We moved on from Ahmedabad via overnight train to Udaipur. The train was slow and gentle but of course not exactly restful. I was surprised at how much sleep I probably got! Udaipur was a restful tourist spot--very scenic--and our hotel was right on the lake. We had our meals on the roof top terrace. Yesterday morning Wendy and I awoke to several calls to prayer at 6 AM--it was hard to pick out individual voices--and then the birds started their dawn chorus! And then the dogs! So, we decided to get out there and join them...walked along almost empty streets and over a foot bridge to the other side of the lake where we stood on a "ghat" near a temple watching the sun come up. With that, the streets started to fill up with people carrying buckets of clothes, and the morning ablutions and laundry started. We returned to the hotel on streets that were now bustling with kids in school uniforms, waiting to be picked up by auto rickshaws. It's an amazing sight to see about 10 kids piled into one of these three wheeled vehicles (normally seats 2 adults comfortably but 4 can cram in as we did on a few occasions) with their school bags and packs on hooks around the outside of the canopy.
We were picked up by our driver Kan Singh to drive to Jodhpur via a fabulous Jain Temple complex, where we enjoyed a simple pilgrim's lunch for Rs 35. We were all given an aluminum tray and then two Al bowls were plunked down...wet from the rinse they'd rec'd under a tap...and then the servers started to put food in front of us, ladled out of small vats. We were expected to eat everything served, thus if we didn't want something we had to indicate that. I took everything of course with the hope that my intestinal fortitude would withstand any unusual germs! It was all delicious, and so far I haven't experienced any tummy upsets.
Enroute to Jodhpur we tried to find a Durrie weaving (flat rug) co-op in a village called Salwas, but no luck. Then back to the main highway, and there it was on the road! They'd moved about 10 years ago and the Lonely Planet hasn't updated its instructions. Some beautiful work. I was tempted but didn't budge. Most of the rugs are woven with chemical dyes altho' some natural dyes are being reintroduced. One of the reasons we had such difficulty finding this co-op, in spite of our driver stopping to ask many people, is that the weavers belong to the harijan caste. In the rural areas the caste system is still in place.
This morning we spent at the wonderful fort here in Jodhpur, and tonight we're going back to watch Shakespeare's Macbeth! In such a beautiful setting!
Thanks for all your comments, dear readers!