Friday, May 13, 2011

Week Twenty-One Daily Journal

Friday, February 18
Jaisameler, India

Great marketing outside
Jaisalmer Fort

After watching the sun rise we headed back to camp, had some cold toast, and then drove into Jaisalmer and  checked into our hotel, the Royale. We spent the day at the fort (see post, Maharajas and Me - Jaisalmer) and then drove to the Jaisameler Camel Festival, an annual three day celebration. It was a fun evening (see post, Jaisalmer Desert Festival). We stopped at an all you can eat thali place for dinner.

Saturday, February 19
Jodphur, India

Fun times on a sand dune

First thing in the morning Dave went to a barber for a haircut and shave- he is looking especially Indian now. Then we went to Kerala Ayudaveric for massages. We drove to Jodpur, stopping at the same place for lunch as we had on our way to Jaisameler, and then to climb up a sand dune. When we arrived in Jodphur we went to an antiques and textile store that was literally overflowing with beautiful things. Apparently (they had magazine clippings to prove it) Richard Gere recently spent thousands of dollars on blankets and throws. We couldn't commit. We checked into our hotel, Krishna Prakadesh Heritage Haveli, an old haveli in the middle of the old city full of nooks and crannys and all beautifully painted. We had dinner at the rooftop restaurant.

Sunday, February 20
Jodphur, India

The door to our hotel room.  Fancy.

We had a totally pathetic breakfast buffet and then Pappu drove us to the Mehrangarh Fort, which had a fabulous audio tour. Next we went to Jaswant Thara, a white marble memorial to one of the Maharajas. (See post, Maharajas & Me - Jodphur).  Pappu took us to lunch at On the Rocks. We went to a spice shop and picked up a variety pack of Indian spices and then walked through the old city and the bazaars and had a juice and a lassi. We stopped at Gucci Internet, had dinner at the hotel, and then went back to the Internet (addict) while J went to bed.

Monday, February 21
Pushkar, India

This is sort of like crawling around at the Rat Temple. Gross.
We drove to Pushkar after breakfast, and checked into the New Park Hotel. After a little relaxing we walked into town and went down to the lake to watch people praying and bathing in the ghats. We walked around the town slightly nervously as both Pappu and the man at the hotel had warned us of all the people who are cheating the tourists and drugging them, and warned us not to tell anyone where we stayed or their (Pappu and hotel guy) name. A few men and boys stopped us along the way trying to give us "sacred flowers" to drop in the lake; apparently they then ask for lots of money. Pushkar is full of westerner hippies who apparently come here and stay; I've never seen a greater collection of Ali Babas (harem pants) in my life. After watching sunset over the lake we went to Little Italy for some much needed pizza and pasta. (See post, 52 Ghats on the Side of the Lake).

Tuesday, February 22
Pushkar, India

This morning we hiked up to Savitri Temple, overlooking the lake and dedicated to Savriti, Brahma's first wife. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the top and we passed lots of monkeys with babies as we climbed the rocky steps to the temple. (See post, A Goddess Scorned).  Next we visited the Brahma temple and then one other temple before returning to the hotel for lunch. Later in the afternoon we walked into town and sat at Sanjay Terrace Restaurant and had some tea with a nice view of the lake, and then went to Om Shiva for dinner.

Wednesday, February 23
Pushkar and Udaipur, India

Happy birthday J! We hit the road early in the morning to make the long drive to Udaipur, stopping for chai at a roadside restaurant and then at another restaurant for lunch (where we drank Kingfisher Blue, which was malt liquor and all that they had (and was gross)). We also stopped at a 7th century temple that was intricately carved with gods and goddesses and scenes from the Kama Sutra. An old man attached himself as our guide and pointed everything out:"two gents one lady. One lady two gents. Two gents two ladies.". Etc. (See post, Two Ladies One Gent). When we arrived in Udaipur we dropped off our laundry and checked into the Trident, a fancy hotel birthday present! We relaxed and enjoyed the chocolate birthday cake that the hotel sent us and then later went to dinner at Ambrai, a gorgeous restaurant right on the lake.

Thursday, February 24
Udaipur, India

Pappu picked us up after breakfast and took us shopping. We bought a miniature painting and checked out the textiles and tailor but weren't exactly confident enough of the tailor to go for a custom-made dress. We got some take out lunch and then relaxed back at the hotel. Jen, Erica and Russ arrived in Udaipur (yay!) and we met them for dinner.

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