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Udaipur part 1

not Used Diaper

sunny 34 °C

So on the plane I was sat next to this French girl and we yapped away.
She had a great life story and spent years living in Ghana, Eygpt, Dubai, GALWAY and somewhere else. She had come to India to visit her friend who'd worked with her in Ghana. Her chum had a super cushty job in Mumbai and they spent 1 week partying with the rich and famous there, and another week partying in Goa.
Hence Stephanie now had to fit the sights of Rajhastan into 1 week. he he. My hero!
So she had a driver for the week to cater for her every whim, drop her here, there and everywhere, and buy her smokes in the shop. Neat. Zipping around in an a/c car all week - refreshing!

Anywho, as I'm so awesome, she offered to give me a lift to my hotel in Udaipur, which I greatfully accepted! IT was Holi Festival in India today, which basically means all the Indians were acting like Irish people - getting drunk, singing and dancing. So all the taxi drivers at Udaipur airport seemed pretty langered! So I was delighted to see Stephanie's driver, Ram, was sober, clean shaven, polite and had his shirt tucked into his trousers. (This last fact really set him apart from the others). So we arranged to meet the next morning to utilise her driver to the full! In return, I'd buy her lunch or a boat ride or some such.

My hotel in Udaipur was pretty coool - the view from the roof was AMAZING. I could see the lakes of Udaipur and the glitzy lights of all the hotels on the lake, as well as Jadgish Temple illuminated by the moon. It was really impressive - I thought to myself.. YES INDIA - THIS IS WHAT AM TALKIN BOUT!




Next day, we literally drove around the corner to the temple (which wasn't open yet) so walked to the Palace (Which also wasn't open yet - they don't get up early in India that's for sure). So I showed Stephani the rooftop view from my gaff which was even better in the day time. You can see the mountains, lovely hotels, numerous boats out on the lake - it's my favourite place in India so far.
Finally we went to teh temple, where there were a few auld dears having a bit of a sing song pray. Was yapping to some mad artist outisde who was off to Glasgow next week (YEAH RIGHT! plus lol.. Glasgow is not in Ireland my dear).

Next up was the palace, which eh, we didn't need the car for again as it was right next door to the temple. haha. The palace was pretty awesome - the inside had lots of marbled tiles, beautiful mirrored mosaic tiles, little rooms done up to look how they would have done in the olden days. The Maharaja's room was fierce fancy, although his bed was tinchy - I'd say he was very short. There were weighing scales in his room too - apparently he was weighed every year and his weight in gold was distributed to the people. Tres fancy, but we couldn't take photos as we hadn't paid in for our cameras. (To get your camera in anywhere in India you have to pay 100 rupees for it, sometimes it's more than the cost of a foreignor! It's a bit much to be honest). Anyways we took a few sneaky ones with our iphones. The courtyard outside was lovely aswell.




After the palace Ram the driver brought us to this block printing place where we saw yer man doing some elephant block prints which were cool, and loads of gorgeous fabrics.





Then we went to the market to buy STephani some spices. So there we were minding our own business, when this auld lad with a security officer uniform on comes up behind me and whacks me on the back and started asking me what I wanted in a rather agressive tone!! eh... here's me ''nothing...just buying some spices''... I didn't want to be rude in case he was a real officer but the chilli seller told him to get lost so I felt a bit better knowing he was just another weirdo and that I wasn't under suspicion of chilli theft. He kept poking me and Stephani though so we had to get ruder and shout at him to get lost. STOP POKING US YOU NUT!!

(As I write this two auld lads are slurping chai loudly behind me while one other guy makes duck noises and does impressions of Americans outside the door).

After the market we did a half ass boat ride on the lake. It was only half an hour long and didn't stop at the fancy island in the middle of the lake. I was disappointed as thought we'd get to land on Jagmandir Island - the glitzy one lit up at night.




After this full day of activity (it was only 4.30pm) we dcided to go for beer. Steph asked her driver to drop us off at my rooftop beer garden and come back for her for a few hours. Ram was not really into this request as it meant him waiting about for 3 hours for her, but that was what she was feckin payin him for! He kept telling her to walk home after as it was only five minutes away. But fair play to her she put her foot down and said no, that it would be dark and she didn't know where she was going.

sidenote: (Udaipur and the Lal Ghat area is like a maze anyways and there don't seem to be any city maps available in the whole of India, plus the street names are written in Hindi - I got lost in Udaipur's back streets for an hour and a half whilest there, just trotting in and out of people's homes and back alleyways.)

