Didn't have access to internet yesterday and was too busy trying to organise furhter travel after our booked tour ends the day before to update blog- I have handwritten it though but left it at the hotel!
Today left from Manadawa to Bikaneer- about a 4 and a half hour journey. Caused a bit of a stir with the Japanese tourists when we pulled into a service station- they were all admiring my trousers. Me and Alice quite liked the trousers they were selling although when we tried them on the material was very see through and not very appropriate to wear given we are already stared at.
Next stop was a temple where they worshipped rats. We hoped they were in cages but no they were running around by our feet! Not sure why the travel agent at the hotel said loads of people went as it wasn't as interesting as some of the temples we've seen, and the rats were the only thing differing it from a building to a temple.
We rejected going to the Junagarh Fort and a palace because we're scared of how much money we have already spent and doing this much sightseeing is draining our pockets alot more than the guidebook says (because we've already spent so much on the tour), but we did go to Lagnargh (?) Palace which had been turned into a hotel. They were setting up an Indian wedding and it looked so pretty! Think it's going to be booked up for our weddings (if we're ever that lucky). The palace was very intricately decorated, in some rooms with gold leaf.
The driver said we were going to 'paint school' which we assumed meant we were going to paint a local school (which we could blag into being a bit of volunteering) but it was a place where they gave us a demonstrations of their paintings. They gave us magnifying glasses and showed us how they make one hair width brush strokes. It was amazing how fine the detail was- he showed us the smallest painting in the world (credited by Guiness book of world records). He had counted as he did it that there were 2200 leaves in the picture, and they had not belived him so enlarged it and counted for themselves that he was telling the truth. It varied on the picture but he said it took him 6 months to draw one.
We had a look from outside of the Fort, that's fine enough for me!
Our hotel is very nice (as i think all of them are going to be, and I should hope so after all that they cost!), and we had our first bit of freedom by going to an internet cafe.
We are going to try another hotel for dinner that a man at the Mandawa hotel said was good for young people, in the hope that a) it is cheaper and b) we might meet some other people in the same boat.