A short ride from Jhansi and we arrived in Orchha. First instincts were how much quieter everything was than some of the tourist hubs we have been used to. Many of the people going about there everyday life as opposed to trying to take you to their hotel or mates jewellery shop. Unfortunately we couldn't stretch our budget to one of the recommendations for hotels made to us by Silvia, but nonetheless stayed in a fantastic value and very clean guesthouse, called Hotel Shri-Mahant. This is perched just up on a hill overlooking the village and gave us a clear view of the many temples and palaces from the roof terrace when eating dinner. The fella working at the hotel was determined to please, he offered us our the food menu and said anything was possible. Going by the fact his kitchen was tiny and only had two gas hobs we were dubious but lo and behold an hour and a half later he produced a thail (a sort of all you can eat mix of curry, dal, rice and bread) and a fantastic bowl of pasta.
We spent the next day wandering around the 17th century palaces which dominate Orchha's views, they were fantastic. In England there is no way they would let you wander round on your own and explore the 3 storeys and small hidden staircases in a building that is nearly 400 years old with parts held up by bamboo!n the evening we were treated to the many pilgrims flocking to Ram Raja temple (16th century) to worship Rama by chanting through a megaphone by the sounds of things. This adds to the atmosphere though back in Ramnagar we did have to endure it at 5am which wasn't quite so enjoyable!
Hannah bought a nice Anklet from the market which she loves, I decided that the locally made Barfi (fudge) was more my kind of thing. One thing we have noticed is how friendly everyone is and how happy all the children seem to be playing around the street. We also took a stroll to the national park office to see what it had to offer, we were immiediately surrounded by the workers who didn't quite know how to communicate with us, it took about 20 minutes to find a brochure in english. The park did seem good but we'd had our fill of deer in the Corbett Reserve and we realised the entrance fee wasn't perhaps worth it, especially when we checked our money situation and the ATM was closed. There is much less pressure here than most of the places we have visited and it has been a very calming and peaceful stay. Today we ate a huge breakfast and went for a walk down to the river. Sitting on the ghats (steps next to water mainly used for washing) we met a delightful little girl called Preeta who loved Hannah's hair and was very excited to try and make conversation with us. Tonight we take a sleeper train to Varanasi, our last destination in India.