Apparently there are people who relish getting up in the morning, but after a working life doing it a lot I’m afraid I don’t. It came as a shock therefore to be woken from my slumbers at something called “half past four” this morning. We’re on the move again and there’s a train to catch.
Jodhpur Station at half past five is a surreal place with lots of people rushing about while others are sleeping peacefully on the platform. We had been whisked away from the lovely Hotel Ratan Vilas by TP our local fixer who guided us through the throng and into our seats. This was much better than the last train, clean and comfortable which was amazing given the apparent age of the carriage, and air conditioned.
We quickly made ourselves comfortable and started to relax when the end door burst open and a coachload, yes, a coachload of excitable Italians rushed in. All trying to grab seats near friends and most of them swinging large bags containing their packed breakfasts. Talk about trying to herd cats.
After we moved off and it started to get light outside the fun continued when an extremely fastidious little ticket inspector came along and insisted on trying to match names on his list with the seats they were in. At one stage I actually thought that he was about it insist that everyone sit in their allocated seat. We were also in wrong seats but kept quiet about that.
The journey of just under five hours was actually very good; we had our packed breakfast and there was so much to see. I made some short videos and will try to post one later. On arrival at Jaipur we were met by our next fixer who took us the short ride to Hotel Dera Mandawa, our base for the next week.
The Hotel Dera Mandawa is the former residence of a senior official of the Maharaja of Jaipur and is now run by his great grandson; curiously the owner of Ratan Vilas is his niece. Anyway he made us most welcome with tea and history before showing us to our lovely room. I think we’re going to like it here and hopefully most of what we want to do is within walking distance.
There are hummingbirds in the tree outside our room and at this point I tried to insert pictures but the old problem has returned but I have posted them to social media and it’s back to words only once again I’m afraid.
Tomorrow? Who knows, we’ll worry about that in the morning. At a civilised hour.
1 March 2017