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Christl's Travel log

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Log entries 41 - 50 of 63 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Oct 19, 2007 06:00 PM The niceties of life

In Deoghar I lived sophisticated: I stayed in a palace, builin the 17th century, renovated and turned into a hotel in 2004. Equisite. My room had wall paintings from times gone by, an anteroom, a bedroom, a window seat, and a roomy bathroom. In the afternoon I went through the village and loved it, nobody followed me to sell something, people were smiling at me, children brought me to their parents and I could do pictures all along the main village street, which is local bazaar. A young man invited us (my driver went with me) to come up to his roof top to enjoy the view, his young wife brought coffee for me and showed me her young child. The owner of the hotel is training the tourists: One penny given to a child makes a beggar. He has founded a fund for scholarships for the children of the village and takes them in and trains them in the hotel. The villagers are trained not to harrass the tourists.
During the Happy Hour I was entertained by music and dancing and dinner I took on the rooftop of the hotel where I had another view of the village. Music was in the air because a cattle fair was going on, and the drummers came and the night was soft.

Oct 18, 2007 06:00 PM Udaipur and the Traffic

The day before yesterday, as I arrived in Udaipur, I called my driver to take me for a drive. The traffic was hilareous. I wanted to have a look at the old town. So off we went. I certainly didn't know what to expect. Those streets are better called lanes. To both sides one small shop sits beside another. A few steps lead up to them and in front of them run the small, open channels - however you call them - for the sewage. Then fate hit us. A small bus came towards us, behind it dozens of motorbicycles, happily making the most noise they could, the bus drove up to us, my driver drove up to him - think of 30 km per hour - and then, standing side by side, created a traffic jam! No way to go forward or backwards. You couldn't put a hand between the cars. People assembled. A man came up, making signs where to go. The cars started moving, slowly, slowly my driver, totally relaxed, passed the bus, only nearly hitting this sewage channel. Freed at last, gotten rid of the bus and all the moytorbikes we drove around the next corner, where quiet, romantic Lake Pichola with the islands came imto view, only to meet the next obstacle: Camels! That made my day.

Oct 16, 2007 06:00 PM Concerning Walking in Rajasthan

Having been on the roads for days I made some observations: Rajasthan seems to be a walking country, as there are men with turbans in red, yellow, blue, dark pink and in white and blue, guiding a cow, carrying sacks on their heads or going to work, nice and clean, then there the holy men, walking without shoes for 300 or 500 km, shedding theirs at certain place - I have seen a "graveyard" of shoes along the road in the desert -, then there are old men taking care of the cows, goats grazing, but most of them sit in their shops and take life leisurely, then there are the women, old ones and young ones, they carry the children, the corn from the field, the wood for the fire, the water from the well, the food for the animals, bring the food to their husbands at lunchtime, working at the roadside, they carry the stones on their heads from one place to another, they walk alone or in groups, then there are the children, taking care of cows, goats, sheep, carrying water from the well, going to school at least some of them, - to earn money by pestering the tourists is much easier then trying to figure out how to write, to count, to read -, then there are the animals, which take care of themselves, walking the road, getting back in time to the household they belong to in the evening. That'sseems to be Rajasthan: walking the length and width of the country in bright sunshine.

Oct 15, 2007 06:00 PM I have seen so many beauties.

Mandawa and its old havelis, Fatehpur with a beautifully restored one by a French painter, built by these rich merchants, 200, 400 years ago, are behind me. Bikaner and its fort, where this immensly rich maharadschas spent kilos of gold and silver to decorate their rooms, left me in awe. But Jaisalmer was a treat: The old town is inside the fort and still lived in, vivid and clean, what one can't say about the rest of it. Cows are walking around majestetically. One pushed me out of its way. In the evening they go home. I saw more havelis with these beautiful stonework what looks as if it was done in wood. And then beside other towns and places I have seen I came to Jodhpur, where just as I arrived the festival of a mother godness started. I never saw so many beautifully and colourfully dressed women. But the market hit the target. Indescribable the noise, the people, bicycles, motorbicycles, horses, cars... I was glad to be protected by a
guide. And all the goods the locals sell, it made me dizzy. These people fight for their livelihood, one can see it in their faces.
So long. Internet connections are slow and expensive, I don't know when I get the next possibility. Sometimes even electricity breaks down. This is some kind of a country.

