Saturday, 27 October 2012

On the rough road again

"Poor Robyn...which 3rd world cesspit is she being dragged off to this time....and when will her lousy mongrel husband take her on a real holiday?"    Questions that many of our doubting friends will be pondering as I continue to bare the unfair reputation of subjecting my lovely, long suffering wife to yet another less than salubrious holiday destination.

Our latest "exotic" adventure sees us travelling to Rajasthan in India's north west .  This 3 week circuit through "The Land of the Kings" will have us travelling from New Delhi, then west in the direction of the Pakistan border, before turning south and returning to the Indian capital via the Taj Mahal, all the while taking in the sights, smells, camels, deserts, forts, colours, elephants, foods and much more along the way.

With my highly developed Luddite computer ability, a little perseverance and patience we will be attempting to maintain our first on line travel blog, so hopefully you will be able to follow and enjoy our latest cesspit/exotic adventure.

But first....back to Banga's

With no direct flight from Brisbane to New Delhi we're more than happy to take the opportunity for a 30 hour stopover and return to Bangkok, our favourite Asian city,   We've been fortunate to visit this lively city on numerous occasions and we never tire of the buzz, energy, food and smiles of this amazing place.

mmm what'll it be, roasted grasshoppers or chillied frogs gonads?

With only a relatively short stopover, we bypass our usual little guesthouse in the old district of Banglamphu and decide to stay out of town and closer to the airport.  The Cottage Hotel turns out to be a great choice for us with refreshing pool, quiet location, near to markets, restaurants, street foods and Chang beer (can't think of anything else we would need).

Flight to Delhi

After departing Bangkok we enjoy a comfortable 4 hour Jet Airways flight until we descend in to Delhi and are subjected to flight attendants spraying the cabin with bug spray.  Haven't been through this type of procedure for over 20 years.  I guess we wouldn't want to bring undesirable contaminants into the pristine Indian environment.

Queue at immigration and watch and wait as the universally humourless airport officials look blankly at their unresponsive computer terminals.  Just our luck, the airport is experiencing a computer outage and we all know what happens when "computer says no".  Finally, endless queues start moving and Mr Happy processes us and we are cleared into India.

Departing the arrivals hall we are greeted by a sea of pleading beaming faces as we search for our prearranged driver hopefully carrying a placard bearing our name.  Despite the said placard being rolled up in his hand, we eventually recognised his smiling face from a photo and he recognised my bald head from a previous description.  After a brief greeting Rakesh Yadav whisks us away in his comfortable Toyota Innova and within 30 minutes we have checked into our New Delhi lodging the Aashiyan B&B.

Robyn with Rakesh outside Aashiyan B&B, Delhi

With Mrs Kiran Singh at the Aashiyan we complete more  government required paperwork including photocopy's of passports, visas, another separate passport photo, fathers particulars etc etc.

Later that evening after walking the streets of our south Delhi suburb in search of suitable spicy cuisine, we return home to relax and get to know our hostess- Kiran.  A lovely Indian lady with a large brick, marble and teak family home, now with children moved away she has a few spare rooms available and as Tripadvisor will attest, makes a great place to base yourself whilst in the India capital.

Robyn a with fellow guest Sylvia, being welcomed by Kiran at Aashiyan B&B.

We were pleasantly surprised with the greenery and atmosphere of Delhi and easily filled a couple of days sightseeing here.

Following another superb breakfast at Kirans we depart Delhi for Mandawa in the north west.   After negotiating a couple of hours of chaotic Delhi traffic we ease into the slightly less chaotic traffic of the countryside.  Rakesh's home village is along the way and he generously offers a lunch break to meet his wife and 3 water buffalo.  

His comfortable rural home adjoins his 3 uncles and 2 brothers abodes.  With his status as a buffalo owner, he and his extended family are doing nicely in this poor community.

Madhu's photo removed at Rakeshs request

Rakesh's wife Madhu in her humble kitchen.

Rakesh reveals that for today's lunch Madhu has collected the sticks for the fire, ground and prepared the wheat floor for chapati, cooked a magnificent vegetable curry and dahl, milked the buffalo and brewed a delicious chai masala.  I really should review Robyn's duty statement!
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  1. So much for being a Luddite, thats a pretty good blog for someone who doesn't know where the "anykey" is! (0bscure homer reference)

    Sue is desperate to come on your next trip, she is so over all the 5 star travel she currently has to do. We are both currently in Singapore for a week, Sue working and me practicing for retirement.

    Kev & Sue

    1. Thanks Kev I appreciate your approval.
      Having a great time, food, people, sights are amazing. Will keep sue in mind for my next 5 star Cesspit Tour.
      Chris & Robyn