We set into Uadipur town and looked around the Jagdish temple which was quite amazing. Tony picked up a few new Karma Sutra moves to try on Katy next week from the elaborately decorated walls. We bought miniature paintings of sacred Indian animals we are shite at bartering and paid plenty.
Over lunch we explored the City Palace then watched Charlie Na and Dickie pick over Italian food; the love of curry has temporarily been doused by Tony's display of weakness.
We took a cab to the Tiger lake and Monsoon Palace for sunset and finished off a fantastic day watching Octopussy on a rooftop restaurant with the movie set spread before us eating curry! Very surreal.
Day 5: We took a sleeper to Jaipur the pink city. A much better night had by all but Dickie whom we now liken to the princess and the pea.
We took a cab to the Monkey palace and sun Temple for sunrise. It was worth the trip, we fed monkeys who took peanuts from our hands and laughed as Charlie was mildly assaulted by a large balled male monkey for his own nuts. Too busy laughing, Naomi neglected to protect her own stash which was knocked from her hands and feasted on by an even bigger monkey. On a retrieval attempt the monkey bit onto her trousers with its sharp probably rabies infected teeth. She was aided by the intrepid fur ballers in the medium of laughing pointing and photos, which seemed to help.
We then took a cab to Ranthambore national park arriving at lunch for a tigerless safari in the afternoon. We believe we may had had more luck if the safari had not doubled as a 4x4rally driving experience interspersed with cross vehicle shouty banter from the various 'guides'. We did however see lots of beautiful birds, rodents, monkeys, deer, antelope and a few tiger prints overlying our vehicle tracks on the way back....
Day 6: Another taxi ride to Agra 6 hours. The longest to date scariest journey of our lives! Near miss after near miss involving people, cows, dogs and our favourite; oncoming juggernauts on our side of the central reservation. We arrived in Agra having had our first taste of a lying cheating taxi driver asking for extra cash to do the job already arranged.
Fatepur Sikri was worth the visit, a huge Mogul influenced temple and palace, again we experienced hardcore begging and scamming, mainly a problem because we did not give in to it. Poverty is in your face and there is little you can do about it.
The Taj Mahal was splendid, although we were ushered through the building's interior by guards with shrill whistles which tainted the mood slightly. It's a shame the wife of cxxx did not get to see her monument.
Another taxi ride, this time by night to Delhi; never do this!!! An estimated 3 hours took almost 6. We learned that Charlie is wide and therefore an uncomfortable back seat buddy, there was barley a wink of sleep due to big-boned Charlie and the carnage occurring around us. A high point was when the driver stopped rummaged through all the papers he had in the car twice, left the car in silence sweating then returned and shoved new papers into his stash. Papers to enter Delhi? He then did a clothes change into a uniform and proudly said 'to trick police', we then headed on. We passed an elephant train on the dual carriageway, what could possible go wrong.
Day 7: Two hours sleep, off to Delhi airport for 6.30 to Cochin! Whoop! Up, circle at 6000feet to burn fuel as plane is 'Ok nothing wrong but we can't go above this height and cant land with this amount of fuel on board'....and down. 3 hrs. New airplane, up 'is there a Doctor on board we have a medical emergency' OMG can we not just get there! Tony saunters at his most urgent pace to the stricken individual and adds another notch to his death tally. We land in Cochin-what does the next 2 weeks hold!
We have learnt a lot in our 1 week. How to drive in India: Might is right, this we should not forget as we will be very near the base of the food chain. Drive hard and fast at other vehicles, if they don't move out of your way, beep and flash lights keeping a calm collected air. When overtaking, wait till the most inopportune moment, then go using the afore mentioned tactic to clear the way. A safety zone of 1.5 inches surrounds the vehicle this can be reduced to nudging at slow speeds of 30mph or less. Ladies don't need helmets as they have harder heads. You can fit up to 13 people in the average rickshaw if carefully balancing children on the outside. Fuel should be bought in quantities of less than a litre at a time, this is tradition and should not be ignored. Don't drive at night. Don't expect to fit 13 in one rickshaw if wide Charlie is part of your fare.
Falakata: One thing Paddy did miss out of his blog was the way in which the fur ballers were informed of Na’s collapse; a young lad with very good English poked his head around the corner and announced ‘Sir, I think your friend is in an extreme situation!’ This was pure comedy on looking back, alt...