Udaipur – Ahmedabad, India

The travel day that didn’t end began with a hilarious bus journey. Dirty feet everywhere. People climbing over each other (literally – we’re talking feet on faces). One man had a wee out of the window while the bus was moving. Jess and I shared a cage (they’d run out of seats) and we spent most of the journey (hours and HOURS) trying to hide away from pervy stares with a tatty old bit of curtain that didn’t close. All part of the adventure!
We arrived in Ahmedabad (still can’t pronounce it) at some point in the blistering heat of the day. And dragged our exhausted, bus-whipped bodies to the Kochrab Ashram to have a look at where Gandhi lived and preached. To be honest, I was too bloody hot to care.
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Before bracing the overnight train, we spent a few hours chilling at the hotel and trying not to die when we popped out to buy some snacks. Crossing the road was… interesting. Between the death-defying tuk-tuks and boy racers, it’s a miracle we found ourselves on those 3rd class carriages, heading cross-country to Mumbai (still referred to as Bombay over there).
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The train journey was great fun actually. The man opposite me kept farting and burping. That wasn’t fun. But it was quite cosy in our little bunks. And I liked the way the train rocked me to sleep. It was a good job our tour-guide, Sid, told us when to get off – coz they don’t bother with announcements and the station signs aren’t in English. It’s a case of jump off and hope for the best.

Udaipur, India

From Pushkar, we caught a seven hour train to Udaipur.

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That would’ve been bad enough – sorry, I mean “an adventure in its own right” – but this particular train didn’t have seats. Only benches. And, no, no cushions. Pretty sure I bruised in places I didn’t know could bruise.

Udaipur was just what we needed after the madness of Pushkar. It’s a picturesque place. Very relaxed. And there are some lovely little eateries. We had Thali at Hotel Garden (only 200 rupees) on the first day; mega yum. Then we discovered Rainbow café by the river; such a good spot for brunch.

Thanks to a recommendation back home, Catherine and I paid a visit to Millets of Milwar – and we weren’t disappointed. Such amazing fusion food; very healthy too (nice to have a break from ghee!).

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Head to Jasmines for a sunset dinner. Oh and be sure to check out Natural Lake View; this is a lush spot for a lassi or a beer. Make sure you head all the way to the top for some stunning sunning on the rooftop bed.

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Make sure you check out the culture show. You’ll be entertained by camel puppets, women carrying eleven pots on their heads, and men riding other men pretending to be tigers and lions, etc. Strange. But fun.

Udaipur is great for shopping; you’ll find the better quality items here. Saying that, it is a little more expensive than Pushkar (but it’s much nicer perusing the shops when you’re not under constant threat of being run over by motorbikes; saying that, Catherine did get head-butted by a cow).

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There are some nice arty shops around too. Our guide organised a semi-sales pitch at Jankahs Arts; but it was really cool watching the demos and he wasn’t pushy at all. You can go here for henna, nail art… and you can pick up some beautiful prints while you’re at it.

Don’t be afraid to buy bigger items and get them shipped back home. You can get a tuk-tuk to the Post Office and, boom, sorted.

Oh and don’t believe them when they tell you its real silver. Even if it is stamped with ‘925’. Mine wasn’t the only finger that went green.

Be sure to go for a sunset boat ride; beautiful views! (But don’t get drunk like I did… this is what happens when you’re forced to go cold turkey for a few days…).

We’ve got a bitch of a travel day tomorrow; early bus journey, followed by a rest stop in a place I can’t pronounce, and then an overnight train to Mumbai. God. Help. Us.