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Brian and Davina's journeys

Jaipur, Jodphur,Jaisalmir, darjeeling,Sikkim

INDIA | Monday, 14 December 2009 | Views [716] | Comments [3]

Off to Jaipur via Fatephar Sukri, an amazing deserted city built out of red sandstone. Jaipur above all famous for The Gem Palace- the ultimate jewellery store. Also famous for The Amber Palace-with its amazing mirrored hall. The emperor here, to keep his many wives happy, gave then different suites, each one connecting to his by a secret passage, so no wife could get jealous- inspired or what?!

On to Jodhpur- sadly what 6 years ago was a very interesting ride, was not -it was just driving down better but less interesting roads- the consequences of progress. Jodphur has the superb Merrangarth fort- an extraordinary formidable structure but with beautiful balconies and delicate screens. View onto the Blue city below (blue was the cheapest colour to use)

Hectic shopping in bazaar, and grandma added a tuk tuk (3 wheeled scooter taxi)to her list of travel experiences. She avoided the elephant ride.

Said goodbye to Grandma, and headed off to Jaisalmir. This was the journey that Jaipur to Jodphur used to be. Full of life- camel carts, ox carts, ladies carrying huge amount of sticks on their heads, sand dunes…Reached Jaisalmir before sunset- truly extraordinary- a fairy tale 1001 night sandstone castle in the middle of the desert. It used to be on one of the key caravan routes- opium from Afghanistan, spices etc.Amazing complex of Jain temples. bit like an Arabian Carcassonne-people live in the old walled town, cows everywhere. Many of the houses both old and new have beautiful carving and balconies. Our hotel- Garth jaisal was built in the castle wall. Davina achieved her life’s ambition of spending a night in a castle turret- and it was her birthday.

Went off the next day to Sam Dunes- don’t do it. We are after a romantic camel ride into the sunset. We got the camel but there were hundreds of others doing the same thing, and tented encampments blocking our view of the sun setting over the dunes. Daqvina managed by careful camera work to create the impression that we were on our own.

Back to Jodhpur then on to Delhi and then on to Darjeeling ( and we have only been away for less than 2 weeks!)

Darjeeling is great fun- but really cold. We have a wood stove in our room, but even with this blazing, it is still cold. The road to Darjeeling is windy, and aweful , and a serious risk of plunging down ravines. The road had even fallen away in some places. You can get the feeling of the old Raj here ( though even the best hotel in town has a corrugated iron roof.) Now it is a cosmopolitan mishmash of Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan people- very colourful and wonderful faces. Superg English bookshop- everything here half price to UK. Everything very good value. Lady porter carried our 2 suitcases up to the hotel on her head- very strong. Everything gets carried with strap on head here because of the steep roads.

Off to Sikkam- we were expecting a smaller place than Darjeeling, but arrive at modern metropolis- a bit like a Chinese town. The scenery on the way here was superb- tea plantations gave way to paddy fields. Drove through a teak forest and a forest of massive pine trees- straight out of House of flying Daggers. Competition with davina for the best photo. Budhist prayer flags flying in the wind. Cricket being played in paddy field.

Wedding at our hotel_- cacophony of sound from giant horns. Dancing boy/girl with scarf twirling around her face to hide his/her beard ( they are invited to weddings as they bring good luck.)

Comments

1

Happy Birthday, Auntie Boo!

Love hearing of your travels, you two. Look forward to reading and seeing more!

XX,
d

  Davina Dec 15, 2009 11:33 AM

2

Reading this has cheered me up no end, it sounds wonderful to a snow bound friend...missing Francie and Glenn's party tonight as roads impossible...I was a girl all dressed up but no where to go!! But on the plus side it does mean Christmas decs will get done and some presents (those I have had time to buy) will get wrapped. Will look at your sunset pictures to bring a glow to my heart. I was wondering today where you are now (21.12.09)????
Lots of love Nicol

  Nicol Dec 22, 2009 6:03 AM

3

Is envy really a sin?

Xx

  andrew Dec 22, 2009 7:32 AM

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