Today we leave Jodhpur and head for Narlai. I shall be sad to go. The hotel here – the Raas – has been exquisite. We have really run the gamut of places to stay on this journey; we started with what I can only describe as an Indian version of a Holiday Inn – OK but no place to write home about and walls as thin as paper, to a palace in the mountains – Samode, to a weird stone haveli in Jaisalmer. Havelis are these walled, courtyarded city dwellings usually for wealthy families and frequently several generations with son’s families too. Then we’ve had the British Raj of the Gajner Palace and Reggie Singh’s elegant Camel Camp. This place though is about perfect – we are tucked up under the cliffs and ramparts of Mehrangarh Fort and the view from the – very – lovely hotel restaurant is spectacular. The pool, the food, the room are all designed to calm the senses. This is an important point because India is an extraordinarily exhausting place at least to my Canadian sensibilities. The sheer number of people, the constant noise and chaos, and of course the dirt all combine to wear you out.
The only negative here and I am thinking of it as more like a seasoning, is the Laiquan Mosque which is right outside the hotel walls and the call to prayer is really loud at 04:45, 13:45, 15:15, 16:37 and 20:20!
The last call includes about a 45 minute reading from the Koran – the hotel provides earplugs – enough said!
Some general observations; everyone who uses a vehicle of some sort, sounds their horn all the time – either to warn others, to indicate that you are overtaking them, that you want them to get out of the way, that you are at ramming speed, that ….etc! This includes the trains – of which there are an extraordinary number, the rickshaws, the tuk tuks, the bicycles, the buses, the trucks and the cars. I’d suspect the pedestrians as well!
Trucks here are works of art – I’ll try to get a photo or two.
Time to go – onward and outward!