When I decided to rescue Polly the Panther from an uncertain life on the streets I knew I would have a challenge with combining pet ownership and my frequent travels. I have been so lucky that a combination of carers have stepped in and helped me out. But in February she temporarily relocated, she took a four hour road trip across the Tishka Pass to live with a dear dear friend. I was in Australia at the time and M came to Marrakech, packed up Polly in a carrier and took her to Ouarzazate where she lives a very spoilt life. She will eventually come back to reside with me when I am in the one spot for an extended period and can reliably car for her as she deserves. Until then all my thanks to M for loving my cat and being the perfect stepmother !
The Berbers and Nomads are very impressive in their knowledge of the desert and their ability to traverse the ever changing Saharan dunes on foot, by camel or behind the wheel of a 4X4. Camels or dromedaries (one hump) have been in the desert since around 200AD , the four wheel drives are much more recent !!! But both have a role and tourists use both modes of transport every day. The camel can go without water for up to 15 days depending on the temperature. The 4X4 is much thirstier as we know and more costly to run!!!
In India goats are kept mainly for milk production although goat meat would be eaten by the non Hindu population. Many households own one or two and they live happily tied up outside the house. These photos were taken in the back streets of the city of Mysore. They are well looked after and are walked on a lead to find feed daily and often are washed down in the river. Then at festival time they are proudly decorated !!!
My cat is a rescue street cat and has taken to domesticity like a duck to water. I have no idea what her past life experience has been other than that she had three kittens and a lovely French lady took her in at that time and then got all four felines vaccinated and neutered. So when she adopted me, I had to teach her about playing. I know my daughters' cat loves bags so I put this big bag out and for a long time she ignored it. On the whole she shows little interest in it but occasionally when I cannot find her in the bedrooms I spot that fluffy tail and realise the shopping bag has become a sleeping bag !!
Morocco has colour no question but India really has colour, in every aspect of life and in every direction I looked and on any given day . Wow factor rainbow color pops of neons and primaries, all combined, made my trip incredible . I will be going back if any one wants to join my next adventure !!!
I am on a hair-trigger as far as cruelty to animals is concerned and was very fearful of what I might find in India . The plight of animals in Morocco is very dismal but I got a great surprise in India. We all know the sacred cows are cherished but this goes for all animals. There are lots and lots of street dogs but I saw bowls of water and food put out on many streets. I saw only a very few very skinny dogs in rural areas. Of course dogs are hit on roads especially at night but everyone goes to great pains to avoid this. Loads of families own dogs and in fact, oddly so, I saw three Saint Bernards in one morning !!! To be honest owning a 'breed' as opposed to a mut seems to be a status symbol in India and this does not sit so well with me but at least they are cared for, unlike in Morocco where teenagers own trophy dogs and have no idea about dog care or training. I noticed many of the street dogs had a snipped ear showing that they had been neutered, an impressive positive thing. The last photo shows Lucy, rescued from the street as a puppy, that lives a great life at the homestay where I was staying in Myesore. For nine days I had a pet who came to my room for secret treats and lots of pats, a holiday highlight for me !!!!
A giant image of Nandi the bull sits halfway up the one thousand steps to the temple on Chamundi Hill here in Mysore. It was carved 350 years ago on that site from a huge boulder that was found there . In the Hindu religion Nandi carries the god of destruction Shiva on his back. This icon is 16 feet high and 24 feet long and is atop a 4 foot high platform, so hard to miss !!! The steps up to the temple go via bushland and are traversed by pilgrims, locals and tourists. Leopards are rumoured to roam around but I saw only sleeping monkeys and racing squirrels.
I visited an Ashram ( religious retreat) today where there is a bird rehabilitation sanctuary and a big bonsai garden. The bird centre was shut for renovation but I came across a sad looking thin horse ( painted yellow with a plaited mane ) as we entered. When we were leaving we passed it being led by and I patted it and spoke to the carer. It had come to the retreat in a very bad state and he had nursed it back to health . He was carrying a big bag of carrots for it and gave me the lead to hold and many carrots to offer it. So he is trying to fatten it up and it is much cared for, so this story has a happy ending.