Fresh off our 17 hour, 944km train journey (which costs less than a Barnsley – Meadowhall return) we were greeted in Udaipur to a sign which read ‘Caire Rowley’ for our free tuk tuk to what would be our home for the next few days. Udaipur known as the ‘city of lakes’ lies in the Rajasthan, the largest state in India, referred to as ‘Land of the Kings’, it turns out every place in Rajhastan is known as something or another, Im thinking of applying to the Barnsley council to rename Barnsley ‘Land of teenage mothers & pound shops’.
Arriving at our hotel we checked in and headed for breakfast on our rooftop terrace which overlooked the other 5 star hotels and palaces in the area. Udaipur is also home to the Taj Lake Palace Hotel which is the setting to the 1983 Bond film, Octopussy. Unfortunately the hotel is closed to non residents, and at a cool £600 for the cheapest room we knew the best view we’d have would be from the outside.
After spending the morning looking around an Haveli (old Rajasthan courtyard house) which is home to the worlds largest Turban we enjoyed a boat ride around Lake Pichola to get a closer view at the famous hotel, as well as the city palace.
Just like the Redrow estate
Turbans in all shapes and sizes
Worlds largest turban on the worlds smallest head
A bit of disco action in the spare bedroom
They even had a lazy boy chair that Danny was envious of
Rajasthan puppet museum
Rajasthan is famous for miniature paintings, and these line all the streets
Ahoy there cap’n
Where the riverboat swayed beneath the sun- Udaipur’s lake shore
The view from our boat of the City Palace
Daylight robbery, Indias most expensive beer – 500 rupees (£5.80!!!!)- It lasted us over a hour, then it was too warm to drink
To be fair the view was pretty good
Palace by night
The scene of the crime, robbing gets
Shaken not stirred we emerged from the boat and managed to land some free passes to a concert which was being held in the City Palace, we think they needed a couple of foreign faces to make up the numbers. We were more than happy to take up the roll of’ token white folk’ and endure a couple of hours of tabla, sitar and crazy dancing.
Claire getting some tips for when she’s back in Bradford
Straight to Jail wannabees
The next day Danny persuaded Claire to start pulling her weight in the kitchen as he signed them both up to a cooking course. The cooking course was run by a lovely Indian lady called Shashi who unfortunately had her husband murdered, and due to her caste was unable to work, locked in the house with her 2 children and made to mourn alone in her house for the rest of her time. It was only when some travellers stumbled upon her by chance, they helped set up her kitchen, wrote up her recipes and now to this day Shashi teaches up to 20 people a day. Surprisingly as soon as Claire stepped in to the kitchen and donned her apron, she loved every minute of it, and within no time was offering to teach Shashi one of her favourite recipes, the famous corned beef pie, so if you ever see corned beef pie on the menu at your local curry house, now you know why.
Shashi – hardly Nigella Lawson
Chapatti making at its best
Next you add the corned beef, then stir
With Holi festival just around the corner we decided to head to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur (the pink city) where there would be an elephant festival the eve before the day of Holi. To those who haven’t seen An idiot abroad and don’t know what Holi is, it’s an excuse for Indian men to get high, throw paint on everybody and to have a subtle grope at the womens naughty parts. Having said that, it still looked like good fun (for Danny anyway) so we arrived in Jaipur in anticipation of the days ahead.
The pink city my arse, this place was an absolute shit hole, so things didn’t get off to the bestest start when we arrived at the Elephant festival to find that this year there was to be a twist, the festival would be elephantless. The festival instead consisted of a turban tying contest, foreigners v indian tug of war, and the parade of local tribes. The festival itself was actually ok, however the lack of elephants, and the reason we came to Jaipur in the first place put a bit of a downer on things.
Elephants this way
Indias answer to gay pride
Give us10 rupees, or a pen, or some sweeties will do?!?
Think he’d learnt a thing or two from Boothy’s Auntie Pearl
The traditional peacock woman minus the elephant
Waiting patiently for the elephants
Even the dog got bindi’d
Getting ready for the Holi celebration
Cow dung is sold to burn the night before Holi, Danny thought these were actually cow dung necklaces and was very very close to buying one and wearing around his neck, better luck next time!
The 27th had arrived and Holi was here. We’d been recommended a place we could play Holi hopefully grope free with indian families and tourists alike, so off we trotted along with Claire’s rape alarm, just in case…..
On the way to Holi
Below are a collection of Holi shots, its just like paintball without the gun
Everyone will be glad to know we managed to get through Holi grope free, although we did come close to a run in with a jeep full of drunk guys on the way back to the hotel, we had to give them the old one two and Usain Bolt back to the room. Back at the room we scrubbed like we’ve never scrubbed before, and Claire’s holi boobs were there for the following few days.
With 2 days left in Jaipur before our next train we decided to give the place another chance, unfortunately this just wasn’t a patch on the other places we’ve visited, the highlight of our day was a ride in the Chapatti Express.
The Jal mahal
The worlds biggest poppadom
The Pink Palace
Well it’s official Jaipur is an absolute pit, and probably one of the worst places we’d been on our trip. It’s the kind of place which makes Gibraltar look good, so on our last day we decided to visit the nearby Elefantastic. Elefantastic is home to rescued elephants, where they are looked after and are treated like family pets, here we were able to adopt an elephant for the day, wash, ride, play, and even paint her.
Claire and her new best friend
He was afraid at first
Reminds me of the time TP tried to climb over the fence
Probably one of the most uncomfortable things we’ve ever done
Vincent Van Gogh getting to work
The finished product
Expect to see these two in the West Upper next season
Finally we made out of Jaipur to Jodhpur, known as the blue city. Jodhpur is a million miles apart from Jaipur, small narrow alleys, lovely blue houses, and also the setting to the film The Darjeeling Limited, as well as some scenes from The Dark Knight Rises. We spent the next few days taking in all the normal sights, as well as zip lining around the Mehrangarh Fort like Eddie the Eagle in the 88 Olympics.
Just like Barnsley market
Omelette man, apparently this guy goes through 1,500 eggs a day
Not quite an easter egg, but it’s all we could get on Easter Sunday
Typical tourist with his audio guide
Taking Movember a little too far
The Blue City
Gnarly zip line shots
Peak flipped up ready for speed
The handbrakes where!?!?
First as always
While in Jodhpur Claire shared a bed with another man, and although he pissed the bed more than Danny did, she couldn’t hide her feelings for him and didn’t want to leave.
Claire & Brownie
After ticking the ancient towns of the list, it was time for Claire to play Rolf Harris and to spend some time with the animals. We headed to Jaisalmer for our camel safari in the desert as if it wasn’t hot enough already………
Our route on this post:
|1||Udaipur, India||March 23, 2013|
|2||Jaipur, India||March 26, 2013|
|3||Jodhpur, India||March 30, 2013|