A Travellerspoint blog

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Day Three

From red to gold

sunny 20 °C

A lovely Indian breakfast in the private dining room, which was just off the sitting room, this was like stepping back to the days of the Raj.
theraj.jpg

The mornings tour was the Red Palace it was very impressive to to the point of being moved.
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I believe that building and structures take in the vibes and feelings of the people who live and have lived there - we are merely custodians of the buildings but we leave our presences - this palace gave off such a fantastic aura to the point of being welled up with emotion. The enormity of it all was just overwhelming.
redpalace3.jpg

After the red palace in Bikaner is was the long drive to Jaisalmer.
We had been driving for about 1 hr and I asked if the music was on repeat - "No this one song lasts for 1 1/2 hrs" Slightly repetitive.
I am now getting used to the way of driving and tragic.

Time for a lunch stop:
Whilst we were there I visited the kitchen and had a lesson in Chapati making:
chapati.jpg
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Time to eat the fruits of my labours and immerse myself into the culture:
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From the red city to the gold city of Jaisalmer, the colour of the stone changes the whole outlook of the architecture.

I checked in to the hotel and was taken to the beautiful roof top restaurant looking over to the golden palace for a Masala Tea.
http://www.pleasanthaveli.com/
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Time for a massage - Not overly happy it was a man who gave me the massage but it was good.

For supper I was asked if I like Lama, I am not adversed to trying anything once. Apart from Morris dancing of course. It was fantastic, very spicy and full of flavour. Lama Rogan Josh. However, the bones seemed a bit small for such a big animal - So i asked again what meat it was -
"Lama" -
"LAMA?"
"No Lama, like goat"
"Aha Lamb"
"Yes Lama"

Posted by woody1 10:04 Archived in India Comments (1)

Day Four

The Golden city

sunny 17 °C

A gentle start with an Indian breakfast - Not private dining this morning.

On the way to the Golden palace we stopped for Indian some sweets - I had to get the guy to show me how they were made:
sweetmaking.jpg

Golden palace another fantastic palace:
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This was a working palace so lots of hawkers. Not too pushy but still a bit of haste. Although I was shown around one guys house without him asking for any money or tips.

After the palace I went to see the merchants / private mansions (Havelis), which were just as beautiful and awe-inspiring as the palaces:
goldern2.jpg

The Havelis - according to wikipedia it is translated as 'enclosed place' but my guide said the translation was windy place - After all the curry I think I will go with my guides interpretation.

I need to work on my questioning technique as when asked "are you staying here or coming back" was answered with "Yes".

Gadisar lake constructed in 1367, not a lot to say about this except it was beautiful. Not the cow the lake and surroundings. I know I have been on my own for a while now but its not that bad yet!!!
lake.jpg

Lunch - Chilly Omelets - Oh so happy days. What else do I need ?
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Then off to the desert for a camel ride to see the sun set.
On the way I saw ladies getting water from the well, a job that they perform a few times a day.
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So I thought I would lend a hand:
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Another camel - This one had a name, but I cant remember it.
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When we stopped at the point to see the sun setting - along came a guy selling beer - Happy days :)
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I never thought that I would be sitting drinking beer with a beer seller and a camel guide in the "Thar Desert" - What's next I wonder.

After two days in the desert sun my skin started to turn red.
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Or was that the beer.

I should remember from my desert survival that is gets bloody cold at night in the desert -
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sunset.jpg

No I have not gone native -
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Traditional dance and music whilst I had more curry and more beer -
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Posted by woody1 09:55 Archived in India Comments (0)

Day Five

sunny 19 °C

10:00 departure this morning - A very gentlemanly start.

Unfortunately, with all the bread, rice, potatoes and beer my weight is piling on. This is everything I gave up to lose weight in the first place.
I am not going to stop drinking beer and the nan bread, and food is soooo tasty I cant give that up. Back to eggs and meat.
Breakfast Masula omelette - "Spicy green chiilies sir?" - "Oh yes!!"
Oh Sod it, I will lose the weight when I get back.

My journey is now eastwards from Jaisalmer to Jodhopur on highway 114. I am now getting used to every animal sauntering across the road with no care in the world, trucks overtaking and filling all of the read - However, when things are common place they become the norm - Not saying that is right but it is now my norm. Stockbridge watch out!!

En-route I noticed a crowed had formed - It was the poling station, I went to see what was going on:
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100's of names to vote on:
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This is one of the candidates - MNBF
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Mr Dhasmendre and I had a very interesting discussion about Indian politics - The language barrier was quite interesting but my questioning technique is getting better.

The road is punctuated by small towns and villages selling everything from pitchforks to lorry parts and vegetables to sweets. A bit like Aldi.
pitchforks.jpg
SELLERS.jpg

The next stop was the old fort at Jodhopur again aware-inspiring. The shear size and beauty was breath taking.
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I went round with an audio guide that expanded the history from medieval times to current day - If you want to know more come out to India.

Time for a quick head-massage and a hair cut:
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Supper and beer:
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ccccccc

Posted by woody1 08:45 Archived in India Comments (0)

Day Six

"Bye bye Desert Hello Mountains"

sunny 16 °C

An early start for our trip through the mountains to Udaipur.

I got back to my hotel late last night so did not see how lovely it was. On my way to breakfast this morning I walked through the gardens and I saw all the seating and fire pits. What a great place to site chat and drink beer.
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There are more forts and museums in Jodhpur, which I decided not to visit. I am not saying I am "museumed out” but I don’t want to belittle what I have seen so far and not to make it the norm. I want to keep those special.

