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Published: December 7th 2017
Day 5 (Wednesday 6th
December) A Day Around Our Hotel
Lazy start to today, for me & Mal anyway. Reedies up early and off for a walk-about. Met up later at our rooftop restaurant & drank lots of coffee which delayed our departure until the Mad Dogs & Englishmen hour (midday).
It is quite warm today after the coldest night this year (apparently) so we started walking slowly towards the Great Buddha Statue, refusing all the rickshaws who hussled us for a ride. I wanted to visit a Tibetan Monastery on the way which was a sister monastery to the one I stayed at in Kathmandu a few years back. Couldn’t find it, maybe not built yet? As we got near the Great Buddha Statue we saw a camel in full Rajasthan regalia (coloured beads & mirrors hanging from strings across his back). The rider really wanted Esmee to climb up with him but she was a bit scared and we weren’t sure how much a ride was, so declined his offer.
(I’ve just been interupted by the
chef with 2 cockrels who were fighting and making a right racket. I thought he was getting into cock fighting but apparenly it’s just dinner tonight - not for me though).
When we arrived at the entrance to the Great Buddha Statue at 1pm we found it was shut until 2pm.
I suggested we try a side street (still looking for that elusive monastery) and we wandered off. But we ended up in a village area, with goats and baby kids, cow & calf, hens & chicks. We also saw a lady with a young baby boy, naked on a small bed outside, apart from a thin belt around his waist. Esmee & Mal both liked him and he was a smiley baby. As we were leaving him Mal wanted to give money to his Mum but I said she may be offended so she gave it to his Mum for the baby
which was acceptable, and as we were leaving, she was rubbing some ointment on him, bought with Mals donation, which was nice. The Mum offered him to Esmee to carry which she did but with me holding
my hands under hers in case she dropped him. One guy, who was having his lunch, snatched up a baby chick and offered it to Esmee but she was wary of it (we have warned the kids about touching any animal here).
We got back to the Great Buddha Statue with still half an hour to opening so sat in a roadside cafe and had the best samosa so far (the only samosa – but it was very good) and also an excellent chai. Rocco did have a try at a samosa but didn’t like it, even though it wasn’t very spicey.
Eventually we got into the Great Buddha Statue only to be stopped at the entrance by armed guards! But, of course, they only wanted photos with Esmee. We are thinking of charging Rs100 per photo to make some cash! If we had started in Delhi we would be millionairs by now.
The Great Buddha Statue lives up to his name, he is certainly very big, made up of 4’ blocks of stone carved into a giant sitting Buddha. Shoes off at
entrance, we circumbulated the statue in a clockwise direction. The square base has 6 statues on the outside of the 2 sides, possibly Buddha’s 12 diciples? After a good walk around, an after many more Esmee photos by pilgrims, as we were leaving, we met some Australian people and Bill & Shirl got talking as they were from near their friends over there.
Then we walked towards the main temple to try a restaurant where Esmee would eat something. She is existing on a few eggs a day at the moment, we did find an overpriced place that did margaritas which she did eat a bit of after picking the bits of tomato off.
After that Mal, Rocco & me went for a walk toward the main temple here. Mal buying a cowboy style hat, Rocco some Nikee flip flops (Indian Nike). We were working out where the entrance was as we plan to visit there tomorrow. Very early in my case (6am). So grabbed an early night…
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