Rajasthan 2007

What did we do

10 of us went to Rajasthan in November 2007.

The tour was based around seeing the best of Rajasthan using quiet roads and very comfortable accomodation.

We flew into Dehli after which we cycled along quiet roads to Jaipur, where the welcome was friendly, and you were never far away from a wave and a shout. Two days in Jaipur allowed us to explore the Amber Fort, the former administrative centre with it's elephants portering tourists to the top. Jaipur is the pink city and this colouration was much in evidence as we took in the fort and then the amazing astrological instruments.

To Roopangarh where we stayed in the fabulous fort with it's huge rooms and I even had time for a game of tennis where bad light stopped play. Next stop was the world famous Pushkar Camel fair. Like a glorified English country fair, the star attractions were the camels, which could be ridden, be pulled by, or just admire the endless vista of the campng field. There were fairground rides and the odd exhibition in the main arena, invariably late.However for me the highlight was the wall of death. 4 Indians with 2 cars and 2 motorbikes roared around a verticle wall and their only protection.. a pair of sandles on their feet.

The cycling continued to be extremely flat and hot but the distances were low enough for it not to be a chore and we were treated to a daily lunch stop in the desert by a mobile catering team. Buying local ingredients, they produced 5 pots of specialities with 2 paraffin stoves that put restaurants to shame. It was a joy to pull up to the orange hangings every day and see what was on offer today.

Kumbhalgargh had an amazing fort on a hillside, one of the few climbs on the tour and the site of sunset and full moon atop a hill was wonderful. Udaipur was used to film Octopussy and the white city is one of my favourites with the glistening Lake Palace Hotel and another lovely hotel, the Udai Kothi. The pool as in the other hotels looked tempting but crikey were they cold.

The last 2 days took us through Jojowar and Sardar Samand and to finish the cycling at Jodphur., where we admired the huge fort on the hill.

The last 2 days took us back to Dehli and onto Agra where we visited the Taj Mahal at dawn. The bus trip to Agra was the worst part of the holiday but the Taj made up for it.

Throughout we were guided by Ratan, a local guide from Rajasthan, his local knowledge was encyclopaedic and demeaner impeccable. This tour has been run for 5 years now by Pat and John Ashwell and is a wonderful introduction to this fascinating country in a safe and comfortable manner, if you are interested in going in future years then please get in touch.

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