So poor auld Ram was sent packing while we sipped beer on the rooftop, watching the sunset and generally yapping away like old chums. (I really hit the jackpot with chums in Udaipur - 5/5 for awesome people!)





AFter beers I was sad to have to say Au Revor to Stephani, she made an awesome travel buddy and had a right good attitude! But she had a tight schedule, weaker lungs and a much bigger budget than me so I bid her Safe onward travels.

Posted by squeakylee 01:39 Archived in India Tagged market udaipur driver Comments (0)

Udaipur - part 2

sunny 33 °C

So the next day I decided to do another boat ride - one that stopped at the fancy island! Plus I love boat rides! This one was much better and stopped at Jagmandir hotel, which was very impressive and tres expensive.










I did bog all after that but read Shantaram on the hotel rooftop in the sun.

Later I decided to go check out the Bond Movie Octopussy at this restaurant Ozen.
(Some of Octopussy was filmed in Udaipur.) This restaurant was awesome, with 4 floors in it, the 4th floor had 1 table outside and a great view of the city. Udaipur from above looks like pieces of lego just higgedly piggedly plopped on top of each other. The winde was in my hair, the view was amazing, the beer was supremely cold, the monkeys were calm beside me and everything was just dandy.



I felt really at ease in Udaipur! After my shit sleeper train from Goa to Mumbai last week, and then all the bad events that have occurred concerning tourists in India the last couple of weeks, I have felt a bit uneasy in my general daily activities of late.
Just that feeling of having to look after yourself, not trust anyone too much, not get into long conversations with young fellows, put your chair against your hotel door at night and a general feeling of having to be wary all the time. It's a bit tiring. But here in Udaipur, I felt grand. Maybe I've gotten into the swing of things, maybe I've gotten a bit tougher, maybe I'm used to the madness, or maybe my great day with Stephanie helped me out somewhat. It was awesome to hang out with someone about my own age, who was hilarious, who I just clicked with and who I had a lot in common with. :)

People said to me before I left, that I would meet LOADS OF PEOPLE in India. Well up til now, that hasn't been necessarily true. I didn't meet a hell of a lot of people down in South India. You do meet a lot of people in the North alright, but they might not speak the same language, might not want to meet other travellers (ruining their experience of 'Real India'), they might be leaving just as you're arriving or arriving just as you're leaving! Or if you do manage to spend a good evening together, then they usually go and get sick for 2 days afterwards and are confined to the potty area. :D

I've met no Irish people at all and most Indians I chat to say they don't get many Irish. They must be all off in Thailand, Oz and London cos there's SFA Irish in India.

Anywho, back to my awesome reverie on the rooftop... As I was pondering how beautiful and awesome Udaipur was and how I was so brave and proud of myself for doing this trip in India, and how I'm not too bothered about sitting up here on my todd, up the stairs comes a lovely couple from Oz.
''Join me for a beer'', I says .
'We will'', they says and up they come. And so began another awesome yet fleeting relationship with two more fantastic people - Jeff and Maree. They were great craic and I felt like I'd known them for yonks. They spoke 90 miles an hour, like meself, and had a great sense of humour and got the general basics of sarcasm and taking the piss. (WAHEY!). So we were chatting away and they mentioned they were herer for Marie's sister in laws wedding in India and Maree had to wear a Sari and Jeff a Turban! Then they said they were joining a trip in Delhi in a couple of weeks!

