A Travellerspoint blog

Udaipur - part 3

I know I keep dividing places into bits but I feel it's easier on the eyes for my fans, rather than reems and reems on the one page

sunny 34 °C

So Jeff and Maree were sick, I'd cancelled my cookery class to hang with them so had no big plans for the day. So I rambled around what seemed like the whole of Udaipur for an hour and a half looking for a horse riding safari company. Going for a walk in towns in India is not easy. Every metre contains a few obstacles - bumps in the road, cows, motorbikes everywhere, tuk tuk drivers slowing down to offer you a lift (who can't understand the fact that you actually like to walk around in the heat), people selling stuff, shop staff inviting you in, lads asking you where you're from and where you're off to etc.

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In general walking 500 metres takes about 15 minutes. What with my lack of Hindi and therefore inability to read road signs I didn't hold out much hope of finding this company but was determined! After about 2 hours, I found it and discovered that the horse safari had just left but wouldn't have been suitable for me as I'm only a beginner. Oh well. So I decided to get in a bit of trekking practise for Nepal and climb up a big mountain (hill?) nearby.
So I got a tuk tuk dude to drop me to the bottom of the foot of the mountain/hill that Monsoon Palace was on and I decided to hike up the 5k to the top, by myself, in the midday heat. :D I likes a challenge. The area is actually a wildlife sanctuary so you have to pay in for the privilege of walking/driving up to the top. (Camera costs extra!) As I started off, I nearrrrrly chickened out and went back after about 10 minutes of walking uphill in the heat. BUT I was super determined and had a renewed sense of bravery and optimism and belief in myself, so off I went. There were plenty of people going up and down the mountain, but they were not walking! They zoomed by in trucks, taxis and motorbikes and waved out the window at me. :D

Well it was great fun, it wasn't easy but it felt great to be getting a bit of sweaty exercise. I did get a bit worried when I saw the
WILD ANIMAL ACCIDENT PRONE ZONE sign,

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and kept peeping over my shoulder looking for tigers at the sound of any twig breaking, but there was nothing around. Near the top I was fading a bit and a car with some lovely ladies in it, asked me would I like a ride, but I'd gotten that far and was determined to get to the top by myself.

Wellll it was worth it. The view was amazing. I could see the two big lakes and whole of Udaipur. I was very impressed with the view and myself. I felt like Rocky! YEARRRRHH. There was a gang of Indian lads there who were very impressed by my 'energy and athletics' and the fact that I had came up here ''on my feet''. (I don't think they're into their sport or exercise much here).

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So after basking in my own sense of awesomeness (something I've been doing a lot lately) I decided I better go back down again. I literally skipped down with joy (Not hearing the motorbikes full of lads freewheeling down past me and getting stung rapid).
AFter a quick rip off by my tuk tuk driver, I showered and headed out to try to catch Octopussy. (Didn't get to see it yesterday). So went to Ozen with the big screen and met two lovely UK girls and stayed out for as much as the movie as I could before having to throw in the towel and go to bed!

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So the next day in Udaipur, I had signed up to Shashi's cookery class, which was literally on my doorstep. I squeezed into the tiny kitchen area and met Shashi and 4 other hungry applicants. Shashi was in the middle of them all telling them her life story.
She lost her husband when her kids were very young and after he died, she wasn't allowed outside of her room for 24 hours. Then she was not allowed outside the house for 45 days!!! During this time she wasn't allowed to work, and was visited by a constant stream of mourning ladies. One would come along, cry at her house for a few hours, then she would leave and another woman would come along and cry.
After a while, she was allowed to cook for their rooftop restaurant that her husband had run. An Irish guy (WAHEY) came to their restaurant, and liked her food so much, that he came back every day morning, noon and night. He mentioned to her son who was waiting tables, that Shashi was such a good cook, she should open cookery classes! And so the idea was borne!
At first she thought it would be too difficult, as she couldn't speak English and had no schooling. But after a bit of convincing from the Irish guy and her son, she decided to give it a try.

At her first class, she had two Ozzies, and she was so nervous and had such shaky hands, she dropped her chai. The Ozzie lasses told her to calm down and just cook. Then they wrote out the instructions/menus for her in English so she had them for next class. Her next custoers were French girls, who wrote out the instructions in French for her and on it went. So now, she's the number 1 thing to do in Udaipur (According to some guide book), ahead of the city palace! :D

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So on we got with the cooking. We started with making proper chai! Boiled milk, water, spices, tea and sugar! nommm. Then she showed us how to make pakoras, paranthas, masala sauce (the basis for every other sauce), paneer (that chewy cheesey stuff), paneer and spinach, aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower), veg pulao, tomato and cheese naan bread, sweet chapatis and lots of other stuff too. (cross your fingers you get an invite to my Indian themed dinner night!) We were stuffed! All the food was delicious and reallllllly unhealthy. :D
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So at the cookery class were these two lovely ladies from NZ. We decided to hook up later and they regaled me with horror stories of trekking in NZ and in Nepal. Think Machete-wielding maniacs and leeches!! These gals were great fun - we went to see a Rajhastani Folk dance, with women balancing pots on their heads and then went for a beer on the rooftop. 8637534484_5e0d7355ec.jpg8637535000_c1fed4a9aa.jpg

Posted by squeakylee 03:19 Archived in India

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