Jaipur

I awoke at 6am this morning to the Muslim Call to Prayer. Slept ok, the beds are a bit smelly but comfortable enough.
We have our breakfast in the hotel restaurant which is nice and cheap and check a few emails from home. Have had an email from a Canadian family who are planning a trip like this with their children and its good to hear they are enjoying our website.

We return to our room and I have the best shower since arriving in India, lots of hot water and a good strong flow on the shower. (These things are important now and it’s the first question I ask when arriving at a new place)
I feel better after washing my hair and a bit of pampering. I guess with my hairdryer, straighteners, full range of make up and massive first aid kit we’re not the usual backpackers but then with two kids we’re not that usual anyway.

This hotel is full of backpackers, but we haven’t seen many other Brits and none to speak too. Other travellers have mostly ignored us although we have spoken to a few nice people. At breakfast today I saw someone wearing a Stevie Gerrard shirt but he was Chinese and it is a very different experience to when we holidayed in Goa a few years ago.

Simon then wins a gold star for being brave and sticks his hand down the toilet to unblock it. Oh my god it was completely horrible, the power went off and he was stuck in there with his arm submerged in the dark! Meanwhile me and the kids were outside laughing and encouraging him on and asking him what The black hole of Calcutta really was like.
What a vile experience and I have to hand it to him what a hero!

We spend an hour doing schoolwork, we are alternately doing Literacy, Numeracy and Science and following the curriculum (loosely) Ali and Maisie are tired today though and not very enthusiastic so I choose something I think will be easy.
We practice writing formal letters and they both write a letter of complaint to the owners of the hotel. I give them a B for attainment but only C for effort and they both agree I am mean and tougher than their teachers.
We go to The Amber Fort; we spend a few hours wandering around here and visit the armoury museum, the kids seem to enjoy this although I’m feeling a bit queasy and don’t really have a good time. I have noticed if I don’t take my malaria tablets with food they make me feel really sick and vow not to do that again.

We then visit Hawa Mahal (The Palace of the Winds) this famous palace was built in 1799 for the Royal Ladies so they could watch the comings and goings of Jaipur without being seen from the street. We climbed to the top but as Alister is afraid of heights, we don’t stay up there long.
Following a bit of Christmas shopping in the bazaar for Maisie’s school friends we return to the hotel.

Its 9pm now had our dinner and emailed a few friends, I’m glad to hear they’re missing me and following our website avidly. (Keep it up mates!) Sat in bed watching James Bond (Not the latest to Ali’s disgust but good enough)
Feeling great now, so happy and looking forward to tomorrow. We are leaving for Pushkar at 10am and to be honest I can’t wait, it is a bit rank here and I’m optimistic that Pushkar will have more to offer. Bring it on.

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