(Now I don't know if I mentioned that I had booked another trip in this blog yet but I did. When I was in Mumbai, with my general feeling of unease after the sleeper train, and the fact that I was spending my nights in Mumbai in my hotel room on my own with donuts, I had a quick look at more trips online and decided to sign up to a G adventures tour from Delhi to Kathmandu. This trip covered Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, (all the places I didn't particularly want to visit on my own) and continued on up into Nepal afterwards. I booked it pretty much straight away. It would have 15 other people on it aswell and I thought some of those people might be my age/normal/fun/speak english! :D

Doing India on your own as a girl is a bit tough in my own opinion. Many people have expressed surprise when I said I was travelling alone and most blokes said they wouldn't do it as a girl. But they're just pansys. ;) However having done a few weeks without the security blankets that were John and Corey, I kinda knew what they meant. I'm sure it's a lot easier if you're a bloke! But let me say that I am having an awesome time here and although some bits of the stareyness and attention are annoying, most people are just nosey and very friendly! :) I currently love India. )

So back to Jeff and Maree who had mentioned they were starting a trip in Delhi in a few weeks. When they said it was with G Adventures, I gasped! When they said it started on 15th April, I gasped again!! When they said it was Delhi to Kathmandu, I went NO WAY!! ME TOO! Ohh huzzah! There was much joyous rapture at having met some awesome people who I would actually get to spend more time with. :D ( Jeff works for STA travel and was recently awarded 2nd best manager in the WORLD, and MAree quit her job like meself, to go adventuring.)

After much yapping, we decided to watch the movie downstairs - which was actually The Best Exotic MArigold Hotel - some of which was also filmed in Udaipur. They invited me out for Jeff's birthday the next day and well I was delighted!! However, in true India style, they got Delhi Belly and were laid up in bed for the next two days! I haven't seen them since. :D LOLZ

Posted by squeakylee 02:23 Archived in India Tagged hotel g adventures udaipur marigold Comments (0)

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.








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




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).


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!



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


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

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 Comments (0)

Udaipur - part 4

The Lone Ranger

sunny 36 °C

So yesterday I went up to see the city in a cable car and got a henna tattoo, then met the NZ ladies later that night to watch Octopussy (my third attempt). However the restaurant was showing Marigold hotel again. LOL. Good day all the same and great chats with the NZ ladies.


So today I went horse riding. Some nut job on a motor cycle arrived at my hotel, said ''horse riding lisa'' and then off we went on the back of his motorcycle into the countryside. It was one of those moments when I thought to myself 'i wonder is this safe, heading off into the countryside on a motor bike with some dude'.. but the motor cycle ride was cool and we were passing signs that said ''Krishna Ranch'', which was were I was supposed to be heading.

So got to the ranch and once again, I was the only tourist in town. LOLZ. So yer man saddled up the horses and off me and my nut job of a guide went horse riding around Pushkar. We trotted through small villages and past lovely fields full of corn, aubergine, rice etc. Everyone was shouting hullo and waving and it was all lovely and peaceful.
Then I got chased up the road by some buffalo which was hilarious. Turns out buffalo don't like horses. I had no control over my horse and was just being bopped up and down by her as she did what she wanted. She seemed to know what she was doing - e.g when to run up a hill without warning, when to run away from buffalo without warning, and when to run down the road without warning. SO I just clung on and lolled my head off. Everytime I asked my guide any questions, he'd reply to me but face forward, so I couldn't hear a word he said. Then he'd turn back around to me and say 'you understand?'.. I was like.. 'eh yeah yeah great stuff'.. hahahhaha

After the ride, it was me, myself and I only for lunch as there were no other foreigners around. His wife had whipped up a feast for about 20 people!! I ate as much as I could muster so as not to seem ungreatful and then tried to keep it down on the jostly but scenic motorbike ride back to the town.

All in all, horse riding was hilarious fun but probably would have been better craic with a few more people at it. :D


So after horse riding, I went to see the NZ ladies. We were all due to go to Jodhpur on the bus, but alas, they too had been struck down by illness and spent the night vomiting. So I bought them some fizzy pop and crisps and headed off to the bus station on my todd!

