Around the World in 80 Days - Day 22
Phileas Fogg is now about halfway through his train ride across India. These geckos are from the Eastern Ghats. They were discovered in 1877, but then they weren't seen again until after 2008 so they were long considered extinct. Unfortunately they are not in any protected areas, and there seems to be no other protection in place for the. The small area they live in of a bit over 7 sq miles is at great risk of development and being converted into coffee plantations. Biologists do seem to have hope they can be saved because there are some that seem to be surviving in territory that has already been turned into plantations. Often, once the habitat is so radically changed, that spells death for the animal, like the Greater 'amakihi I painted a while ago. The fact that they have adapted to live in a plantation rather than the forests they prefer is good, though still rather sad.
I love train rides. I almost never get to go on a vacation. Our version of a vacation is going to visit my parents at their house on the coast. In my mind, a real vacation is to go somewhere, and stay at least one night somewhere that isn't your immediate family's house. Since having kids, by that criteria, our family as a whole has had 3 vacations. The last was when we went to Disneyland right before my oldest started high school and my youngest started junior high. We also went to California to spend a bit of time with my mother's sister, but that was before my youngest was born. The first family vacation was when our youngest was 8 or 9 months old. We went with my sister-in-law to a B&B in Canada. She and I rode the train up with my kids, while my husband drove and met up with us. If you have little kids, a long journey by train is much better than a long journey by car. The train motion is relaxing, they can walk around with you to get the wiggles out, and you can often get a seat with a table so they have space to colour or play games. Another time, I drove to Seattle to meet up with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and my kids after they took the train up. This is actually a picture my son took and sent to me. The train they were on stopped unexpectedly and stayed there for qhite a while. Come to find out some guy was throwing rocks at the train. The police ended up capturing him and the train was able to get moving again, but they certainly had a bit of excitement. Up in Seattle I left them the car, and took the train home by myself. It was my first time being able to ride anything first class. It was lovely though not what I'd call a vacation. Here in the States, trains aren't as commonplace as a mode of travel as they are in the UK for instance.