We got aboard the fun bus and headed off towards Jodhpur just after 9am. I had already taped the cover of cosmopolitan over the dodgy air con that keep the cold seat really cold. It was a nice atmosphere on the bus today and so I decided to make a global traveller credit card for Becky so that she can join my and Laura’s global traveller club. I also managed to fix Frankie's wind up torch. It was a reasonably quiet start to the journey, apart from seeing a shy/naughty camel, who sat facing a wall, a motorbike ridden by an entire family, but it appeared that the 5 year old son was actually steering his older sister and mum and dad – perhaps they take it in turns!! I also discovered it is quite difficult to put in eye drops whilst travelling on a dodgy bus on the Indian roads!! At the moment I’m listening to Frankie Boyle live, on the mp3 player!! Its all good so far and we have a few 2 night stops in the next week, so there’s plenty of time for rest and for washing!
At about 10am, we turned off the main road and appeared to be lost as we passed down the dodgy back-streets, but we stopped by what appeared to be a small temple. Lana announced that it was The Temple of Rats! Some people, like myself were quite interested, others were disgusted, but most of us decided to leave the bus for a look around. It was quite weird inside, with loads of rats running about, drinking milk and sleeping on the railings. They were obviously used to people though and it was quite cool. We had a good look around and were hustled by some local kids who asked for money for doing nothing at all. It was all made even weirder by the fact that we had to enter barefoot, so we were all walking through rat-shit and bird shit in bare feet. After a look around we got back to the bus after being asked for pencils by some more kids -Becky didn't want to give away her only pen!! Back on the bus, Becky broke out the anti bacterial wet wipes, so we could all wipe our dirty feet, it was then back on the road again.
It was a bit of strange journey today, I have been feeling a little left out since I got back from the boat trip. But after today, when I had a good chat with the girls about how I was feeling, I felt a lot happier. Lana also helped by coming and chatting when I was feeling a bit low – Anyway, enough of being a soft shite – Life is good again and today, particularly this evening has been absolutely fantastic,. We arrived at today’s and tomorrows accommodation. We were expecting a guest-house, but it turned out to be 15 or 16 small huts circumnavigating a lovely little garden. The huts are air conditioned little havens of peace and the garden is beautiful. There is even a family of monkeys living in one of the trees, but the are stopped from invading our peace by a couple of mean looking dogs!! After arriving and moving into our huts, I decided to wander into the local town for a bit of fruit. I asked the the girls if they wanted anything and got an order of bananas and apples! Then me, Mark and Barry wandered into town. We were surprised to see the entrance to a park and so took a walk............ around a corner we came across a beautiful temple – It was amazing to find something so unexpected in what we thought was a dead end town – It turns out that this was a series of tombs dedicated to the dead, but each one was built to be better than the previous one. It was great to wander round and we saw lots of squirrels and also a bloody big monkey that just sat and stared as we passed!!!
I remembered about the shopping and on the way back found a stall doing fruit – The old man who owned it didn’t understand but his 5 year old grandson (or son!!) spoke English and gave us some lovely fruit. On the way back to the guest-house we were followed by some local kids, so I played a game with them, turning around and chasing them for a laugh, they loved it and happily posed for photos before waving us goodbye when we reached home.
I sat on the garden swing with Frankie, Becky and Laura and had a good chat before dinner... The family who runs the guest-house invited everyone to join in and help cook dinner, so a few of the group went into the hot kitchen to make Bombay potatoes and chapatis. About 8pm we were sat at a table in the garden and were called over to another table where dinner was served. Without doubt it was the best meal of the trip so far and I think we would be lucky to get better. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was great. It reminded me of a retreat where people go to relax and find themselves. I looked around during the meal and am doing so again as I type this and all I see is happy faces. Its so cool. Everyone really enjoyed the food and the hospitality of the family. It s by far the best Indian food I have ever had.
Now, after the meal we are all sat around on small mattress type pillows, I hear laughter and a guitar with singing, the sound of crickets and the odd police siren, but its all good. There is a frog, so obviously Kenneth wants to put it in a sock. Its a long story, but so is this trip. Hey ya! Fook, it, that’s enough of the blog. I wanted to write this while it was all fresh, but now, as Lana has just reminded me, its time to be social!! G'night. :-)