Woke at 05:30 and started blog, this is due to the continuous and constant thump of firework thunderclap fireworks. Early into breakfast and away to Udaipur. Another 6 hours of travel with Mr Singh.
He has a surprise for us to visit the largest Buddhist temple in Rajashstan.
After 3 hours of travel, having got lost 3 times, we wondered why Mr Singh actually put his foot to metal despite the roads being nothing more than dirt tracks. The reason we found out was Mr Singh through one of his relatives had arranged an early morning visit to a Dura Dura store, apparently run by his “friend”. This was despite the fact we told him we had all shopped out yesterday, with No backhanded commissions being paid to Mr Singh. So this was karma. A dura dura rug was mage with camel, goat, and sheep wool, and was very hard wearing as well as being double sided it could be used outside. A young spiritedly 40 looking 60 year old demonstrated the art of weaving as well as acting as the salesmen, in reasonable English. Despite his best efforts we were in no mood for buying and tipped the gentlemen for his efforts.
We thought this would be our troubles over and no they were about to begin. The gents toilets were disgusting and the ladies intertolerable with Alison unable to go in case she fell in.
Mr Singh after deciding that tourist guides earn far more than drivers through he could manage the role at the Jaian temple. It seems to be a Hindi based religion, but unlike the Hindi’s, they love the tourist income but do not want to share their sacred place with anyone. Things started badly when due to Diwali the temple was swamped with eager Jainan’s wanting to praise their gods. This lead to queues one to get a ticket for enter and the other to give the first ticket to get a second ticket for enter. Both queues a mile long. Also payment was required for a camera, which I duly made. We headed up the steps to the temple, only to be refused entry because of our shorts and we might show our knees. So Colin and I headed back to car to get some long trousers on and the girls wrapped their legs with saris.it is ironic that we are able to strip off to our underwire in the car park and yet show our knees in the temple is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately Colin could not get to his bag, so he slipped on Zoe’s leggings under his shorts. Colin also had to remove his leather belt as it would offend their religion, although leather wallets were acceptable, if full of cash. This simple story demonstrates the equal yet opposite extremes that India is. So having all got changed and confirmed that we were now Ok to enter we started up the steps.
However on getting to the enter the girls were refused as their their wraps were see though and further they were all charged 100 rupees as their phones had a camera. This we thought was the last straw and Alison! Colin and Zoe sent me in to take photographs. Now I had not said but Mr Singh had purchased 4 sets of audio equipment for the visit. Once inside I found that my unit would not work and further I was followed by security, with a video camera filming my every move and also taking videos of what photographs of what I had taken.
Now this was a challenge. I was running around photographing every thing I could with this guard following me filming everything I did and what I had photographed.
After the quickest of visits I headed back out to those waiting and he headed back to car park, remembering to collect Mr Singh’s ID which was used to hold as a deposit against the defective headsets.
The short time upset Mr Singh because he did not have time to receive his free breakfast and he had to stop a cafe apparently run by nuns selling nick naps. Alison and Zoe contributed to their funds by buying more Christmas gifts and got a special third eye applied to their foreheads.
We all left the temple being short changed and in need of toilet for pee pee.
The next three hours on the way to Udaipur were mainly in silent with me sitting in the front capturing the rural scene as we passed on by.
However on arrival to Taj, an almost brand new 5* hotel run by the Taj group Aravali Resort and Spa, we truly had found paradise. With restaurants, spas with specific routines to clear all and every orifice!!!!, a gym, squash courts, badminton court, five a side football, paint balling and even a virtual golf centre.
The hotel and rooms were high in their standard and quality, apart from our toilet that was leaking and the house team decided to repair whilst I was in the shower next to the frosted glass toilet.
We played badminton with Zoe becoming the overall Champion as we headed sweatedly back to our rooms for our evening meal.
They have 5 different restaurants and we chosen the grill and had salmon mains with Colin opting for lamb.
It was so great to eat plain food, Indian food is a culinary experience on tongue and stomach, but how great is standard food.
We headed back for a perfect sleep after no sleep for Dawali, the sound to heard was Alison drinking the gaviscon to calm her heartburn. So ends another day paradise.