It seems that one of our party has been struck down, and so our trio was reduced to two today, as we left one of our group in the room to recover for the day. They are much better now though, so nobody worry (ambiguity is intentional to stop any parental worry. Dan's fine) - they did however miss out on a very good day spent visiting the sights of Udaipur.
Our driver picked us up in his rickshaw at 9, informing us that he was going to show us the most interesting places in the area. He did not disappoint. His name was Billu (like the bear from The Jungle Book), and was a very interesting fellow. He insisted that he was not going to show us any palaces or forts, and we breathed a sigh of relief in the back of his vehicle - we have seen enough of those over the past week to create our own village called Robtopia, where I will be king, and it will be heavily protected, so nobody from anywhere can touch me....mwah ha ha ha.
Anyway - it seems that to make up for the lack of old forts, Udaipur instead has many gardens to visit, complete with musical fountains. An odd thing to have you may think, but they are indeed everywhere, ,and something we may be missing at home. To give you an idea of what they are like, , run the shower in your bathroom, splash the water around, and play some Beethoven, ,or even S Club 7 in the background. You needn't come all this way.All joking aside,it was so refreshing to wander through this gardens. The peace and quiet was greatly appreciated, and we were given the first real opportunity to sit under a tree, and think about the trip so far.
This having been done, ,we soon felt the urge to see what we had been waiting for, ,and what Billu promised - a puppet museum! They had them from all over the world, and did a little show for us. It was like we were in The Sound Of Music, but our Maria was a little Indian fella with no teeth - not a patch on Connie.
On from this we saw the Maharajas collection of classic cars. Not especially cultural, but the ticket offered a free drink, so we couldn't refuse. Some of them were incredibly old though, dating from as far back as even the 50s and 60s!!!
After a couple more gardens (and fountains), and an eerie trip to a graveyard full of monuments to the dead kings and princes, we headed to the pinnacle of the trip, up the mountain to the palace in Octop**** On the way we stopped in a village recreated for tourists and heard about how they lived blah blah blah. The only thing on our mind was Bond. That was why we were here now - give us 007.
What a s***hole it was. They had not kept the palace to any sort of standard making it almost unnrecognisable. Had we not watched the film last night, I would not have believed that they would have even filmed a Carry on Film here, let alone Bond. But there were some obvious locations you could not fail to match up, so they are not lying. More importantly, the view was breathtaking, and worth the windy drive up the mountain by rickshaw. You could see for miles and miles, and the lake was stunning. The many, , many pictures I took will not do it justice, (sorry for anyone who has to sit through them on my return), and it really had to be seen to be believed.
I sit now in an internet cafe, typing on a keyboard with no letters visible, presumably from over exuberant typists smashing away at the keys. Q, W, Z and X are all easily seen, but are no good to me! We have a couple more days here before we all move on. We hope to use them to kick back, relax, and prepare ourself for the nightmare that will be Mumbai.
(And make the most of a flushing toilet)
And seriously, Dan is now fine. It was nothing serious, and was kind of his own fault.
Not drinking enough water + 40 degree heat = headache. FACT