this sign:


We bid adieu to Kudremukh, Kalasa and the Western Ghats, and went twisting and turning on our way down to Bangalore...the end to a very instructive and interesting training program!

Click here for my FB album of Day 7

Day 5, VTP, Kudremukh: Thu, 220514

The official account:

Thursday, 220514, Day 5

Early in the morning, the volunteers went on Foot Patrols with the Forest Guards and watchers, and returned in time for lunch to BNC. There were a few minor incidents of falls, tiredness, and an unexpected encounter with feral cattle which charged! These experiences were much livened by an artist having sketched several scenes, a poet having penned some lines about the experience...and much shared laughter.

Post-lunch, the volunteers were debriefed, and exchanged notes on what they had seen, experienced and learnt. Many felt that the Forest Department personnel should be paid regularly, appointed as permanent staff, and provided with better equipment, especially footwear. Dr. Ramesh then explained some of the restrictions under which the Forest Department works, and about the preferences of some of the FD personnel.

Since several people were tired, there were no evening sessions.


Today was a day we saw several creatures, both in the air and on the ground..and Life Under Foot (and under an inch) was very much in evidence.

I started with this



An utterly beautiful, yet tiny, beetle caught my eye:


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Click here for my FB album of Day 5

Day 4, VTP, Kudremukh: Wed, 210514

The official account:

Wednesday, 210514, Day 4

As several ranges were out of bounds, 5 Anti-Poaching Camps (APC) were selected, with BNC as the 6th one, for the participants to stay in overnight. Women participants were assigned to the Mining Area, and the other participants were assigned through a draw of lots. The 5 ranges were: Pandaramukhi 1 and 2, Sujigudde, Ganapati Katte, and Kurinjal.

Sarath made a presentation on Tracks and Signs, showing several slides of the various tracks, and other signs, that volunteers would look for, to read the “story” of what had happened in the jungle earlier. Several mammals and reptiles were touched upon. The importance of urine and fecal matter was explained.

Post-lunch, there was a presentation on trees, explaining the key id features volunteers should look for.

Participants then left for the APC’s, spending the evening and the rest of the overnight stay getting a feel of how the forest guards, the true foot-soldiers of the wilderness, work and live.


We started the day with this jewelled web on the fence of the nursery:


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I could not help clicking this tiny 8-footer inside the vehicle, too!


Click here for my FB album of Day 4

Towns in Tanzania.....

Well, since I can't possibly post ALL the pics from Flickr to LJ (like I could not post all the photos/videos from my laptop to Flickr or YouTube)...I am done with the wildlife of Tanzania...but I would like to close with a few images of the towns and the sights....here are images from Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Manyara.


As we came in to land, I took this snap of the beauty of the sea along the coast:

approaching Tanzania

And there was the city of Dar-es-Salaam,filling my window:

dar es salaam from the air

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And beyond the town were the traditional Masai houses, too:

Masai houses

Those are my impressions of the towns of this African country...to an amazing extent, it felt as if we were back home in India, and especially in Karnataka...Tanzania, to my mind, is not all that different from India....except that there doesn't seem to be much manufacturing or other industries (except mining) there. The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling, though the dollar is practically a second one.

Hope you enjoyed that whirlwind tour!