Now here is a great business - Tell people it is good karma to feed the sacred cows, then get people to pay you to feed your own cows. 10 rupees is very cheap cost effect way of getting good karma-
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Note: Sporting a new hair cut and the tummy is growing -

The bike temple:
According to Dhasmendre, the story goes like this - "that the mans was killed on a motor bike and the bike was taken to the policie station - At midnight the bike went by his own way to the spot the mans died - This happened 5 days each time - So the policiemans rebulided the bike and took it thats place."
Hay, its a good story. On visiting the temple you get a spot on your forehead.
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Leaving the desert - the countryside is starting to green up. Also the local dress has started to change, only subtle but noticeable.
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You too could look like this if you don't moisturise.

Another crowd! As I have come to expect - the unexpected.

This was a post funeral something. Not quite sure but It was something about 14 days after the cremation. The priest was showering the crowd with red dust, looked like poster paint to me. This represents the passing of the dead and a remembrance of his life. Be happy.
priest.jpg

Yep he got me, to the amusement of the crowd:
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I was then adorned with a garlands:
garlands.jpg
I seem to be a big attraction in the village. Is it because I am a hansom dude? Or just a novelty? Comment below!

Ranakpur Jain Temple:
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I had another audio tour which was very informative.
Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world. This temple took 50 years to build - Plus lots of other stats that I cant remember.
Jainism is based on 5 principals for enlightenment - OK, worth listening, may be I can gain fulfilment and enlightenment.
1. Ahimsa means non-violence. Yep, I agree with that. There is no need for any violence.
2. Satya figuratively means truth. Yep, Honesty is the only way forward.
3. The third vow, asteya, is to not take anything that is not willingly offered. Yep I can go with this one as well.
4. The vow of brahmacharya requires the exercise of control over the senses by refraining from indulgence in sexual activity. I switched off at that point.
5. What 5 - Was not listening.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jains
As much as I say that, it was truly enlightening. I sat on the temple wall and prayed for three things.

We left the temple and started our way through the maintains:
"Bye bye Desert Hello Mountains"
moutainroad1.jpg

Could not even slow down for these monkeys as they would rip the car to bits
monkeys.jpg

Without electricity they are still using oxen for irrigation.
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Yes I just had to drive:
water-irragtion1.jpg

No washing machines either:
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We stopped for lunch at a "touristie" buffet restaurant. Yep very, very tasty.
Feeling very full and enlightened I fell asleep and time warped into Udaipur. I think this picture is a classic of old and new - Spot the elephant.
elephants.jpg

Again another fantastic hotel.
http://www.hotelsargamsadan.com/

Dhasmendre invited me to his accommodation and cooked a mutton Rogan Josh. Wow it was fantastic:
RoganJosh.jpg

Here I am writing the blog:
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Another fantastic day - Chilled and happy :)

What has gone had gone - What will be will be - Now is now - so don't waste what is there for you!

Posted by woody1 07:35 Archived in India Comments (0)

Day Seven

sunny 18 °C

Second day in Udaipur -

The day started with a visit to the fort, the architecture was stunning:
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There were many tribes in the area each with their own crest. Bottom row, 2nd from the right!!!
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Um - Want to be in thier gang?
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In the past there was a lot of fighting to protect their lands, people and face - this images shows the rider and horse being cut in two - bloody sharp sward:
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I was fascinated with the restoration work being carried out. I wanted to learn more. My guide spent a lot of time translating how the work was being done and what the materials were made of. Worth every penny of the £3.50 I spent on the guide.
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The next stop was the vintage car museum. This is the only time in 7 days I have been slightly underwhelmed :
vintagecars.jpg
I remember these as German taxis in the 80s, am I that old??
There were about 35 vintage cars, RR etc but they were all parked in garages - So I could not look at the speedometer as all boys do!!

Lunch -
Chilli pecora:
chilli_pecora.jpg
Happy days :)

Off to the beautiful gardens -

As it is Sunday the locals are visiting the tourist sites so more people than I have been used to over the last 7 day - I was the only white person at the garden.
And yes it was beautiful:
gardens.jpg

It took a while to realise what people were looking at, but at the right angle there i could see the rainbows in the fountains:
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And with the right shutter setting it looks even better:
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The next stop a visit was the winter palace

Not sure why you would bother with a helmet:
helmet.jpg

A short dive back to the top of the mountains:
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This palace was not quite as well maintained as the rest that I have seen but just as awe-inspiring:
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After the winter palace we went back to the tailors shop to collect my shirts - I needed a few more shirts, I have not got any new clothes for a while. Tailor made, "bestest quality", short sleeve shirts - A blue, stripy and crushed strawberry. 15 notes each.
shirts.jpg

I had packed quite a lot in today so early stack - back to the hotel for a wash and brush up - and a beer.
I had a bit of time to kill before supper so I went for a walk trough the town. A few snaps during my walk:

Washing in the river:
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I don't think this is the name I would give my toy shop:
toys.jpg

If you ever think that your job is crap think about this lady. She collects the dung from the cows and flattens them into round pats. When the dung is dry it is used for for fuel for the fire. Once dry there is no smell but is does before hand.
shitjob.jpg
Now this is a shit job!

Posted by woody1 05:49 Archived in India Comments (0)

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