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heading to Udaipur (22 March)

I still don't like walking up hills!

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Day 10- Tuesday 22/3 depart Bhenswara to Udaipur

As usual, I'm the first awake. We eat and see all of the tourists up, silently eating breakfast, and depart.

We are off on a jeep safari around a range of mountains, to visit two local villages. The first is very primitive, but again, we question who envies who. The jeep pulls up and children swarm from every direction. They tug at our sleeves to take their pictures. Some clothed, all with dreadlocked hair from a lack of brushing, and probably a lack of readily available water, and some half naked. We oblige, take photos and visit the prayer corner dedicated to the snake God. We warily look around to ensure there are indeed no snakes around. Every step we take is echoed by the footsteps of a child. They follow us closely. We receive a blessing from a local elder, and retreat.

We bid our farewells and head to another village of shepherds. The men all wear red turbans, and we are told all shepherds are identified by this distinctive feature. Goats and cows and water buffalo aplenty we walk though the dusty dirt streets. Again, we are mobbed by the children. We take photos, and enter the home of a local couple, she makes chapatis ( or a type of) on an open fire in the courtyard. Meticulously clean, and made of dried and compressed cow dung. There is not a speck of dust! We eat and then head to a local school. It is beautiful, and they are reciting their morning prayers. Each in uniform, these children have so little but are all eager to learn, engaging and friendly.

We head to a vantage point overlooking the mountains and the flat, arid terrain for chai. "Camel eyes" take photos for us, and we hit the bumpy road for the hotel.

Off we go again on the road to Udaipur, which will be the last stop on our tour, and the place where we will celebrate Holi.

We drive up s terribly steep mountain range to s fort, built right at the top, in seemingly untouchable terrain. We are close to the edge of large drops, and although there are concrete blocks, about a foot high by 2 foot wide to seemingly stop wayward cars, it does little to calm our nerves. Most roads are one lane wide. Passing cars and busses is an art form that we are probably never going to have to learn, thankfully!

We arrive at Kumbhalgarh Fort. The fort was built in the 15th century, and is 100 metres above sea level. It is surrounded by 36 kms of 15-25 feet thick walls. It is the second largest wall in Asia, second to the Great Wall of China.

Of course, there is a rather steep climb to the top. But the views are worth it. It is beautiful and we are thankful that Saheed brought us here.

We have 90 kms to Udaipur, which equates to a 2 hour, 15 minute drive! As we arrive into Udaipur we notice the street vendors with huge piles of coloured flours! Holi is near, and everyone starts to get a bit excited for what is to come over the next 2 days.

We arrive at Hotel Maehendra Prakash- again a beautiful hotel, still home to the ancestors of those who built it. The staff are like welcoming family members, and again it has a pool!

Sadly it is time to say goodbye to Saheed, our most amazing drive, friend and protector!!!

We eat dinner and again, we delight in some sleep!

Posted by Jochester71 22:36 Archived in India

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