Heading down from Jaisalmer to our next stop – Khuri, we stopeed on the Sam Sand Dune – the most famous dune just next to the city, frequently visited by desert safari amateurs and all other ones who, like us, where curious how the REAL desert look like.
We could feel it perfectly in Khuri, were eventually we stayed for 3 whole days. It was brilliant! Surrounded by locals and other guest house visitors (mostly Japanese and Koreans ; they were taking turnes ;) ), we could feel the life plodding along in such a small village just next to the local buisness based on Camel Safaris. Dogs, cows, goats and camels were always around. And kids, always behind ;) We spent 3 peaceful and relaxing days, with long walks and sunsets on a desert, chai's in a local stall and fabulous food served by a family we were staying with. The guest house was run by Arjun's family in small, traditionally made (with clay) huts with thatched roofs. Gorgeous, I was enchanted. They were serving 3 meals a day, moreover included in a very small price of the huts rental, mainly because of lack of eating places of any sort. I fell in love with a very simple but how fabulously delicious breakfast dish – sweet paratha (still warm, directly from a pan) with indian chai, to which I've been longing almost every day since... Aww!
In the village:
|a girl from the village|
We got acquainted with a polish guy, who got there coincidentally with an Indian family from Mumbai, giving him a lift and a free sightseeing along the way ;) He was after his mates he met the other day, somewhere, who told him they're going to be in this particular village. Yet he didn't know where and where exactly, anyway despite that he got to the right place somehow just a few hours after them, finding out about that fact from our host: Arjun:) Such a small world! Michał became our companion for those days in the village and we'll try to find a way to get our paths crossed again in the future surely.
Afterwards, we took off towards Mount Abu (a hill station) in the very south of Rajasthan, next to the Gujarat's border. We had a stop in a small town (where we stayed for 100 rupees per nigt, with a very excited about having us owner of that place ;)) and the next day, after morning chai brought directly to our room by a funny hindi-speaking little elder chap, reaching our destination point. How exicted and astonished we were passing by and leaving behind a semi-dry and desert landscape of the Thar region and finding a thriving with more greenery landscape along. The way along was definitely one of the thoughest one, scattered with small villages and, therefore, plentiful of speed breakers. Then Mt Abu surprised us with how touristic it turned out to be, mainly because of the Christmas time coming soon. Unfortunatelly, according to that, the prices rised up drastically, but even though we stayed there for a 3 days. At its footstep we were invited for a lunch (a pretty affluent meal with a new portion aproximately every 3 minutes) by a member of Brahma Kumaris – well known worldwide (not by us until then though, I must admit ashamed) as the World Spiritual University, followers of the Solar Supreme philosophy. In the town itself we took some strolls amongst there-lying mountains and saw the Jain temple which is meant to be one of the most intricate and prominent ones. It was indeed breathtaking, but taking a camera for a visit was strictly prohibited hence no pictures to show off with... The temple was 1000 years old and had loads of us-alike figures carved in the marble on every ceiling – is to say: long (stretched) ears Jain gods;> Thereafter people were awed with us there, that's what our impression was because of a huge interest in our appearances all along the visit (more staring and pointing at us than usual, hehe).
Notice: In Mt Abu we accomplished the next distance treshold: 2000 km of our journey, hurray! :) (in Jodhpur it was 1000km on the meter!)
Mt Abu in pictures (and our eyes ;)):
The place we were staying in was pretty obscure, so we were quite happy to jump on a bike after those couple of days and from a hilly landscape take a ride down toward a valley, where Udaipur is located, following the recommendation of Michał, our mate from Khuri. We found it quite interesting, but surely more expensive than other places we've visited till now. On the Christmas Eve we were absolutely knackered, so we didn't even make any effort to pop out and have a nice time out with some unusual dinner time. Just called both parents through skype (that became a big effort actually..) and hit the sack as quickly as possible in our nice and tidy room. On the Christmas Day we went to an exceptional fare with handmade products and exposition of the traditional ways of sugarcane pressing, oats smashing, painting, sewing and rare instruments playing. Fabulous time, ended up with live performances – traditional dances and singing, getting us across different regions of the whole Indian country. Just before the fare, we were just wandering along the city and grabbed some parathas with curd from the street stalls – in a very, indeed, „charming location”:
Another exciting day, even more because winded up with a great dinner on a rooftop overlooking the part of the city with marvellous lakes around, and fireworks :)
|Sugar cane's juice, freshly pressed|
|Sugar cane pressing|