(and home of the best museum ever)
So it turns out we didn't escape the curse of Delhi Belly however it decided to strike us down in beautiful Udaipur. At least, thank goodness, we were staying in a lovely hotel with a roof and sofas to lay on while recovering with water, dry toast and charcoal tablets - living life to the max! It may well have been a delayed effect of the horrific bus journey from Jodhpur. The bus left about two hours late, we didn't have a sleeper cabin so were in regular seats overnight, and the driver decided to try to make up the two hours by driving with his foot flat on the gas along a road which hadn't actually been built. Seriously, we were bouncing all over the place, there wasn't a chance of any sleep, I have no idea HOW the rest of the bus was sleeping - a pretty amazing feat on their part! To say the journey was a little precarious would be an understatement.
We did actually turn to each other at about 3am when it was pitch black out, the bus was moving at about 100mph while tilting along the edge of god knows what and exchanged a look of pure fear!
But we made it! And luckily illness only hit us on the last day so we had three days to explore what is tipped to be the 'most romantic city in Rajasthan'. First off I have to disagree with this statement as although it was a beautiful city, I think Jaisalmer is FAR more romantic. Udaipur is where Octopussy was filmed - and don't they love that fact! Every restaurant/cafe/bar screens it religiously EVERY SINGLE NIGHT (although amazingly we managed to avoid it?)
It's built on a lake and is known as the lake city although unfortunately due to the pollution situation in India it's now a rather garish green in places and filled with trash.
We took a cooking class on our first night there (no, this was not what caused the illness) and ate an Indian feast. I have to admit, I did prefer the eating part to the cooking, but after 6 hours preparing I think that's understandable! It was good fun though and we took it with a French couple we had met in Jaisalmer.
We went to the city palace which I don't think was anything that special but we did also go to the government museum which was AMAZING!! It was SO BAD it was brilliant! The first exhibit, I kid you not, was a stuffed taxidermied (badly) kangaroo with the caption 'kangaroo standing on two feet' That alone was worth the 50rupee entry charge. There was also a dodgy looking monkey holding a light, a terrifying looking wild dog thing, a model of a heart - captioned 'heart, big size', a model of a grain of wheat, a variety of ways to tie a turban or to have your moustache, the list goes on. It was a definite highlight for me!!
We explored the town, wandered through the colourful buzzing spice markets, shopped (the shopping was dangerously good as my now even more overstuffed backpack found out), and relaxed on the roof a fair bit overlooking the city. It was a wonderful place, just a shame it ended on a bad note.
Next stop Agra and the Taj!! Beyond excited!!!