I woke up shortly after midnight, got ready, and took a pre-arranged auto rickshaw to the train station at 01:00. I arrived at the train station, checked on the status of my train (it was going to be late), and then I waited around in the train station, which was crowded with many people sleeping and a cow rummaging through the trash cans for food. The train finally arrived an hour late at 03:25, I boarded the train, found my sleeper bed, and, not finding anywhere to put my bags, I ended up sleeping with my luggage on a very small bed (I was in a tight fetal position for the three hours I managed to sleep). An hour before the train approached Khajuraho’s station, I woke up, stretched out, and waited for the train to arrive, which it did after 08:00. I then grabbed my bags, found an auto rickshaw to take me in to town at a reasonable price for foreigners, and then shared the auto rickshaw with two young men working for local hotels, a tourism office agent, and a holy man. After driving for nine kilometers, we reached Khajuraho and I checked in to a hotel I found on Booking.com the night before. After dropping my bags off in my room, I met two Spaniards and decided to join them on a jeep safari through Panna Tiger Reserve during the afternoon. I then found an ATM, grabbed cash, and walked around town to get an idea of where everything is. I then returned to my hotel, ate lunch (tuna pizza with onions, water, and a Sprite), and waited to leave to the Panna Tiger Reserve.
After 13:00, I met up with the two Spaniards and the man who arranged the jeep safari for us; we then all entered in to the open-seat jeep and drove off toward the park. Along the way we stopped off at a road side restaurant and enjoyed a beer before continuing on to the park. When we reached the park visitor center, we went through the legal formalities, signed papers, and met our park guide; next we drove to the actual park entrance and our park guide joined us in the jeep; we entered the park and drove along some jeep trails through a semi-tropical broad-leaf forest looking for wildlife. In no time we spotted some peacocks and spotted deer; this park also had many large spider webs with menacing arachnids waiting for their prey; there were also a number of funnel webs near the ground. Next we drove up to water hole with a covered viewing spot for wildlife enthusiasts to sit all day in the hopes of seeing something interesting like a tiger; all we saw for the short time we were there was a mugger crocodile. We then continued our safari and saw a blue antelope and a crested serpent eagle before arriving at the Ken River (we were told that this is the cleanest river in all of India . . . and I still wouldn’t swim in it); at the Ken River, we saw another mugger crocodile and three wooly-necked storks. After our stop at the river, we started heading back to the park entrance as the sun was very close to being set for the day; on the way back, we saw a couple of jackals, wild boars, and more peacocks and spotted deer. When we reached the entrance, our park guide left us, and we drove back in to Khajuraho. Once we reached the town, the two Spaniards and I decided to eat dinner at a restaurant with a tree-top table; during dinner we watched as much of the light and sound show at the western temple complex as we could see from the tree house dining table and I ate chapati garlic bread, Baghari Bagen with coconut (eggplant curry), hot chicken with ginger and garlic, banana lassi, and a Sprite. After dinner, we grabbed some beer for a nightcap, said “goodnight”, and walked back to our respective hotels. I then relaxed in my hotel room, drinking my beer, until I fell asleep.