Thursday, January 6, 2011

Firstly we would like to mention that we didn't get the dreaded 'Delhi Belly' whilst in Delhi! It would have been an added complication we didn't need!

The sleeper train from Delhi to Jodhpur was pretty good and we almost got a full 8 hours sleep. It was 3 hours late arriving mind but meant we slept for longer! It was better than a lot of the European sleeper trains we used.

Sunil was there waiting for us off the train and he took us to his guesthouse. This was a home-stay so we are staying in his house with his family and 7 other rooms which much to our later despair, were empty, so all there 'attention' was on us!

We successfully passed the interview process when we first arrived and were eventually shown to our room and offered breakfast. The view from the rooftop restaurant was amazing. We could see the fort that towers over the city and all the blue painted buildings that gives Jodhpur the nickname of 'The Blue City'. Apparently the buildings are painted blue to keep them cool and ward off mosquitoes.

While we were waiting for breakfast there were some kids on the rooftop next to us playing cricket! We chatted to them for a bit and they asked us to take pictures and email them to them. This is when we saw a different side to the manager, Sunil. He told the children off, which we found unnecessary and laughed with them when he left.

We headed to the fort after breakfast where en-route we had our first close encounter with cows and bulls. We kept switching to the opposite side of the road to avoid them which must have looked ridiculous to the Indians! We cow dodged successfully and started the steep incline to get to the top. It was very impressive and a nice warm day so we were happy! We spent about 2 hours there and got some good photos. We also had quite a few photos taken of us, some people try to slyly take them, others come and ask you and before you know it your surrounded by kids who want their photo taken with the funny westerners!! We then got lost coming back and got overcharged again for tuk tuk! It's our own fault though, we are not strict enough with bartering...yet!

We were then made a chicken tikka masala and breads by the owners wife. It was really nice but unfortunately got a side order of Sunnil talking 'at' us for the whole meal! He complained about a couple that stayed there the night before we arrived and kept telling us what a great honest person he was. It was only 9pm but we couldn't wait to escape to our room! The room was ok, a bit grotty and the curry fragranced blankets took some getting use to!

We woke up to find disaster had struck at the hostel. We were watching the monkeys being very cheeky while Sunil made us breakfast. As per the night before he talked at us whilst we ate. He told us how his friend had hacked into his yahoo account and sent everyone in his contacts an email saying that his family were stuck in London and needed money (he later thought Nigerians had done it before accusing his friend again. We half expected him to accuse us as we were the only guests!) He asked Kris to have a look and then write an email to Yahoo (Kris made the mistake of telling him he was a website developer). So that was about an hour of our morning gone. We eventually escaped (and it did feel like we were escaping) to head to Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial next to the fort, where the marble is meant to be so pure its nearly see through...and for once the guide books didn't lie! We were looking to see what was reflecting onto the marble but it was actually the light coming through the marble! Then we paid a tuktuk guy 400 Rupees to take us to the Umaid Bhawan Palace (that Liz Hurley rented out as part of her honeymoon) and the clock tower. The palace was ok but the clock tower was India craziness at its best, with cars, mopeds, tuktuks, people and cows everywhere!! People were selling everything from haircuts at the side of the road to cassette players at the electronic stall!

We tried to walk back only to get lost and stumble on McDonald's! We only had an ice cream cone each though as it was hot. And they really don't sell any beefburgers! Determined to walk back, we retraced our steps back to the centre and then chose the correct road.

Jodhpur was completely different to Delhi in the fact that no-one hassles you. People still stare but you can't get around that. Children say hello, how are you, where are we from and shake our hand before saying goodbye which is funny.

Anyway back at the home-stay, Sunil and Neena are at the computer looking worried. They asked Kris to help change a few things on their website as they had changed their email address due to the hack. Kris spent the next 2 hours changing bits and pieces on the website, mostly not related to the hack. He said as a thank you he would let us off the service charge for booking our bus which is 60 rupees! That's 70 pence for 2 hours work! He overcharged for the bus though so I think we still lost out! Oh well, that's my good deed for 2012 done! He got really upset about the whole thing so we felt bad for him. But we didn't think he would really lose out as the contacts he lost were previous guests who are probably never going back.

We stayed in again and had more curry but couldn't eat in peace as Sunil moaned about the last 2 days events.

We decided to leave on the 3rd day despite paying for the night. We had explored enough of the sites and had enough of Sunil.

What annoyed us the most was the extras he charged when we checked out despite him going on and on about how he never overcharges tourists and what a good honest person he was etc etc yet he added a 'Sunil service tax'. We couldn't be bothered to argue so paid and left. It only worked out to be about 5 pound extra over the 2 days so not important. Phew.

We did enjoy Jodhpur, the fort on the hill was impressive and the blue city cool so we still had a good time despite Sunil!!

We then got the bus to Udaipur which took 8 hours but went surprisingly quickly.

Photos below...


Amazing photos!! :-) Glad you're having a good time. May the rest of your time in India be 'Sunil-free'!! Oh... and don't forget to look out for the third gender of India - the famous clapping Eunuchs! Have a fab time! Looking forward to reading your next blog! Karen x x
Claude Ball II
Photo's look great, although your patience with the Mr Sunil reminds me of Karl Pilkington at his best. The poor fella had just had his e mail account violated !! Have some patience my globe trotting friends !!
Photos and Blog are great sounds as if you are both having a very interesting? time. Not much news our end, everyone is fine. Carry on having a good time and we look forward to hearing more about India. Lots of love
Sara M
Looks amazing Emma and Kris!! Keep habing a wonderful time, x
"It was 3 hours late arriving mind but meant we slept for longer" Nice to see you're taking the Bristol lingo with you "mind". I'm late catching up with these posts, but sounds like you're having a ball

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