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rglongpre’s Travel Diary

Friday, 25 Jan 2008

Location: Jaipur, India

MapWell, it took a while for our driver to find his way out of the city. I decided that today would be our day to take a lot of “en route” photos while we were travellin. It helped that for the most of the time, we were on back roads going around detours and adding at least an extra fifty kilometres to our journey. We missed the main highway out of Jodhpur and didn’t meet it until about 100 kilometres out of Jaipur. Needless to say we saw quite a few interesting things along the way including two instances where trucks had wiped out on the sides of the roads against cement barriers. The roads were filled with every kind of transportation imaginable from donkeys and oxen to camels and horses, bikes, carts, cars, jeeps and more trucks than one would have imagined possible. We also passed about a half dozen military convoys during our drive. Eventually we reached Jaipur and found our hotel. It looks like our driver is more familiar with this city.

We took a few minutes to prepare before setting out with our new guide for a quick walking tour of the old city. We thought that other places were chaotic but this place was even more so with heavy, heavy traffic of all kinds. Walking was a dangerous activity. Pink is definitely a word that would describe this city. Apparently all the buildings that front the main roads within the old city are required to be painted pink as well as the walls that enclose this central part of the city. Like other cities, this area was jam-packed with markets and people. Unlike other cities, this area had wide streets which were all straight following a planned grid going north-south and east-west with gates through the city walls at the central points of the main roads that divided the inner city into four even sectors. When or tour was done, we headed back to our lodgings, the General's Retreat, a family mansion that has opened up a number of its rooms for the use of tourists. We were able to meet the current owner, a Mr. Singh, an elderly man who was the son of the general who originally had this mansion built.

On our own, we set out for a park that was about one and a half kilometres from our hotel following a small city map we got from our bread and breakfast, and enjoyed some quiet in the park while we walked around. A few interesting photos walking to the park and in the park were added to the collection. Back at the hotel, the wedding was in full swing with the music blasting just outside our window. It looks like it will be a noisy and long evening. Supper was okay but the Internet attempt was a bust. We will look for an Internet cyber café tomorrow afternoon. We did learn about a concert the next day as well as a polo competition that was to be held in the same park area that we visited in the afternoon. We had something to look forward to after our elephant ride.