Sunday, 9 November 2008

Udaipur,Delhi and home

A relaxing time in Udaipur, just lazing around, with a little bit of shopping thrown in.   Keith's necessary purchase of big leaf Darjeeling tea,  visits to the jewellery shop and mooching in textile emporiums.

Our friend Ranu, performing at Chandipol Ghat.  Beautiful Rajasthani music.

Ranu and his wife listening to Keith's iPod.   He recorded Ranu playing in February.  Ranu was pretty impressed, and very happy when he was given a CD of his music.

So after a few days in Udaipur, with blue skies and the lake (which is getting very low - yet again a poor monsoon), we flew to Delhi.

A bit of a shock - fog, pollution, humid, with a pale yellow sun.   Apparently a weather inversion, cold coming down from the north, sitting over the hot air.   I hope so - been to Delhi many times, but never experienced such horrid conditions.

We opted for a homestay with Pervez and Lubna.   A great choice - made very welcome and home cooked supper delicious, shared with our hosts, and two couples, one from America and the other from Germany.   Much better than any of the hotels we have stayed in before, with the exception of The Imperial Hotel.   Dating back to the days of the Raj, it's the best.  We did treat ourselves a few years ago, but now it is just too expensive.  

One day in Delhi was enough.   We took the Metro to Chandi Chowk in Old Delhi - three cheers for the Metro.  Clean, fast and cheap.  Guess the auto rickshaw drivers are not too pleased.   Chandi Chowk (Moon Square)  is a maze of narrow streets with shops stuffed with fabrics, festive and wedding goods, fruit, veg and spice markets.   A chaotic mass of people and bicycle rickshaws, men carrying impossible loads, and the ever present holy cow.

Metro to Connaught Place, the centre of New Delhi, for a special treat - lunch at The Imperial Hotel - delicious.  Visit to Cottage Industries Emporium (a good place to check out the prices of almost anything from all over India, so you have an idea when haggling with street traders).   Fabulous range of fabrics - at 75p a metre I had to manage to find some space in my bag.

Last sight of India Gate looming out of the 'fog' with a very strange pink sun hanging above.

As so to home.   Down through thick grey cloud, guess we are back.    The trees have really turned autumnal, and the colours on the trees along the motorway (viewed through torrential rain) were quite fantastic.

Our time in India fairly whizzed by.  Varanasi was amazing, Kanha disappointing, made up by the very helpful people in Jalapur.   Bundi a quiet delight, and a wedding anniversary not to be forgotten.   Udaipur is just like going home!

Now to unpack.

(I've linked our home stay and The Imperial Hotel).

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