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Published: November 21st 2006
The Eye of the Tiger
Worth the get up and the wait at Ranthambore National Park
So Rajastan has been our destination now for nearly a week.
Firstly we went Tiger spotting in Ranthambone National Park, involving getting up at the crack and freezing our arses off in an open top jeep, being driven at high speed down some very rough and rocky tracks.
It woke us up though and we were extremely lucky to see 2 tigers after their night's hunting, firstly basking on the top of a rock and then roaming through the undergrowth - it was incredible. They are amazing creatures and look very placid close up although apparently this is only when they have food available!
From here we headed to Jaipur, the capital.
Here we spent 4 days in a beautiful colonial hotel and mainly just chilled drinking G & T's, playing backgammom and seeing just a couple of sights. There are only so many temples and forts that you can get excited about, even after only a couple of weeks.
From Jaipur we headed west again by train to jodphur - approx 6 hours away. This was a pretty quick stop but an amozing city with, I admit, an amazing fort and famous for a mass
I am in the middle somewhere...
Having just shaken every one of their hands at least 5 times Simon decides to get a photo and the kids go mad, singing and dancing and crushing me...!
of very blue houses.
It was here that I, no we, experienced our first con. Wandering up to the fort we came across a beautiful blue temple, we took a few photos and within seconds a man living next tells us it is his temple and would we like to come into his house, we feel a bit guilty about taking pics wo we enter. (There is a real intrigue to understand how people lilve here) He shows us the views and introduces us to his wife. He calls her an 'artist' and just as I was about to ask where here art is, it happened...within seconds I was sat on this seat next to his wife and her hand is holding mine, palm facing up...next came the henna, "mendhi" they call it locally and lots of it, it smells kind of methol but also a bit weired. I am looking at Simon and he is smiling, I am feeling unsure about this. She then starts to cover my hand in this mad pattern, not particularly artsitic...i try to say that just one finger and part of my hand is fine but she doesn't stop.
She then finishes
Our chill out pad in Jaipur serving G&T's with lime and mineral water ice...mmm...
and her husband repeats "my wife she an artist" , these words haunt me for days after. The pleasure costs 150 rupees The henna become darks very quickly as is absorbed into my skin. I try to wash it off when I get to the hotel but it doesn't budge. Simon is pissing himself laughing, I look in the book and see that this may last up to 3 weeks...I need to get a grip and get on with things...
It takes about 3 days for me to stop freaking out everytime I see my own hand - waking up in the night with it next to my face, in the mirror, even Simon was screaming and refusing to let me touch him with it! It's not that I don't like body art, it's just I wasn't ready for it....it felt a bit alien. Now I actually quite like it, it has faded a lot and goes well with my adapted traveller look which is slowly developing...x
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