Thursday, 4 April 2013

Delhi - Day 2. This is the first opportunity to get online for a few days so you will forgive me if I go on a little. It is such a very busy itinerary and there is lots to tell. Good old British Airways, luggage arrived at 7.30am next morning and taxi insisted I get out of bed to sign for it! Went via the metro which has a separate carriage for women (probably reason I was stared at yesterday when with Kevin) to Jamma Masjid in Rajiv Chowk and then on to see the Gurudwara Sikh Temple. It was beautiful and peaceful. Women were rolling a flat bread whilst the men stirred the ghee in a massive wok style pan. I had a go at rolling the dough but when it was lifted the woman looked at it's sorry state of affairs, turned up her nose and threw it in the reject pile. No new career there then. Went to the bazaar, it was boiling hot. Later that night we caught the sleeper train to Jodphur. What an experience. We were in a 3 tier bunk sleeper but we were all together at least. 6 in our little section and fun trying to get us all fitted in. A little mouse popped his head in to say hello and Fraser nearly had a heart attack. I have to admit that I didn't sleep but it was a fab experience. I got up to the toilet during the night (and these are different experiences too), went back and didn't know which curtain was mine as it was a long row of the same. Had a lucky guess I suppose or I could have got to know another new friend. Arrival in Jodphur was early. The hotel was lovely and we had been told not to expect too much but they have all outsold their descriptions. This had a swimming pool. I have been allocated a single room which is great. We went to the Mehrangarh Fort. It was a spectacular sight and I would post photos however I am using the hotel computer and not my ipad as the wifi isn't here. Sorry next time. We went to the Sadar Bazaar and the dust flying about was incredible. So much so that I got two nosebleeds and I'm not the only one the group to do so. Everything is so cheap here and bartering is such fun. The roads are still congested with tuk tuks, motorbikes, cars, cows, goats and the occasional monkey. The motorised vehicles all honk all the time. It means out of my way or hello or turn left or turn right. We have been told that the rules in India are that there are no rules. Had the most beautiful curry (and that seems to be the same for all meals - sometimes even breakfast) on a rooftop restaurant with the fort towering above at one side and a water feature on the other. Back home early so Fraser and I decided to have a late night swim (after copious amounts of wine). Half way through the power went off and it was a wee bit eery but fun. Were joined later by another two stop outs. Up early next day to meet jeeps at 7.30 am. Went to see a potter at work and opportunity to have a go. Lizi if you are reading I took some photos for you. The stone wheel and kiln had been in the family for generations and everything is judged by hand and the water pots come out precisly the same size. They use these to keep the water cool when there is no refrigeration. Then visited a very remote location to see a family who live off the land. A most beautiful baby girl with big brown eyes was hanging in a basket holding on to a pink sari and being rocked. The last leg of the 'jeep safari' was visiting a weaving family who run a co-operative making traditional rugs. The looms were huge and after having some chai masala (Indian tea with a bit of a sweet kick) he explained how his family had been weaving for years and how they did it. His English was immaculate and he told us that he learnt it from the BBC World Radio service which will soon be no longer. He teaches others in the vicinity to do the same and they pull their resources to make a living. These rugs can take up to 4 months to make including finishing and postage. His son recently learnt to drive but before that he had to walk 5 kilometres in the heat to get a bus to go to school. It was really far out but immaculate and so interesting. Puts my rag rugs to shame.
We got on our bus which is now our transport for the rest of this leg of the trip and travelled to Ranakpur stopping at the Ranakpur Jain Temple. What an amazing and serene place. Had a blessing with the dot between the eyebrows and an hour to wander around. The Jain people do not believe in killing anything. They are vegetarian and only eat anything that grows above the ground not below. They also do not eat cheese or yoghurt as the 'bacteria would be killed'. One man died as he had 'Delhi belly' with bugs in his stomach but would not take medicine as they would be killed. Therefore he died and so the bugs did too but that was OK as that was the right order to do things! Our new hotel was spectacular up high in the mountains, again a nice pool and even this time a balcony. We had a lovely curry then they lit a fire high up on the terrace and played Bollywood music and we danced all night under the stars. Govin (our guide) sang and showed us some of his moves. Not too bad. We had lots of drink and the bus drivers and waiters joined in too.
And so I come to today. We left early again and drove a few hours to Kumbraghhaigirh Fort (not sure of the spelling). It is massive with a wall 36 kms long. The second longest in the world after China. Lots of steps to get to the top. My thighs will be well exercised after this. Another couple of hours later we were in Udaipur. On the way we past so many other animals just sharing the street - oxen, warthogs etc. Udaipur is a busy city and we went on a walk through. Visited an artist studio. Udaipur is famous for it's miniature paintings which are so ornate. They are running a painting class tomorrow as an option. They painted a nail for each of us. Mine is a peacock on my thumb but one of the men had a karma sutra which is cool. This evening we saw a traditional dance show with full Indian band and marionettes. Now I am back at the hotel and tomorrow am looking forward to a trip round the lake and in the evening we are having an Indian cookery lesson and the produce will be our dinner. If I survive I will post again soon and try to upload some photos. Love to all. Good night. xx


  1. Now you now know how I cannot stop travelling.

  2. India - a crazy place but sounds like you're enjoying it. I went to a miniature painter in Udaipur - did he have a photo of Judi Dench?? Enjoying hearing about your travels & re-living mine - but without the smells!