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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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

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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)

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