Early start to drive to the Amber fort just to the North of Jaipur. Joined half hour queue for the elephant ride - 90 or so elephants giving rides to the tourists up what otherwise would be a fairly steep walk. Each elepahant can do a max of 5 climbs a day so it is queue, walk or take a jeep. Actually the queuing was interesting to watch the street hawkers in action . Our guide had warned us that even eye contact was fatal, saying No thank you was a come-on and having any banter tantamount to financial suicide!!
The Italians in front of us were aobviously not so well briefed and ended up with several T shirts, two hats and a Kodak film! Jane reckoned the turbans would have suited me but i resisted eye contact throughout!
Our elephant was very co-operative and stopped once only - our guide took some photos of us but we are finding the whole process of downloading very timeconsuming so you will have to wait until we are home.
Amber fort yet again had a very interesting storyline mainly to do with how the Maharaja entertained himself with his 12 or so wives during the different seasons of the year - i will spare you the detail but needless to say he was out to have a good time.
Met up with some people we had been camping with at Nimaj and there are another British couple who we met at the Lake Palace who are also staying here.
After a stop at a gem shop -interesting but no purchases- it was o to the Maharaja's current palace and Observatory with various enormous instruments constructed 300 years ago to tell exactly the time of day, tme of year and to plot the position of the North Star (this would have been very helpful at Nimaj) and various other stars. Dad, this would be the place for you to visit - absolutely fascinating!
Palace and museum were also very interesting and our guide - who normally teaches history and eceonomics at the university - was extremely knowledgable and kept us on the move. Palace of Winds was another photoraphic opportunity but only really a facade fronting the High Street. The current Prince of Wales is a close friend of the Maharajah and we visited the craftshop where he had been this time last year.
Back at the Hotel now and ready to go off to the pool. My tailor is due to visit at 6pm so i can try on my handmade suit that i was fitted for yesterday afternoon - hope he turns up bearing in mind i have already paid! Also hope it fits since my waist measurement was taken down originally as 38" - I negotiated a reduction to 37" out of pride but must now dash off and swim some lengths of the pool since Indian food (probably beer) is obviously suiting me too well.