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Anita and Bernie’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 21 Nov 2007

Location: Jaipur, India

MapHi everyone - we are in a luxury hotel in Jaipur and so they have internet access (no seedy alleyways for us!)
We left Mt Abu at 6 a.m and travelled to Udaipur. Well - travelled is not quite the right word to use. We were 'off road' in a coach on the main highway. Yes - dirt tracks for a lot of the time. They are building a 4 lane highway to link Mumbai to Delhi but it will take another 5 years to complete. They have a very wierd way of road building - one small strech is completed (a few miles at a time) and then you go onto dirt track before you arrive at the next completed section which is not fully open. They are building the road with very little equipment - what we saw was bare hands being used! Needless to say the journey was very long and bumpy.
Udapur was lovely. The hotel was overlooking the lake and was very romantic with stunning views. We had a room with a view to die for!Unfortunately I developed a migraine in the evening and could not enjoy the true atmosphere. People were really tired from so much travelling and mostly had room service for their dinner.
The next day we drove to Pushkar. Once a year they have a well known camel fair in the town, and you've guessed it, this week was the yearly camel fair. 50,000 camels stretching into the distance with horses for sell as well. It was a spectacular sight. There were snake charmers there with snakes wriggling all over the place. We spent two hours wandering around the fair and even tasted camel milk ice-cream! Yum. They were selling dried up camel dung for their fires and the smell in the air was very aromatic. The area is very devout Hindi so they are strict vegetarians with no eggs, meat and worse of all no alcohol available. We had lovely Indian vegetarian meals and did not miss meat at all but I did miss my rum and coke in the evening. Bernie could not eat lunch or dinner as he was suffering from severe travel sickness and went to bed early.
The next day we left at 7 am to drive to Jaipur which is where this blog is coming from. Bernie felt better on the trip and even managed to sleep a bit. The highlight of Jaipur was a ride on an elephant. We were meant to ride the elephant up to the Amber Fort but they now have restrictions on how often an elephant can do the trip so we went up by jeep instead. When we got into town we then were taken around the town ontop of an elephant. It was great fun. Unfortunately Bernie had another bout of severe travel sickness and when we stopped to visit yet another temple he promptly threw up all over the place. I was very worried because he was 'out of it' for a few minutes and everybody on the coach decided that they would miss seeing the temple and get Bernie back to the hotel asap so that he could see a doctor. Thankfully it was nothing to do with his old problem and was diagnosed as severe motion sickness. The doctor gave him a thorough examination and has prescribed 4 lots of medication to take for 3 days. I think we can honestly say we are looking forward to leaving the bus behind us and enjoy 8 days relaxing in Goa. All our group have been really helpful and considerate.
India is a land of extreems. We have seen palacial palaces as well as extreem poverty. Everywhere we go we have children running up to ask begging, not for money, but for shampoo. They are usually very dirty and their clothes are in rags. Most people now take the shampoos etc from the hotel to give to them. A lot of people are sleeping in makeshift tents in the cities as well as out in the countryside. The tents are made out of straw or rags or plastic bags. Their infra structure is seriously not supporting the needy or lower caste people. We feel uncomfortable staying in luxury surroundings after seeing such poverty during the day but it is up to their government to sort this problem out.
Tomorrow we have our last long journey to Agra to see the Tah Mahal. I hope the medicines start working for Bernie but I will be taking plenty of plastic bags with me just in case. Well I left Bernie upstairs watching TV and drinking his rehydration drink so I better sigh off and check he is ok. I had a lovely chicken burger and chips for dinner that I ordered off room service and it was delicious!!