Posted by squeakylee 16:59 Archived in India Tagged horse udaipur riding Comments (0)

On the road to Jodhpur

sunny 35 °C

So as the two NZ ladies were ill, I headed off to Jodhpur bus station on my todd. At the bus station I met a fantastic girl called Ice Smith from the Phillipines! (She had a son called Vodka too!)
She was great craic and I found her attitude towards India hilarious, I think she had sheltered in her hotel room the last couple of days to get away from it all. :D She is going to name her daughter Ireland. (After me! ;) )
At the bus stop, along came another lovely lady called Marion from German. So the three of us yapped away until the time came to get the bus. This was actually an hour later than we were told it would be.
Me: ''Is there a 4pm bus?''
Indian: ''Yes yes of course there is.'
but there wasn't!
The bus didn't even come near the station, we had to follow a local fella 5 minutes down a busy main road to get on it.
The three of us were sat down the back. 2 young locals got on in front of us and I could just tell they were going to be
trouble. The whiff of gargle off them!!
The bus 'conductor' came down and told us ladies that we could sit up front, but at the time we thought we would be ok and wanted to avoid the 2 local lads who were up a bit in front of us. However, as soon as the bus started, I knew if I stayed down the back, I would barf everywhere. The roads were so bad, the bus was getting battered around. We were being flung round the back of the bus.
I think the conductor dude was actually looking out for us and advising us to move away from the 2 little guys, so myself and Ice took his advice and moved up to the front. We were only going as far as Jodhpur, but Marion was going to Jaisalmer and had a sleeper bunk booked so stayed down the back in her bunk.

So then on get these two English lads.. Timmy (25, Lazy ;), funny, thinks he looks like Colin Farrell, Farreller is his hero) and Cecil * (22, lovely lad but complete and utter stoner, smoked beedies, chillums and fags noooonnnnn stop all the livelong day, never knew where he was or where we were going etc lol. Nice guy - just ourrrovittt).

So anyways off we go, the bus is barrelling along the road, overtaking large trucks on bends, in the dark, on the side of a mountain - you know - the usual Asian style bus trip! Marion is up in her bunk minding her own business, when the little local lad starts asking her if he can come up to her bunk!! He kept pointing at her and then back to him saying ''me come up? me come up?''... Marion was like 'eh noooo, no no no no no.. HELLPPPPP''. So Cecil the hero/loonatic gentleman comes along and tells yer man to bog off away from his 'wife'. :D Then just when Marion is feeling safe, Cecil asks her if she would like to ''fool around for a while''.. bwaahahahhahhaahha
Marion got sufficiently freaked out up there and came to join me and Ice up front. :D

Meanwhile the bus ride is getting worse. there is no suspension at all and we're all getting thrown around the place like loose spuds in a washing machine. We were just about hitting our heads off the bus ceiling every few minutes.

So we stop for a quick chai stop and when the bus starts again, Cecil notices that his moneybelt with his cash and cards has gone missing!!
So he starts to raise a bit of a fuss about it and search around his bunk and Timmy's bunk and under the seats. He informs the bus conductor and asks everyone around to look under their seats etc.. including the 2 local lads, but it's nowhere to be seen. ( I was sure it would just appear as I thought he was just stoned and had misplaced it).
So 5 minutes later, we're all still looking. Every Indian on the bus has joined in now as they love to have a nosy into what's going on. Cecil begins to think it might have been the Chai Guy who got on the bus when we stopped, but we had bought chai off him and hadn't seen any belts or bags on him. So as more and more fuss is being made, suddenly the little local lad tells Cecil to check his chair area again (the local lad's chair) and lo and behold, there's the wallet down the side of his chair. Hadn't he only gone and whipped it off Cecil when Cecil took out a few bob to pay for Chai.
Now it's as plain as day to all on the bus that this young fecker took it. But fair play to Cecil, he avoided what could have been a big confrontational situation / row and thanked the little loonatic Indian for finding it! Then they end up hugging!! 2 feckin loonatics together. LOL

After this, the bus settled down and on we rattled for another few hours. The 2 UK lads and Marion decide they can't take any more of this bumpy bus full of loonatics and they decide to join me and get off at Jodhpur for the night.
Seeing as how the two NZ girls are not coming to our hostel anymore, I assumed that their room would be going spare in Jodhpur and invited the three lads along with me.
Sop we tuk tuked it to the guest house and it turns out that the two NZ girls had cancelled their room. The owner, while very nice, didn't seem to want to take us in, even though it was midnight, we were quiet and knackered, and he had rooms. It took a bit of sweet talking and apologising from me to get the others into a room there. sheesh! Someone who doesn't want our business in India. Weird!!

  • names have been changed.. :D

Posted by squeakylee 12:08 Archived in India Tagged bus jodhpur madness journey Comments (0)

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