Monday 24 April 2006

India: the Golden Triangle - Kishingarh to Ranthambhore

The long drive to Ranthanbhore was broken only by a nicotine break for our driver at a roadside cafe. In areas where foreigners are rarely seen, we are great entertainment. We ordered boiling tea and factory-wrapped products while men scampered to fold paper napkins for our table. Mrs M skipped a visit to the ladies loo in this particular establishment. The rest of the drive saw numerous attempts on our lives from oncoming trucks.

We reached the hotel selected from the ‘mid-range’ category in the Lonely Planet. Should have been from the ‘not with a bargepole’ section more like. The lobby had the atmosphere of a public toilet and the rooms were just as bad. The pool looked like a vat of pea soup, so we scarpered with great haste.

We had been told of a new hotel the ‘Nahargarh’ which we found and commenced the Goldilocks tour to find a suitable room. The hotel was built only two years ago to a traditional palace design using local craftsman. It is a remarkable achievement as it really feels as if it has been standing for decades. But something is missing….no access road, no fridge, no TV, no Internet, no sunshades, poor reception desk staff. It is almost as if all effort went into construction and it is slowly learning to be a hotel. The restaurant staff were however very attentive, perhaps because we were often the only guests. Dinner was good and we retired excited by the prospect of tomorrow’s tiger safari.

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