Udaipur – Mount Abu

Got up really early in the morning and went for a nice walk to the lake. Bought some delicious bondas at a stall near the bridge, then crossed over and back over at the second bridge away from the lake. Spotted an unusual open billed stork, with its odd gap in its beak, feeding on the shore. Walked uphill through some narrow streets, through a Muslim quarter, eventually ending up at the LMB sweet shop again. When everyone else got out of bed we wandered down to the maharajah’s Car Museum, the entry fee even included a Rajasthani thali! Some fascinating vehicles, including some nice Buicks and Cadillacs, and some modified Rolls Royces, even an RR Ute! The thali was very good and there was so much food we battled through it all. Wandered up a very busy and endless road, emerging at last at Delhi gate, and then with the help of a friendly local found the Airtel office to recharge our phone but they were totally useless (as all Airtel offices proved to be for the rest of the trip). Wandered back through the bazaar, Tara and Merrill found some nice silver jewellery and then had dinner on the rooftop of our hotel which was very pleasant. Had a big spew during the night which I think was from the paan I had before dinner. Whatever it was I’ll never touch betel nut again! Dogs barking all night and the temple music didn’t make for a pleasant night.

Up early though to catch the bus to Mount Abu. Hopped on at the bus company’s office and then had 4 stops before finally getting on our way. Bus a bit run down but comfortable, but a very uneventful drive until we started climbing through a nice but dry forested area. Realized our chosen hotel was a bit out of town. Town itself was a bit disappointing, I guess we were expecting a hill station like Nainital rather than a dust bowl. Hired a kid with a trolley to take our luggage to the hotel, it was only a 10 minute walk so not so bad.

Our room at hotel Maganji’s was more like a little apartment, with a separate main bedroom and a big double bed for the kids, and a comfy lounge area. Not happy though that we had to then pay extra for a heater as it wasn’t that cheap to start with (though cheaper than a lot of places around). But glad we had a heater as it was freezing! Got a lift in the hotel jeep to the lake, cute little main street that looked a lot like Sydney’s Luna Park. Lots of tacky gift shops and fast food places. Had lunch at King’s fast food, I had an interesting Rajasthani thali with battes, funny little hard bread rolls to soak up your dal. Wandered along one side of the lake with nice parks. Had a thali dinner back at the hotel, the choice being Gujarati or rajasthani thalis, the only apparent difference being the dal in the Guj one had a bit of sugar in it. Nice sleep in a super comfy bed.

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