Oct 13, 2007 06:00 PM Bikaner and the road through the Thar

I left Bikaner with regret. I had a beautiful morning. Swimming was good, breakfast was good, I had time for myself. We started 11.00 a.m. for our drive to Jaisalmer, a drive through the Thar. The road: full of partly overloaded trucks, which drove against all traffic rules to avoid the bad parts; a herd of camels were crossing, sheep, goats didn't give a damm to the cars, traffic proved as they are, "breathtaking" to say the least. How to describe the desert? It's yellow, it's sandy and stony, that's for sure. But ... I never thought a desert could be as green, full of bushes and trees. And ... populated, not only by sheep, goats, and cows, but by humans! Astonishing. They live in small round houses with straw roofs, thorn fences around it, also in modern brick houses, sometimes one room ones, sometimes two stories high with stone fences around the property. Most of them stand lonely in the desert and you can't find out why the people schoose just this place to build their house.
In the meantime I saw Jaisalmer and was stunned by its beauty. Next more.

Oct 10, 2007 06:00 PM Start of the great journey

Delhi has changed since I have been here last in 2000. Becausee the Commonwealth Games are coming up in 2010 the city is cleaned up with a toothbrush. So there are new highways nielely arranged in three lanes, but as I was driven over them I counted six! I am not talking about traffic jams, but about trucks, horses, camels forbidden to drive through town in daytime. Makes all the difference. Somewhere I ended up in the desert, safely driven by my driver from Bihar who pays for a family of ten! I am not talking of the women I saw and the work they did, small women, fragil, walking erect and proud.
Thank heaven my driver had a friend who gave me a tour through town - as time was short. The night comes much early than at home - to show me all the essentials havelis, who are hugh family houses of old and wonderfully painted and his work: Silk, silk, silk with the most beatiful design. It was very difficult to resist.

Oct 10, 2007 06:00 PM Bikaner and something else

My driver told me he considered me as his mamma and himself as my son. He asks me every morning and every evening whether I am happy. My positive answer makes him very content. This settled nothing can happen to me. I am checked upon. The agent from the travel agency in Bikaner appeared to ask me whether my guide, who showed me around the beautiful and impressive fort and an old Jain temple, had done his duty, whether the hotel was to my liking, whether I was in good health. I can't get lost. Indian tchai - don't ask me how to spell it- is my pleasure in the morning as is the swimming. Food is wonderful. People are friendly. Naturally whereever I appear I am a sensation. The kids are around me, dirty as they come, and want a pen, although can't write because they don't go to school, they are just living on the street. And everyone wants to sell something. Traffic is horrendous, but my driver is perfect, but sometimes I stop breathing.-
It seems to me that life is good.

Oct 09, 2007 06:00 PM Delhi shrouded in fog.

Arrived safely after a long, tiring, but smooth flight, was picked up properly, adorned with flowers: red ones for love, white ones for peace, and yellow ones for deep feelings! I promised myself that I will do anything today but being lazy.

Oct 09, 2007 06:00 PM Dehli - shrouded in fog,

But ....that wasn't to be. My friends called and took care of me. Life can be rearly friendly. In the evening I went for a walk - never again: Rush hour in Delhi is rearly overwhelming. The moment I stood still people were asking me whether I need help.I had the feeling I never could get lost.

Oct 07, 2007 06:00 PM Countdown is running.

It's time that I get out of here. Otherwise I will find thousands of things to do. Yesterday I even cleaned my fridge. The neighbours are coming in to say good bye and to give me all their good wishes. I shouldn't forget to write postcards.
Hopefully I will wake up, before I will be picked up in the middle of the night.

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