Yes, three bed covers, may be too many
06.08.2014 39 °C
Udaipur is a lovely city. We have seen quite a marked difference between Gujarat and Rajasthan; Gujarat is quite a rich state (a lot of industry) and it has little need for tourism, whilst Rajasthan relies on tourism. Consequently Udaipur was incredibly clean, the hotels are much more client focused and the people are super keen to please us and it almost feels like a different India. The turbans worn by the men in Rajasthan are also magnificent, as they are so brightly coloured, although Bill keeps failing to get a picture.
We had arranged for Vinay to pick us up a little later on Monday morning. It soon became apparent that Vinay now had the cold and sore throat virus, although he insisted that he must have got his cold from a bad cup of tea, and he would not accept he had caught it after sitting in a car of swirling germs for days. We decided to just visit the palace and the lake and then spend the rest of the day resting. We have been to a few palaces in our travels, but we really enjoyed this one. It was not as opulent as most palaces we had seen, but the colours were beautiful and there were lots of depictions of the sun god there (the family are direct descendants from the sun god). Surya is the main solar deity in Hinduism and he is my favourite deity.
Yesterday morning, I decided cold turkey was the only way forward with Rexcof, as although it was doing a great job, I felt like I had the shakes when I woke up and decided swigging a cough medicine out of the bottle, which is said to have a high percentage of Indian children addicted, may not be a good idea. Getting into the car yesterday morning, Vinay informed me he felt much better as he had had some Rexcof! I was watching him very closely on our seven hour journey from Udaipur to Jaipur, and I am pleased to say he showed no adverse effects. Unlike me, who still has a terrible cough, no sense of taste or smell and now no decent cough medicine.
Jaipur is the capital and largest city in Rajasthan. It is quite a modern city and the roads are brilliant, everybody almost stays in a lane. It has a palace, a beautiful fort, with a wall around it which almost looked like the Great Wall of China. It is called the pink city, although we think it is more terracotta (Prince Albert as in Victoria, called it pink). For the first time in what must be months, as we were walking around we saw about three other sets of tourists. The hotel we are staying in is quite upmarket (yes, Natalie, they still play the sitar at breakfast), consequently Bill is watching every penny we spend here and I am eating all the decent chocolate out of the mini fridge.
We decided to do a Lonely Planet walking tour around the old city of Jaipur this morning. Now, you may know, that we do not have a good history with walking tours, generally getting lost and falling out. Well today, we didn't get lost, nor did we fall out, it was almost boring. It was so hot (we go from torrential rain, to unbearable sunshine in minutes), that we did it quite quickly and hardly looked at anything on route. Although, we did manage to have lunch, buy another (yes our third) bed cover, five metres of material of a picture of Ganesh (yes and the mouse).
Now you may have guessed that we love India, we have both lost our hearts to the people and the country, but we have to acknowledge there is a lot wrong with India and the lives some people live. In the local paper this morning, they printed some of the stats (I love a good stat) from the 2011 census for Rajasthan:
- 65% of households do not have adequate sanitation, ironically 63% have mobiles phones. Poor sanitation is seen as dangerous for women, who have to go outside to go to toilet in quiet places. This is also seen as a reason why girls drop out of school.
- 70% of households use firewood for fuel.
- 54% of households do not have a separate kitchen.
- 49% of households do not have drinking water. 17% are still reliant on hand pumps.
- 33% of residents do not had bank accounts.
We are really on a final countdown to coming home and we swing from being excited and then sad. We decided this morning, if somebody said to us, you can still see everyone at home and carry on traveling, we would snap it up, until that utopia, we will be heading for home next Tuesday.
Tomorrow we are off to see one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World, although this depends on which site you look at.