Arrived here with Ziat, Sebastian, Linda and Ferri - all looking for a place to stay! The other 2 couples checked-in to Jag Niwas hotel - very nice, much better than our attempt!
So after an afternoon of bagage storage, James went back to get our bags so we could change hotels! He came back grinning from cheek to cheek - something had happened! The owner of the hotel had tried to charge 3/4 of the room rate (only about 1 pound but it was the principle!) and James refused to pay. After much protesting, the chap threatened to call the cops - James protested. Once the chap had started dialling, James played his trump card - he faked a heart/panic attack, dropping all the luggage, and generally spasming in the door way... Job Done!!
Linda and Ferri were only with us for 1 night... trying to set up a business from Udaipur, emphasis is on the word "trying", nothing is easy here... we wish them the best of luck! So we all had a meal on a roof top garden watching Octop**** as a farewell! Having consumed vast quantities of Rum we had smuggled in, hopefully they caught their train the next morning!
Spent the days sightseeing with Ziat and Sebastian... usual stuff... City Palace (awe inspiring architecture and decor); Temples - which we visited during a service with all the women singing and boys clanging bells; and the Monsoon Palace...
This turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. Monsoon Palace is about 5km from the lake of Udaipur, perched on a clifftop, providing unparalelled views of the city. Not wanting to be conned by a rickshaw driver, we were only going to travel as a group of 4 in one rickshaw, for R150 or less! Most drivers refused, and we soon found out why! Rickshaws barely move with 5 people in (us and the driver), let alone up a steep hill! With smoke bellowing out of the exhaust, then steam coming up through the seats, we had to stop 3 times to let the engine cool down! Then Sebastian and James had to get out and walk 10 metres, and get in whilst moving slowly up the hill! As we had heard, the views were stunning! Going down was no easier - there was so much weight, we had to stop to let the brakes cool down!
Ziat and sebastian left the following evening after we all had High Tea in the Palace - not what we were expecting, with jam containing no fruit, and 2 scones the size of Quality Street sweet! Ziat was devastated - we had to tell her Cornwall/Devon/Polly Tea Rooms should be her next visit.
We hired bicycles the next day to go round the various lakes. Its hard work avoiding, traffic, pedestrians, shop keepers flapping carpets and bovine obstacles!!
Met a nice couple at one of the lake (Claire and Nick)- found out they too like Rum - and after an afternoon of mincing by the pool at the palace with a fellow traveller Jen, we all had dinner together on a rooftop by the lake! Several hours later when asked to leave the restaurant - we confessed to an empty bottle of Rum under the table and asked if the owner could take James to the "English Beer and Wine Shop" (theres 1 or 2 in most towns, secluded in the back streets, but somehow Becky and I have a homing device and always hunt them down!) for some more booze! Mission complete... we were all craving a good kebab!!!
Not much to do today, but recover... oh bum... our bus to Jodhpur left 20 minutes ago... w***! Guess we'll spend another day mincing around Udaipur....
Almost missed it again because we met a nice coulpe from Mumbai (Hannah & Andrew) and went for some food - and a light refreshment(s)!We thought we'd be meeting up with them again in Agra/Delhi, but they had such a horrendous time in Indore, they got the only train available out of there.
Off to Jodhpur now...