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Utaipur

USA | Wednesday, 18 February 2009 | Views [684]

Well with 45 minutes left until i leave for the bus i'll try to finish up Rajisthan - edit later:)

I left Jodphur on a bus to Utaipur (i think) on my own and Gara was meeting me ion a day. I arrived in Udaipur with not much sleep and for a change i had a guest house sorted out. I arrived and got a rickshaw, was given a room (that i later changed b/c it smelled so bad) and made my way up to the roof top to be pleasently suprised by lakes, mountains, beautiful white architecture, hills, palaces, monkeys, temples, silence and the sun rising. I enjoyed the silent morning and had some breakfast. Which initially had goat in it and I had to return it for some veggies:)

Utaipur had a nice feeling to it. Although some of the lakes were dried up, it was another city with a feeling of its own. After freshening up I wondered the streets to learn the city and see what the day would offer. I was pretty dazed from traveling and found myself following chanting and colors and glitter and wondered into this huge holy hindu templ that just so happened to be beginning the celebrations of the Holi Festival. I removed my shoes, bought some flowers for offerings, and join the festivities. A man walked me through the first few rituals and i sttod and absorbed all the faith and spirit and tears and song that was happening all around me. I stood there until it was my turn to offer flowers to SHiva and drink the holy water. I then sat on the side and watched as all the men walked through ceremonies and the women sat in the middle on the floor with drums and sang songs. I decided to join the women on the floor (also gently parting from the man who toured me through) and ate and sang and swayed and cried with them. IT was a ahhhhhing experience. I must have stayed at the temple for at least an hour. I peacefully left feeling lighter than when i walked in their and my heart was moved in a different way.

I wondered about the winding streets and found my way to a rooftop resteraunt guest house for lunch. It was a relaxing envivornment and i quickly made friends with ownof the owners. we sat on comfy cushions and chatted for a while and by the end of the day i have taken a nap there, had a cooking lesson, and agreed to move guesthouses the next day. Lucky for Gara she had a room waiting for her upon her arrival!!!

Gara arrived and we walked about the streets, I ran into some friends from Varanassi, and then inspired by them we rented bikes. This soon became one of mine a Gara's favorite activity to do in India. The bikes opened up worlds for us as we found our way to villages, friendly people and beautiful landscapes while getting away from touristy areas and getting in some good cultural excercise.

Aside from having some delisious meals, nice sunset walks around the palace, great shopping excursions, another fun outting was a trip to an Indian home about a 1/2 outside the city. We were kindly invited to the house of a tailor who the girls from france (i did the camel safari with) were invited to. THe tailor saw all of us having breakfast and invited us as well.

4 of us hopped on the back of 4 Indian men motorbikes and drove off to the middle of nowhere...the home was surrounded by lush green grass, thick trees, cattle, farms, and the home was kept by his beautiful mother. The day was quiet, we walked around the villages, watched his wife and mother cook us an AMAZING traditional meal that consisted of at least 100 chapatis and sat around and ate. The meal was prepared in a traditional way which basically was on top of a fire. The day was relaxing, the air was fresh, the people were very kind, the boys were silly, the children were happy, and our bellys were full and our hearts were warmed by all the geniouristy. We drove back at sunset as the full moon was rising over their home temple. We stopped for prayer and thanks and continued home.

As things go sometimes in India....a domino effect sometimes occur...and lets just say after another day i realized it was time to move on. WIth time running out i know i have to keep moving so i can get to certain places that really interest me and by this time gara and i have a great traveling partnership/friendship growing so after i flipped a coin i decided to hop on a train to Bundi (or was it a bus) a small Indian Village...and yippie Gara came with!!!!

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