I woke even earlier this morning and sat on the balcony listening to the early morning chanting and soft music – I shall miss this when I go home. I shan’t, however, miss the preceding dog fights and angry chorus as they chase each other – my beautiful Archibald could teach these dogs a few manners.
Hannah is feeling so much better (I worried I may have overdosed her but I really wanted to explore; she is so full of meds she is rattling).
Udaipur has won my heart; is it just so beautiful, peaceful and serene. It is known as the “city of lakes” and is set around a series of artificial lakes. Sukhvinder tells us that Udaipur means “rising city” (this wonderful man could tell us anything and I would believe him!). The backdrop of the Aravalli hills is a wonderful sight and, again not the first time during this adventure, I was almost moved to tears! You can just lose yourself in the pure vastness. Hannah says my favourite saying is “I feel as though I am on a film set” but I truly do.
We were dropped off at the side of Lake Pichola and caught a very pretty boat which was adorned with flowers. A gentle ride around the outskirts of the lake passing the Jag Mandir Palace also before disembarking onto the grounds of the Lake Palace which is now a hotel. A wedding had taken place and there were lots of staff taking down all the decorations – bags and bags of stunning roses were just being thrown away – I wanted to grab the bags and take them back to the main land and give them to the poor children running around with no shoes, filthy and begging for food at the side of the lake; it really hits me. We walked around the grounds and sat and took in the view before heading back.
We then walked up the steep hill (wish I had brought my Fitbit) to the City Palace. The palace was built over 400 years ago and there are several palaces within with various gateways. Lots of walking, lots of steps and the most fabulous views over the lake. We walked down to the local bazaar where I got carried away and came away with 15 ceramic doorknobs (I can hear John’s deep sigh wondering what on earth I am going to do with 15 door knobs!! Wait and see my creation darling !!).
A lovely lunch in the grounds of the palace and we then went and found Sukhvinder who drove us around the lake further. It was impossible to walk around the lake as there were so many children running after us begging for food and money; one girl literally pinched me! Unfortunately I had left the Haribo in the hotel and, as she had pinched me, she certainly wasn’t going to be given one of the sacred M&S mints!!
As if we hadn’t walked enough, Sukhvinder drove us to the Sahelion Ki Park which was very pretty and colourful for a walk. Constant pestering for selfies and to have our photos taken but we found a bench behind a tree and managed a few minutes of peace. The oleander and bougainvillea were in bloom and so colourful.
After freshening up at our hotel we ventured out again in a tuk tuk (my heart sits in my mouth each time I step into one – I close my eyes, cling to Hannah and say a little prayer?). We had met a super girl from New Zealand in the queue at the Taj who recommended a rooftop restaurant called Rainbow and we found it – arrived just before sunset and the view on the lake was wonderful (picture attached). We had mentioned it to a lovely English couple we met during a roadside stop and they were there also. A lovely meal with a couple of G&Ts and all in all a perfect day. I still struggle with the hot food and every night I return to the hotel in search of the fire extinguishers.
A long drive tomorrow to Jodhpur and I am hoping for a longer sleep. Hannah amazingly well and I am very impressed how she handled the Delhi belly. She finds it extremely funny to suggest I may catch it whilst staying in the desert – horrible child.
A super, wonderful day.
Today’s worry; did I really buy enough doorknobs or should I go back for more?!
Love and pure bloody happiness