Friday 21 April 2006

India: The Golden Triangle - Pushkar to Jodhpur

Phew!! Apart from the usual overturned lorry and roadworks in every village, the journey from Pushkar was unremarkable. Arriving in Jodhpur however was something else. The hotel we had booked was inside the walled town with no vehicular access. Hence we were bundled with our bags into an auto rickshaw for the final stretch through shoulder-width passages oozing with flesh and the pungent hot odour of open drains. The hotel promised a room 'like a suite'. My ass. The dinginess sent Mrs M into a tizzy and she promptly spoke to another hotel in the 'Special Places to Stay in India' book. Our rickshaw driver, who happened to be still waiting at the gate, took us to the newly-booked hotel.

The 'Ajit Bhawan' hotel was originally built for a maharaja, but has been extended into something akin to an American recreation of a north Indian village. Nonetheless, it was an order of magnitude more pleasant than the first hotel. But.....the tented room we were given had an overpowering smell of drains and after unpacking the bags and sipping tea, we decided to try for a different room. We were shown another, which was too dark for Goldilocks, but eventually the third room was juuust right. Goldilock's husband was very relieved. We sipped beer and thick milkshakes by the pool while watching over-confident chipmunks steal food from plates.

Tonight's dinner was a traditional Indian hotel buffet on the lawn with musicians and puppet shows laid on for the large groups of predominantly French tourists. I have come to the conclusion that this is the sort of place to come if you want a very safe and sterile way to see India. Not our sort of place at all.......glad we are only here for two nights.

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