It’s another sunny, warm, beautiful day in India!
We didn’t get moving today until 5:45, so a reasonably good night’s sleep. After breakfast at the hotel, Kamal was there to pick us up at 9:00.
With the luggage loaded in the car, we set off. We had a false start, since the road we were taking out of Bundi was under construction, with new water pipes coming into the city. The time wasn’t wasted though, since we managed to get a few good local shots before finding our way to an alternate route.
We were facing about a 6 hour drive to Udaipur and the first 1/3 or so of the trip was on a very rough road, much of it gravel and stone. I don’t think we got over 40 kph. We passed through several small villages and towns and, once again, saw rural Indian living up close. At one point, Kamal turned off the road to take us to the Menal Waterfall way out in the middle of nowhere. It was worth the stop and no doubt it’s a very impressive waterfall after heavy rainfalls.
A lot of the countryside here is rocky and most of the fields are sectioned off with stone fences. Actually it was quite neat and clean looking compared to much of what we’ve seen.
After a couple of hours, we were on a multi-lane toll highway, with not quite as much to see along the way other than a small truck overloaded with large tires, in line at the toll booth. As I was taking a photo of it, the truck’s passenger was taking a cell phone photo of me. Kamal stopped at one point to use the facilities and I got a shot of a motorcycle loaded up with all sorts of paraphernalia for sale.
I napped for a while and then watched a couple of episodes of ‘Justified’ on the computer. My new Bose noise cancelling headphones, which I bought over for the 13 hour plane trip, worked really well for this too.
We arrived in Udaipur at 2:30 and one of the first things we noticed was that it looked cleaner than the other cities we’ve been in so far; however, it’s all relative.
Sites we saw on the road today:
- A guy on a motorcycle carrying a step ladder….not so unusual, but the stepladder was open and standing upright.
- 2 guys on a motorcycle with the passenger carrying a bicycle crossways and upside down.
- Another guy on a motorcylce carrying a large round piece of steel crossways in front of him.
- A woman with a head load, leading 2 goats and a small child.
- A decorated elephant on a street in Udaipur.
We stopped for lunch at the Hukan restaurant, in the Hotel Broadway. There were 2 young white women at the table next to us: a blonde and a brunette. An Indian man approached them and asked if he could take a photo of them with his 2 small daughters. Before we knew it, the whole family was gathered around them for the father to take photos. The only problem with that was that he wasn’t in the photo, so then the son had to take one with him in it. We’ve experienced it, so it was funny seeing it happen to someone else. We talked to the girls after – they were Aussies.
Kamal then took us to the hotel, or as close to the hotel as he could. The streets leading to it were too narrow for cars, so we had to load the luggage into a tuk-tuk. Away we went for the harrowing ride through the narrow streets. When we arrived at the Kankarwa Haveli Hotel, we were given a small room for 1 night, but were told that they’d move us to another room tomorrow.
We made our way back to the parking lot by foot, about a 10 minute walk. Unfortunately, our car was blocked by another one. When the owner showed up a few minutes later, the keys were locked inside the car. Someone managed to get it open, but not without ripping some trim off from around the window.
Kamal wanted to take us to a special spot high on the hills overlooking the city that included a palace. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the base, there was so much traffic that we turned around and went back to the hotel, with a plan to go back at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon.
We took it easy for a while, downloaded some photos and worked on getting on the internet. We had a quick dinner in the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and then went out for a walk down the streets. It was starting to get dark, but I managed to get a few colourful photos before it got too late and we were able to familiarize ourselves with the area so that we’d be ready for tomorrow.
Back at the hotel, we were able to get on the internet again and worked on some photos before calling it a day about 10:30.
Something of note: I’ve posted a few photos of men on the blog and on Facebook and have had a couple of comments about no photos of women, for instance, “Aren’t there any photogenic women in India?”. There sure are! The problem is, when I ask if I can take a photo, they usually say no. I have a few and will continue working on it.
I’ve added a ‘monkey story’ to yesterday’s blog so go back and have a look at that.