A Travellerspoint blog

udaipur

This morning we tried out Namaste cafe for breakfast which turned out to do a mean toasted cheese sandwich. Walking to the cafe a young boy around six got struck by a motorcycle The driver stopped briefly then took off after muttering something to the mother. Mum grabbed her kid by the arm and pulled him off the road and proceed to shake him and gave him a right telling off. We stood watching in awe not believing that she was not hugging him and checking for injuries. She seemed more concerned that he may have ripped his pants. I'm surprised we have not seen more people being struck given the craziness of the roads.
After breakfast we took off to check out a cooking class. We had one lady highly recommended but with Diwali she was unable to take a booking. We wandered and chatted to locals as they politely try to entice you into their stores and ended up a hotel right on the lake front with as a book said....the best views of the lake. We went to book a table for Diwali dinner and some how the large mattress seats were too enticing and we lounged around drinking and eating Indian snacks while watching the lake activity pass by. Feeling chilled we tried out another spa. Vicki opted for a cucumber facial and I wanted a foot massage........it's always good to get the dirt of the day off your feet. I was surprised to be told to take off my shorts and with butt skywards my foot massage included a good rub of the buttocks as well. Vicki faired no better as her top had to come off for a facial.
The artist was blooming in us....thanks to alcohol.....and we took off to Namaste Cafe for a painting session. We were guided very kindly by the resident artist into making a miniature silk painting...mine a horse signifying power and Vicki a camel which signifies love. Our one and a half hour lesson turned into almost four hours.......not perhaps because we were poor students, but we spent so much time chatting about cultural differences and letting the instructor play with my iPad which he thought was awesome. Suitably impressed with our efforts that you can recognize as the animals they represent, we tried to sell them to passer bys with no luck. No one would even barter with us.
We quickly made our was to the museum for a night show that highlights Indian dancing and singing. A beautiful back drop and entry was 100 rupee.......about two dollars.........the sparkling saris, sitar music and drums were heady but the lady in pink was our highlight. A lady in her 50s, maybe 250lb, and a superb pink sari who proceeded to chew gum and look like she wanted us to f**k off......she got her bells tied up several times, didn't give a shit......she was teamed up with a young girl for a dance filled with spins and turns and she turned slowly beside he spinning partner threatening to become unbalanced and take out her partner, it was too much effort to lift her arms and she marched off stage looking like she was going to commit murder.....we hee hawed and laughed every time we saw her on stage and was worth the one hundred rupee
After the show we wandered to the Whistling Teal restaurant which had good food reviews and we were not disappointed. They had saddle seats at the bar which we briefly enjoyed, but hope our saddles for the ride will be a lot more comfortable. We were entertained by the barman who had excellent English. He was well into his sixties and wore a Tammy. Slightly off putting while eating was trying not to stare at his teeth which grew in different directions..what was left that is.
Afterwards we had a short walk back to the hotel with Vicki sharing her left over chicken with a stray dog sleeping outside the hotel.

Posted by Rosielou 16:27 Comments (0)

