DAY 15 23rd January 2011
A 09.00am start so a bit of a lie in! Most of the day was going to be spent as a leisurely drive to Udaipur so we wanted to see the Marwar villages where all the crafts and pottery was made. It turned out that the villages were now just shops on a main road......surprise, surprise, and our vision of little round huts and families sat around weaving were immediately shattered! However, these shops were much cheaper than the outlets in town and had a bit more variety of goods in them so we were able to buy a few souvenirs and xmas presents ( Now who was it that wanted a wooden elephant???!!!!) Off to the next ‘village’ shop where there was just more of the same and then our driver suggested taking us to a muslim family who made their living by weaving textiles ( It wasn’t mentioned that this guy also does exports as well!!)
Anyway, we had a very entertaining experience – first he showed us how he wound his 9 metre length of cloth into a turban and then did a bit of weaving on his hand made loom, on his
durrie. Next his father helped show us all the carpets that they had made by hand including some camel hair ones, made from the hair of their own camels (they owned five camels!!) His nine year old daughter appeared as well as his wife (?) who started washing up from a tap in the wall. Another woman was nearby sweeping and after we had bought a lovely camel rug (!!!) we then had to visit his aunty who was printing her own cloth in another room...... Found something we liked there too......and I think they thought they were on a roll by then, as then another person appeared to show us their tie dying.........We escaped without further purchases!!!
Very quickly the scenery changed from desert to mountain and we crossed a small pass and through into a valley to visit the Jain temple at Ranakapur. This temple was built in 11th Century out of white marble (same marble as Taj Mahal) and there are 1444 columns, each one intricately carved. Marble carvers were paid in gold according to the weight of the marble shavings they presented at the end of each days work.
From there, we continued over the pretty
Some of the 1,444 pillars
mountain pass, (a bit like England)!! going through small villages and seeing rural life, where water is brought up from a well by two oxen being driven round in a circle and had a lunch break in a quiet restaurant overlooking the valley and river. Lots of people in this area carry large items on their heads and seem to work very hard in the fields all day, but as Awtarsing ( our driver!) explained – it keeps them fit and they do not have sugar or heart disease! Saw a couple of weddings and also a bridegroom riding a horse before stopping in another village where bats roosted in three trees!! The bats were huge and making a huge amount of noise trying to roost, although there was a bit of squabbling going on and occasionally one would take flight!
Got onto the dual carriage way and continued to Udaipur, the only incident being where one side of the road was blocked due to landslide and traffic had to use the other lane for 100 yards but some people didn’t cross back to the correct lane and continued going down the wrong side of dual carriageway! Cows still stroll
across both lanes or stand in the middle of the road and cars and lorries drive around them! Everyone in India thinks this is normal!!! Checked into Hotel Vishnupriya.
Anyway – I seem to have written quite a lot today but as some of you are wondering, and I’m sure there is are a few who would like to know but are too polite to ask, our BM,s are completely normal!! (Candy will understand BM’s!!) ie...no delhi belly at all, touch wood – and if by writing that it tempts fate I shall blame you all!!! Apart from Chris’ cold and I have a sore throat, we are completely healthy....Oh and I did put some deet on my face which was a bit of a mistake as it kind of burnt it a bit and it went very red!! Whoops!!......
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