Monday, December 6, 2010

Khajuraho, Orchha and Rathambore... Now Jaipur

 Namaste Everyone!

Haven't been able to access a computer for a while!  Hope you had a fabulous 21st Miss Green and Miss Wallace!

I'm thinking of opening a Poppadom concept store in New Zealand... Maybe using a house... A shop selling items I import from here, a restaurant serving amazing Dosa's and Thali's (look them up they're delicious!) with tables in the garden, fairy lights etc... south Indian coffee and amazing Chai... possibly a aurveydic massage area, henna? etc etc... What do you all think? Poppadom moves to Auckland!

The computer is this internet cafe won't allow my photos to be turned the correct way so they're all turned to the side... Let's hope you're all up for a bit of head turning!

Subject number 1. took a liking to Alex on the train... He requested a photo, and told us he thought it was a good one! Then spent approx 15min asking what Alex's salary was all the while standing approx 10cm away from us in an almost empty train. Loco!
Karma sutra sculptures at Khajuraho, and school trip to the temples/sculptures... Not sure whether entirely appropriate for 5/6year olds!
Small store just outside our hotel in Orchha - where we slept for most of our visit! But Orchha was such a beautiful, small wee town - a nice break from the hustle and bustle. There was however an Indian wedding going on in the temple next to our guest house and we swear the guy speaking must of been a recording, the ceremony honestly went for three hours, non stop talking! Lovely background for an afternoon nap.... I later went and investigated and there must of been about 3/400 people eating in the huge temple it was in - and newspapers I have read here have been filled with wedding talk - they spend crazy amounts on them! One in the newspaper was described as a small gathering of family and close friends which amounted to 2000 guests!
On the river in Orchha, very picturesque don't you all think? We saw vultures here (well in Orchha I mean) which was extremely exciting for Mr Reed... I was more concerned about a potential attack.. I have been very on edge when it comes to animals of all descriptions (bar goats and cows - which are EVERYWHERE! but I have not encountered any difficulties with) even sitting completely still with my hands behind my back when a cat decided my lap was the perfect spot for a nap one morning at breakfast - Much to the amusement of a few french people in the 'restaurant' who hadn't heard of rabies (!?). I informed them about this fatal disease and the real risk even a friendly neighbourhood cat poses to me! However I think in future I will instead tell all onlookers that I am simply allergic. Pigs are another animal we have been seeing a lot of, and after initially worrying about a potential attack (some of them are quite big!) I have discovered they are quite scared of us humans. Alex wants to visit the monkey temple tomorrow where you can buy a load of peanuts at the gate but, quote the lonely planet, "be prepared to get mobbed by the hundreds of hungry monkeys living at the temple" .... No thanks! I will only be entering this temple with some sort of heavy protection wear on I think.... or hopefully shopping instead...
Why did this one decide not to rotate? Don't ask me! I just pay 20 rupees per hour to use this thing! Anyway this ones for you mum, these old sewing machines are everywhere, even shops selling them and thought this shot was quite cute - in Orchha
Just some of the ridiculously big crowd that gathered around our car when it got a flat tyre... We often feel how famous people must feel here (LOL!) But honestly people take our photos in the street without asking heaps, or come and ask whether they can get a photo with us.. One time I was on the train, maybe 14hour into the journey so obviously looking shocking when a family asked that I come into the next carriage to have my photo taken with the mother of the family, so we sat, held hands and smiled... I really have no idea what they're going to do with that shot! Fridge maybe? "This is my friend I made on the train one time"?
Additionally the staring gets slightly ridiculous at times.. and I've started goggling some of the teenage boys back when they stare for long periods which I'm sure gives them a wee shock but has proved to be quite effective.
We got a driver from Orchha to Rathambore as there is no public transport route, only $120 for both of us for a 5 hr drive (you pay for their return journey) and it was very relaxing to travel in a car! But when we were almost at Rathambore - mid deep deep, pitch black jungle, on a teeny tiny dirt road they turn around and say to us.. "This forest is very very dangerous at night"... oh yes? We reply, because of animals? "No, no, Indian terrorist groups living in here rob cars at night"... Great.. I immediately locked my door and became a lot more alert, clutching the door in preparation for some kind of ambush but we managed to reach our destination safely but as for our drivers who drove back the same way... late at night.. I guess we'll never know.... : P
Here we are about to head off on our first safari at Rathambore National Park. We wern't lucky enough to see any tigers but was still pretty exciting cruising round the park in this jeep with our eyes intently peeled the whole time.. "What are you looking for again?" my mind would ask me "orange and black, orange and black..." Haha. I caught Mr Reed tending to his nails at one point which I was extremely unimpressed by considering it was his childhood dream to see a tiger in the wild... We booked in for the morning safari the following day so were up at 5.30am but alas we were not lucky that time either... we did manage to see some fresh tiger footprints in the sand.. but our silly guide drove the opposite way of the footprints each time.. one lady said she expected a guy in a tiger suit to jump out of the bushes at any moment.. And another guy had been on 5 safaris and still no tiger - I felt quite sorry for his dedicated wife who had accompanied him each time!
When we got back to the hotel we turned on the TV and would you believe there was a programme on National Geographic about tigers in Rathambore Park - Where we had just been! Couldn't believe it, What are the chances!? We saw tigers lounging about in places we had just been driving through looking for them!
Attempting to disguise the hotel duvet in a silk liner to take on the morning safari (was bitterly cold!) - very much a failed attempt, we froze!
Indian tree pye bird eating biscuit off Alex's hand
Samba deer at Rathambore - pretty boring other animals at the park to be honest but everyone else was taking photos of them so thought I should! 
The dork setting us a bearing to get to our hotel in Jaipur... a number of other tourists looked on, laughing. Once the bearing was all set (and me growing very impatient) he got up, and the stupid compass fell to the floor - bearing lost! And the german couple opposite in laughter as I rolled my eyes. Sometimes I worry about him....
We are staying at a 'paying guest house' here in Jaipur - so it's someones home with some rooms available, such lovely people, in fact the best service we've ever had at a hotel and delicious fresh dinner last night.
Note the multitudes of birds behind me - Old city, Jaipur
Polish looking do you think? (Alex i mean) This is at the Amber Fort, Jaipur which we visited this afternoon. Amazing place! Like a mini great wall of China! Forgot to load some of the better scenic pictures onto the comp so you'll all have to wait until next time!
Amber Fort
Amber Fort. A guy was trying to sell us some paintings on this road... and after telling him SO many times NO! we eventually decided to sprint away from him next time he asked... so he asked and it was literally a 3, 2, 1 - go! situation running down the hill. LOL moment of the afternoon.

Alright kids, I'm off for dinner! To the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant to be exact so hopefully I get to try some peacock finally.... Ha, got ya. Think it's actually another vege only restaurant much to Alex's disgust.

Hope you're all having superb starts to summer - it's cold here! I think I'll probably come back whiter than I was when I left which will definitely be a scary level of whiteness.... I miss you all heaps!

Off to Pushkar on Tuesday morning which I'm quite excited about thanks to Miss Gloria's reccomendations!

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