Saturday, March 5, 2011


Here in Jodhpur at the Hem Guest House, going to Jaisalemer on Sunday.  I loved Udaiper, everything centres around the lake and the streets are so narrow in the older part that they don't  have too many cars  (which means the motorcycles go faster).   Shared a taxi with a nice French couple up to Ranakpur  temple and Kumbalgarh  fort.  The 3 hours drive up a back road was a beautiful and at times a little scary with the one winding lane for two way traffic up the mountain.  Other than our constantly burping driver, it was a beautiful relaxing day.

Also went walking with an American woman and a guide about two hours outside of Udaiper.  We were hoping to hike the hills but soon realized that there are no paths and they're almost straight up.  Met lots of wonderful people  - in ox-drawn carts, carrying many  things on their heads, making bricks, washing in the river, coming out of their houses to greet us  - none spoke any English  and by the stares, had not  seen many foreigners either.   The guide told us that many have never been to Udaiper, just a bigger village in the other direction.  We had lunch by a river and visited a temple in a cave, then had to bus it back to our startiang point - after 5.5 hours we were beat.

Also met Claire Grove, a very interesting British woman, my age.  She owns a button and bead shop in Cardiff, Wales and comes to India to have buttons made. She gave me this fabulous round silver button with an elephant  in relief and then painted.  I wish I had met Claire sooner instead of the evening before I left Udaiper, we had lots to talk about and she knew the locals - I would have loved to hang out with her for a day.

The  City Palace is beautiful, my favourite so far; every restaurant is on a rooftop and it's quite pretty at night with the lights on the lake river.   Unfortunately, unless you are staying at the Lake Palace Hotel, you can't go there.  Went to a few museums and lazed around on the huge sofa  on the rooftop of my guesthouse having  chai and waiting for my cold to get better  and of course a little retail therapy. The guest house is a 130 year old haveli (mansion) and Raju, the owner, was born here and is the fourth generation.  Also some 'cafes'   where you can just sit for a tea (the first I've found in India) and  they're not Indian  (French and German). Food continues to be great, eating chicken dishes now and avoiding rice.


In Ahmedabad,  on the walking tour.  This elephant  had a smile on his face and seemed very happy.

tilt left  - a mosque on the walking tour

At Lothal, 4,000 year old well

Ranakpur - with lighting and my camera, pics are not so good

Outside of Udaipur, walking


Little girl doing her dishes

Walking outside Udaiper - this is their dry season, they said much greener usually

Tilt left - doing laundry .   Didnt take close up as some were also bathing.

Not sure if you can see the guy on the right, he was chopping off huge chunks of rock by himself  which he will then sell to a building company.

Lake Palace  - water looks pretty good here - it's actually green

View from the restaurant/lounge area at the guest house.

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