Taxi scam

So this is a long one........the taxi driver takes us to a very dark and quiet street, looking I gently at all the buildings....which are surrounded with dirt and filth, thats in the dark as well. Thrown in a sleeping body, couple of cows and numerous mangy dogs and that's where we are. Driver makes out he has no idea where our hotel is, he stops to ask his very helpful friend who calls our hotel. He tells us the roads to our. Hotel are closed for Christmas...well Diwali....and they are full and do not have our booking. They handed us the cellphone and the guy posed as our hotel manager and stated he didnt have our reservation and no rooms to rent. By now we are in an unlit alley and I'm thinking take Vicky first.....I'm a good friend like that.........and we insist they take us back to the airport. We had fortunately read about this scam and were quite vocal about what we wanted and within a minute low and behold we are at our hotel. The driver had the audacity to ask for a tip.....we just laughed and walked off. A quick check in, at the Eurostar Hotel and of course they had not received said phone call and being one in the morning we were off to bed. A very basic twin room, no apparent bugs and big z time. Next morning we were up and at them, no shower, broken of course so a quick scrub down in a bucket of cold water and back to Delhi airport for a short flight to udaipur. A very nice old man drove us the 40 minutes to the Anjani Hotel and we backpacked our way up a steep bloody hill to the top where we negotiated a room for four nights for.......six dollars each. With a working shower and hot water, a four poster bed, and a small sitting room. Oh and a swimming pool that no one uses.....although Vicki promises to indulge, I am sure to the delight of the old men that drink chai at the hotel.
We dump our stuff and off to explore. .......holy crap, tight narrow street no rules just a mishandle mash of motor bikes, tuk tuk, cars, cows, dogs, goat pig and chickens and of course people. Lots and lots of people. Holes every where and toot toot toot all the time. Toot hello, toot out my way, toot because I can and have a horn. Noise overload. We explore the City Palace which is beautiful and has views of Lake Pichola and the Taj Palace Hotel which was featured in Octapussy, the James Bond movie. This movie is featured at many of the cafes. Lou and I had changed into walking shorts and a group of Indian women found us intriguing. Fortunately we couldnt understand what they were saying, but I think I heard the word trollops! An art gallery, Art Facts, which is by our hotel the artist and owner did the artwork featured in the film, Marigold Hotel. We end up back at the hotel for Thalia on the roof top over looking Lake Pichola and the palace in the middle of the lake. I am dry as they only sell beer. Vick made up for me !!! It's true, the Kingfisher beer is delicious. We have a beautiful view and with Diwali approaching we saw light floating in Lake Pichola and into the sky, not to mention a gorgeous sunset earlier.
November 11, 2012. After a bug free sleep, and mastering the shower, I went to meet Lou outside and found myself stuck in the room. I pulled the handle and the entire lock which is a bolt came off. Thankfully the side window opened and a nice employee opened the door. I'm told this had happened before. A screw added and it's fixed! We wandered out the hotel and down to the Ghats. I have decided not to have laundry done as it is clear that it is done by hand in the lake that everyone is washing, bathing and pooping into along with the garbage. There is no seeing the bottom of this lake! Makes for some cool photo opportunities. Our first cow poo incident with Vicki in her new sandals in the middle of fresh cow pie. Rookie mistake! We explored both shores and ended up at a very posh hotel, The Ambrai, for a refreshment and to take a breather from the constant chaos. We had eaten at a german bakery, Cafe Eidelweiss, that morning that makes everything fresh on site, not a german in sight. ..........the Germans must have a great reputation for bakeries as we discovered that there are several German bakeries. I opted for the egg sandwich when really I wanted the slab of chocolate cake the guy next to me was shoveling in. On the way back through the metal gates at the footbridge, my heel was cut but the gate. Hhmmm, what are the chances of infection from a gate where thousands of people have passed through!
We wandered back to the City Palace and jumped on a boat trip around the lake. We felt like film stars as we were adopted by an Indian family who took numerous photos of us ......I think they were after vickis jolly ranchers and fame cost her the entire bag. We wandered around the very posh Jagmandir Hotel which is in a small island on Lake Pichola, which was stunning before heading back for a quick massage. We picked a spa (ha ha) that said it was clean and for eight dollars we were beaten into submission whilst lying on a sun lounger covered in a dubiously spotted towel. They doused our heads in oil that would put a Scottish chippy to shame and we left looking very bedraggled. A quick clean up at the hotel and we were off walking around the Diwali lights which make everything look so pretty. We wandered back to the city palace and splurged on an Indian meal by lake side with live music and hundreds of candles. Silver service from very smart waiters and fantastic food. We sat for three hours putting the world to right before wandering back to the hotel. Things had quietened down and we took the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the calves who had gathered outside the shops

(no doubt window shopping for leather goods) to give them a scratch. We soon had a small line up for scratches much to the amusement of the
locals. We have not interacted much with the dogs who all look identical except for varying war wounds. Although one lucky girl who reminded me of
my own pup did get half my egg sandwich. Tomorrow is another day

Posted by Rosielou 09:27 Comments (0)

Udaipur via delhi

We were not expecting such a nice airport in Delhi. Customs were quick and stern, both of us being told off....me for standing too close.....Vick for rummaging into her bag during process.....no doubt to pull out the glock she had hidden. We braced ourselves for the onslaught of touts, oh disappointment. Only two approaches, but we were on a mission. Everything we read was hit up the pre paid taxi which is just at the front of the airport across the road. We stood patiently in line as the scots and Canadians are trained to do .......not the Indian way as a couple of different people slide in front of us.....a quick head nod pushes them back. A drunk guy leads us to a cab, we were about to put him through a sobriety test when we realized he would not be driving us. And we are off to the hotel...not before the first scam. That's for the next installment as the German bakery is calling !!!

Posted by Rosielou 19:13 Comments (1)

Amsterdam

Paying for extra legroom was worth every cent of the 67 dollars it cost. Slept most the way and Amsterdam is all about Christmas. They have an amazing food store in the airport, we had to drag ourselves away from the cheese sampling.........it would have declined rapidly into a cheese and wine fest. Just waiting for our flight to de nowhere the real fun will begin.

Posted by Rosielou 00:32 Comments (0)

Toronto airport

Liquid courage

Gate c34.........two girls, two back packs, India, horses......what can go wrong.....just in case Rosie and Lou are sampling c section alcohol.......preparation for killing bugs we are about to encounter. Intaking extra calories for those we are to throw up and squirt out with Delhi belly.
A year of planning and we are at the beginning of a long awaited experience into India.

Posted by Rosielou 14:07 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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