We got up at 4:20 again, hoping for repeat luck from the day before. We had heard a wedding celebration the evening before, and it was still going, and still going strong, at 4:20. In the lobby we met Linda, who'd be with us. She told us that she split up with her travel partner the day before, halfway through their trip, so that was kind of odd. We were the first ones to the Zone 2 gate. While waiting for the gate to open, Linda mentioned she was from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was in the bail bonds business. She also told us about her 112 lb pit bull and her three other dogs that are 12 pounds or less - that must be an interesting household. Inside the gate, Vijay rushed to examine pug marks, found a long trail of marks from a mom and her cubs. Vijay was super excited, the park ranger rep was super excited, there was palpable optimism we might see something special. "Does the massage lady have appointments at night?," Linda asked in the middle of all this. It took everything in our body to stop from laughing out loud at this. Perhaps because of karma, we didn't find those tigers, so continued to drive around.

It was a very nice sunrise, since there were some clouds for once. It was a bit cooler because of that as well. Also, there was no dust since we weren't behind anyone. After an hour or two, we heard a couple alarm calls, then heard a couple more. Then there were Sambar deer calls, which really got Vijay's attention, because they have the least "false alarms" of all the animals that make warning calls. We and a couple other cars were parked near a dry riverbed, and the calls were getting closer and closer to us. Eventually there were black-faced langur calls, spotted deer calls, and sambar deer calls, all very close. Then we clearly heard the growl of a couple tigers very nearby. We could see about 150 meters down the riverbed before it curved, so we were waiting with anticipation for the tigers to come around the curve. If they did, we'd have an unimpeded view, with the sun behind us, right on them, just a perfect viewing. But they never came, and the calls died out. The tigers must have found a shady resting spot and laid down - so close yet so far away.

We waited about 10 minutes, and then continued driving around. At our breakfast stop, we watched a group of macaques and langurs eating figs from a big Ficus tree. Linda made a big point of saying she didn't want any sugar, but then asked if Vijay had a lighter for her cigarette. There was nothing much of interest after the breakfast stop. There weren't really even any alarm calls, except for a crazy spotted deer that was barking at a wild boar - Vijay indicated he thought the deer might have had too many Moa flowers. So our drive had no tiger sighting, but at least we got to hear them, which was better than nothing.

Back at the lodge, we got a full breakfast, took another shower (seriously, it was crazy dusty everywhere), and then came to the cooking class that the lodge so kindly put together on a moment's notice. The chef and Vijay showed us how to make daal and chicken curry. We took some video of this, in the hope that we can re-watch and repeat. One of the ingredients was black cardomom, which was new to us. Also, they had some gigantic bay leaves, almost twice as big as what we can get back home. We took a short nap, and then went to lunch. The risotto was very good, even though not runny (inside joke for anyone who watches Top Chef).

The afternoon drive was just us; Vijay indicated that Linda had booked all zone 2 drives. This afternoon, we were a bit envious, as there was absolutely zilch going on. We went around to the various water holes, hoping that one of the tigers was exhausted by the heat, but no luck. Not only were there no tigers, there were very few deer and monkeys, which were plentiful in zones 1 and 2. Imagine, setting fire to half the zone doesn't endear the area to the animals. We did see a couple of jackals, and a couple of blue bulls (male, female, and youngsters). There seemed to be lots of birds, but that could be because that's all there was to see. Among the birds were Indian rollers, a changeable hawk eagle, a drongo, an orange thrush, some small dark blue bird that Vijay said was rare and unusual, a serpent eagle, and a number of others for which we don't remember the names, but have some photos.

Driving back we had some comic relief at a "tiger" sighting. It was in the same area across from the zone 2 entrance where we saw the tiger from far away the evening before. This time "it" was closer, but the only thing in the area was a peacock, which was walking around as if nothing was going on (which it plainly would not if there was a tiger there). Also, there was nothing making warning calls. But since someone thought they saw something, everyone lined up to look for a nonexistent tiger. Perhaps this was wishful thinking, because the park ranger indicated that no one saw anything in the afternoon. We were kind of bummed that we didn't see any tigers, but since we've had the best sighting of anyone the last 3 days, we are literally the last ones that should be complaining. Just before getting back to the lodge, we saw a night jar in the road, which Vijay said was very rare. At the lodge we had a couple drinks with Vijay, and then a nice outside dinner. We got a couple more drinks, and then crashed in the room.