Both up on time today !!!
Usual omelette breakfast then out with a driver today. Off to the Golconda Fort in a very relaxed and insulated journey, through the madness that is Hyderabad rush hour. Rush hour appears to run from 6 Am until 11:59 and then starts again at 12 and runs through to 10PM.
Very interesting fort dating from the 16th C with inner and outer walls and intriguing water pumping and storage systems. Of course by the time we are there its the hottest part of the day to attempt to walk up a mountain, but hey ho boys melting on holiday. We made it the top past both Mosques and Hindu temples plus our usual adoring fan club with many stops for selfies and family group shots, and then back down again while consuming some 2L of hot water. This time we really pushed the boat out and had a guide so there was the usual jocularity over the fee when we returned to the bottom.
Back in the taxi with Abdullah the talking taxi driver, who I am sure pointed many wonderful sights but couldn't understand more than one in five words, but everything was 'easy'. Of the seven tombs of the Qutub Shahi dynasty which being Friday is closed, however as in a lot of India the term open and closed is a fluid one. Abdullah dutifully stopped the car and we paid the entrance fee for the car and us streams of other cars and vehicles merrily piled on through. Had a good wander around the tombs which where interesting along with the ancient watering system which was originally driven by bullocks. This is now all being excavated and restored, when its all done I am sure it will look very impressive.
Back in the car and off for lunch 'somewhere close by', 45 minutes later we arrive for lunch at another Paradise restaurant. Re-fuelled up with Biryani (rob now fully onto meat) and back off to the Charminar, which now, thanks to Abdullah, we know means 4 gates. Wandering around the markets looking at the interesting water cannon and riot wagons.
Rob has developed a new tactic to ward off the enthusiastic attentions of the market and shop sellers, he walks up and says 'good afternoon' shakes them by the hand and walks on. This completely knocks them off track and they cant help but smile and say good afternoon back and then sit down. Unfortunately this new method backfired badly with the street urchin sellers who found it highly amusing and followed us around demanding a continuous flow of hand shakes. We had one particularly virulent lad, who appeared to be selling string and pyjama cords, when he tripped over a step I thought we had lost him. However when I turned around and saw him looking forlornly at his worldly goods scattered across the market floor I had to go back and help him recover his stock. Once recovered he smiled and then continued to dog us, he eventually disappeared as we may have left his patch or walked past two coppers.
After some haggling from 750R down to 600R I now am the proud owner of a very stylish Indian shirt with bright and sparkly buttons and a lovely pattern down the front. I am sure the girls will be pleased when I wear it to meet them at the airport.
Another litre of water and off back to the hotel for a shower and change of shirt.
For our last night in Hyderabad we decide to go back to the ITC hotel across the road. When I say across the road I mean across the 6 lanes (each way, and each way is always a fluid concept as there is always a steady stream of Put Puts and scooters going the wrong way down the carriages) but again we crossed like a couple of locals with the usual tooting of horns and more in danger of walking into oncoming pedestrians than cars, busses, Tut Tuts and of course highly painted 8 wheeler truck with at least one drum brake working.
Another superb meal, this time in the K&K a couple of beers an off to bed to watch the end of another thrilling IPL match.
A quiet day in the life of two young explorers. (who took two days to find the hotel bar).