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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gangtok Pictures

A couple views from my hotel roof. The clouds change by the minute and sometimes you can go out and see the middle picture... almost nothing. Other times the sky breaks and you see what the picture on the left is showing... a beautiful sky, with cloud covered, forested hills. Rain or shine, its beautiful here.

Pictures from walking to the Zoo



As a side story:

There are a lot of side paths at the zoo, going through small patches of trees and underbrush. I trudged up one particularly muddy one, thinking 'as long as I don't jump a fence, I shouldn't be in with any animals...' Well, I got to the top of this hill, panting, sweaty, when I look up - just to meet eyes with a female jaguar looking into my very soul. Let me tell you I nearly fell back and slid all the way back down that path.

The male and female were in seperate cages. The male at first was pacing back and forth, and the female relaxing on a log (as you can see). The male came up to me a couple times, sniffing around, seeing what I was about - but continued his pacing. Once or twice he rubbed up against the fence and I got a chance to pet him breifly. Then the female was wondering why I was still there and came to check me out.

To my amazement, and utter joy, she stayed for a bit. And then she also rubbed up against the fence and I got a chance to touch the soft, soft fur. That touch seemed to have lasted, because for the next minute or so she pushed into the fence, and I dug my fingers further into her fur. Behind her ear, on her shoulder blades, neck, even (and I admit my foolishness in going this far) but was able to pet her underbelly a bit. It was an incredible experience. She had growled a few minutes earlier, and that sound alone was enough to put me into my place and know not to cross it's path. But how could I miss the opportunity to pet a live, adult jaguar?

At most I would have lost a finger or two, no big deal.

And if I get a chance to load the video of it, I will.

1 comment:

  1. Norman, what an incredible joursey. Everything sounds just awesome, some things I might not do as I'm not as brave as you, but reading your writtings makes it seem like we are there with you.
    Keep up the posting and the pictures they are just super.
    Love Mom