Thursday, 31 January 2008


Indian Railways are fabulous - sheets, pillow and blanket all thrown in, and much cozier than my room in Bhuj.   Overnight sleeper, shared with three unknown Indian gentlemen! After arriving in Ahmedabad I took a car to Udaipur.  The roads are so good now, I was two hours early for a date with a HOT BATH.

What are these ladies doing? More in next blog!

  Pictures taken at sunset from my hotel roof.   In order: Ganguar Ghat - general view- the Palace

Monday, 28 January 2008

Here and there

This will be my last post from Kutch.  Tomorrow evening I am taking the sleeper train to Ahmedabad, where there will be a taxi driver to take me on the rest of my journey to Udaipur.

A few images to enjoy:-

You see, everybody is catered for in India

Hand stitched borders to buy by the metre

Everything you need for washing day (except a machine)

Unfired terracotta pots.   The ones on the left are braziers to toast chapattis

                                        Just before sunset - what a happy cow!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

The Mela - Part 2

We were a little late in starting off, since our driver forgot.  Still there was a reason - it's Indian Wedding time.  We caught up with this wedding, all signing and dancing, bangra wedding band.  Of course we were invited to join in, and it would be rude to refuse.

These ladies headed the procession, next came the band, assorted relatives, hanger's on, followed by the groom on his dancing horse.   Amidst all this fun we had the balloon man frantically trying to keep pace with demand, and great volleys of Chinese fire crackers.

You will note that the groom's father is wearing a turban in a rather fetching shade of pink, as are the rest of the grooms men.  Who's choice was that?

We arrive eventually, just in time for lunch.  A grand affair with Kutchy curries being served in huge pots - very tasty.

The day was meet and greet, listen to some wonderful folk music, look at the work close up, and, if you fancy it a camel cart ride.

    Splendid Rabari ladie

Camel ride - when the cart is attached to beast, it is 
at a strange angle, difficult to be elegant getting in and out!

Rabari work


Background - skirt with applique squares.  Applique bag to match - stylish? 
I think so!

Friday, 25 January 2008

The Mela

It started with a fashion show at Tundra Vaug, 60k south of Bhuj and right by the sea.  With typical Indian timing it started over an hour late.  By this time I could sense I was in trouble.  Thermal vest - tick.  Warm wrap - no.  With a chill coming off the coast it became more than cold.  However, as I sat frozen in disbelief at what I was seeing, it was certainly worth it.  There must have been an audience of 2500, with a mere handful of white faces.  TV, press etc all there, and, I think, a couple of maharajahs thrown in as well. (There's a lot of them about).

The first part showcased on embroidery students, then artisans involved in block printing, weaving, and dyeing.  All modeled by lovely young things from Ahmedabad, including two rather gorgeous young men, looking splendid in their baggy pants, wraps and slippers with curled up toes.

A real eye opener to the wealth of talent in this small corner of India.  A show which would have graced the catwalks of New York and Paris to great acclaim.

Rabari ladies with graduation certificates

Banni ladies

  Electricity junction box?   Probably for the lights around the trees
Health and safety anyone?

looking towards the catwalk

  The main background picture on the catwalk.  
      Sorry no pictures of the show - totally impossible, 
  but I might be able to get a DVD eventually

Thursday, 24 January 2008

to continue

Not quite in control of blog obviously!  A bit previous on pressing buttons.  It's that Kutchy Kold.

There are more pictures!

A painted wall

Guardian dolls hanging of our stockade, they look pretty scary

And finally, musicians.  Playing under the stars and also alongside a roaring fire.  A great end to the day, and a tad difficult to drag myself away from the fire. 

Two days and one night in the desert

All very lovely.  Out in the middle of nowhere; a few villages within walking distance, or the option of birdspotting or even more adventurous, taking a jeep up to the Rann - vast salt flats - and driving to within spitting distance of Pakistan.  I took the more leisurely option and did nothing but reveal in the warm sunshine and beautiful surrounds - the Kutchy Kold is taking it's revenge.

Traditional bungo's were one option - why did we choose a tent?  A very fine tent it has to be said, beautifully kitted out with traditional textiles, cushions etc.  Separate bathroom tent, with promise of hot and cold water - well there was cold water.    With the temperature during the day a sizzling 28c,at night a mere 3c we were grateful for the pile of extra quilts and blankets.  Quite cozy really, unless you had to get out of bed.

A useful blockade at the side of the tent - to keep wild animals out?   Nice shapes.  Made by pushing sticks into the ground and covering with mud.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


I have found a wifi connection, electricity and have a full battery - hurrah.   Unfortunately the car has arrived to whisk us of to Hodka, about 60k from here, out in the dessert.  We will  be staying in a traditional Bunga, and I do hope it is well supplied with blankets and quilts.  A tad cold at night.  Only there for one night, so I will play catch up on my return

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Bags packed

A few essential items at the top of the bag - novels, reference books, and the all important toilet paper, very versatile!  I now all I have to do is a double check on necessary cables, connectors, plugs and assorted paraphernalia.

Off tomorrow at 5.30 am with my travelling companion, Liz, who is joining me for a week.  

Lunch in Bhuj on Thursday, then a walk down Shroof Bazar, one or two photo opportunities, to say the least.   Next to hunt down a good internet cafe.

Thanks for all the kind comments, and to Barbara Cheeseman and Liz Plummer for the advice to a baby blogger.   I'll get your links up on my page, when I figure that one out.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

On the road again

The flags are out, I'm off to India for a whole month.   I received an invite I could not refuse - to a Mela (festival) in Kutch, western Gujarat.  An exhibition of stitching, with camel cart rides, and hands on workshops to mention but a few items on the agenda.  It is going to be wonderful, 
can't wait.    Check out for more details.

And so to the blog - well it seems a good idea!   I can share my photos and give you a glimpse
 of village life in a remote corner of India.  All this is dependent upon finding an internet connection. Yes, they do have them, but it is so slow - makes you realise how lucky we are.   Then, quite often the connection just goes down - probably camels.   I will post as and when 
I can - keep checking!