Udaipur

I woke up at 5am to the most awful racket; this hotel is, Simon reckons the noisiest place he has ever stayed in and I agree with him. I did sleep but only because I think a combination of being completely exhausted and ill overwhelmed me. The noise here is unreal and although Simon is usually pretty tolerant of most things the sound of what we think were Krishna’s dancing and singing outside our window while it was still dark was enough to have him swearing like a trucker.

He is now ill also and has been up half the night with belly ache and sickness and when I get up at 8.30 I leave him in bed and go to sort the kids out. Maisie is as fit as a fiddle and Ali and I haven’t been sick again so things are looking up.
Ali doesn’t want any breakfast so Maisie and I go up on our own and have a lovely breakfast overlooking the James Bond lake. Apparently lots of the hotels play Octopussy non stop on a loop so I guess we will get to see it sometime while we are here.

Our guidebook describes Udaipur as whimsical, serene and surrounded by misty hills. I’m not too sure about the serene bit but the hills are very pretty.
We have planned to visit The Lake Pichola and The City Palace and Museums while we are here and also want to go and see the Maharaja’s classic car collection which includes the Phantom Rolls Royce used in Octopussy.

As we will be having a quiet day I decide to get some stuff sorted out and send our clothes to the laundry, I ask the fella if we can stay an extra night and I’m not too sure if he agrees to this or not! I then have a cold shower which wasn’t very pleasant as I have to wash my hair and it takes ages. My Lush solid shampoo has run out and I haven’t got anymore so have to make do with the hotel soap.
The power then goes off (this conveniently happens between 8 and 10 am every where we have been and doesn’t come back on till the evening.) so I am unable to dry or straighten my hair and now look like a wiry haired scarecrow. Couple this with the fact that I am wearing Simon’s jumper as mine has gone for washing and I feel pretty scruffy. Good job we won’t be having any photo’s taken today!

I take the kids out for a bit of lunch and we have cappuccinos, toasted cheese sandwiches and strawberry cheesecake. (Very Indian!) We sit next to an English couple and their little toddler daughter and they tell me they are also travelling. They have made their way from The Himalayas to here and plan to move on to Goa soon. I think they are brave travelling with a 2 year old; at least Ali and Maisie will eat anything and can tell you if they are ill.

We are back at the hotel now; it’s difficult to know what to do when you can’t go out and I am a bit reluctant to go very far on my own with the kids. They seem to be happy enough watching the telly but I’m not a telly lover and practice my guitar playing instead. I am getting a bit better I think and Ali says he will teach me some new chords soon.

Been out for dinner, I have given Simon some Dioralyte, but he isn’t feeling much better and we go to the hotel across the road. Udaipur is very busy at night with lots of small shops selling hand woven goods, paintings and lacquer work boxes. Most other businesses seem to offer internet and “ISD” calls to the UK and we also see such services offered as henna tattooing, body massage and hair arranging.

Like all the other cities and towns we have visited in India dogs, cows, goats and pigs roam around freely scavenging whatever they can to live on, it’s surprising how quickly we have got used to seeing them and they are a part of life here as much as cars are a part of our lives at home.

We watched Octopussy and really enjoyed it, along with the other 5 or 6 couples all glued to a small screen. It actually was a great experience as we are right by Lake Pichola and it looks very pretty all lit up with fairy lights. What a classic line when Bond chucks a load of rupees at this fella and tells him “Here you go, that will keep you in curry for a few years”
Maybe you had to be there but it made me laugh anyway.