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Busy Doing Nothing
31st Jan 2018 - 9th Feb 2018
Rajasthan Revisited

It was time to say goodbye to Goa and head off for a short tour of Rajasthan with John & Suz.

On January 31st, the night before we left, we went to the beach to witness the Super Blue Blood Moon.  This is something which only happens around every 150 years.  There are one or two super moons each year (that’s when it appears very large due to its proximity to Earth), Blue moons occur every 2.5 years (that’s when you get two full moons in a month) and a Blood moon (where it appears red due to the earth eclipsing the moon) happens every 2.5 years or so.  To get all three together is very rare.  We were all very excited to see the phenomenon but sadly we were also quite disappointed.  The pictures are OK but what we saw was a vague outline of the moon which at its peak of ‘bloodness’ was very low in the sky having just risen above the horizon.  But, hey, this is nature and we did see it and we’re pretty sure we won’t be around next time it happens!

Next day we flew to Delhi for a week-long tour.  Last year John and Suz said they would like to visit Rajasthan so we jumped at the chance to revisit some of the places we visited during our two month tour in 2012.  It was also a chance for Neil to see Jaipur City as he was ill last time.  We spent some time last summer putting an itinerary together with plans to hire a car and driver to pick us up at the airport and drive us Agra, Jaipur, Mahansar and then back to Delhi where we to go our separate ways.

We arrived in Delhi and we were met by our driver Keshav.  We set off for Agra and our first stop was the Taj Mahal with just 15 minutes to spare before they stopped selling tickets for the day.  Pankaj, the tour operator who had provided our driver Keshav, had arranged for a tour guide to give us some details about the Taj.  It is stunningly beautiful and as we had arrived quite late in the day the light was extremely good for photographs.  Next morning it was off to Agra Fort before the drive to Jaipur stopping on the way at the deserted city of Fatepur Sikri.  Unknown to us Kashev had an extra stop planned before we got to Jaipur which was one of the deepest and well preserved step wells that we had ever seen…….stunning. 

Next morning our tour operator had arranged for another guide to give us the low down on all the sights in Jaipur which was excellent.  That afternoon we had some time off from sightseeing and Cheryl and Neil set about finding a place to eat whilst John and Suz set off for retail therapy.  They were looking for some textiles and were treated to a tour of a factory to see how the fabrics were made and dyed. 

Next morning it was back on the tour trail again to see The Amber Fort before taking the long drive to Mahansar Fort.  It was here that 5 years ago Cheryl and Neil became friends with Bhagwati and Seema and their family at their historical home.  Bhagwati is the ‘Thakkur’ the head of what was the ruling family in Mahansar and he has made his share of the fort into a heritage hotel.  It’s an incredibly atmospheric place in a tiny village which was once a very wealthy place on a major trading route.

There was to be another surprise, this time in the form of a ‘royal’ wedding in the extended family and whilst we were to leave before the main event there was enough going on to ensure that sleep was in short supply.  The bridegroom arrived spectacularly in a helicopter which we watched from the rooftop of the fort.  There was constant drumming and traditional pipes played during the day and we were able to see the final preparations being made to several venues being used for the event.  Cheryl & Suz were dressed up in Saris by Seema and participated in the traditional dancing by the women on the night before the wedding.  The ladies take turns to dance to incredibly loud music and as they dance the other ladies donate money to the poor as good luck, waving the rupee notes over the head of the dancers.  Although they had no idea how to dance properly Cheryl & Suz had a go and were delighted when a huge number of the other ladies decided to donate as they were dancing.  The dancing went on into the small hours but we left just after midnight.  The quote of the trip has to go to Suz who said to Neil ‘Don’t go, I want to show you my underwear’!!!!!!

Sightseeing and partying over we took the long drive to Delhi for our final night in India before flying to Australia.  Thanks John & Suz for a great trip with a lot of laughs and some unforgettable experiences.



Next: Family Values
Previous: 1 wedding, 1 baby and endless celebrations


Diary Photos

Taj selfie

The Blood Moon

The eclipse comes to an end

The Taj Mahal

Neil picks up The Taj

Mirror image

Sunset over the Taj

Taj reflections

Agra Fort workers

Agra Fort

Fatepur Sikri

Deserted Fatephur Sikri

Step well 1

Step well 2

Step well colours

Step well parakeet

Unexpected wildlife

Colours at the Hawa Mahal

Local tourists at Hawa Mahal

Gossiping in the Tawa Mahal

Roadside shave and a haircut Jaipur style

Tawa Mahal in the background

'small' sun dial at Jantar Mantar

Neil at the sign of Leo at Jantar Mantar

Cheryl at the sign of Sagitarius at Jantar Mantar

Enormous sun dial at Jantar Mantar

Double wedding

Amber Fort

Elephant rides are in this year

Nice markings

Amber Fort Garden

Strange Japanese tourist

Beautiful garden

Old Amber Fort

Living dangerously

Posing

Just as when it was built

Mahansar Sunset 1

Mahansar Sunset 2

Mahansar kids

Fire pit at Mahansar Fort

Poddor Chitri 1

Poddor Chitri 2

Poddor Chitri 4

Poddor Chitri 3

Inside Poddor Havelli 1

Inside Poddor Havelli 2

Ramgarh Life

Ramgarh Havelli Hotel

Old friends

Wedding helicopter arrives

Groom in yellow plus his best men

Mahansar Fort at night

Suz and Cheryl get ready to dance

Looking coy

Watch out the girls are coming

Beautiful Blue

My brave little freind

Wow, what a picture

It's a modern world

The girls are dancing

Bride to be looking a tad unhappy

Yes I know, my turn next

It's a late night

These didn't come from M&S

He played drums all weekend

Inside Mahansar Trading room

Out tour guide Asha

Oh dear, all the mystique has gone

Lost in time

Our Family in Mahansar

Time to say goodbye

Dinner with The Bradburys

Diary Movies

Wedding helicoptor arrives


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