29.09.2007 - 29.09.2007 35 °C
This morning we rose early and made our way to Mandore Park on the outskirts of Jodhpur. Peaceful though fairly dilapidated, it was a tranquil contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city. Upon entering we were serenaded by an infant playing Frère Jacques on some kind of makeshift violin. I handed him one rupee.
We spotted the monkeys almost immediately. Most were swinging through the trees as you'd expect though some were on the ground accepting fruit from the groundsman. I never realised that monkeys were fussy eaters until I noticed one particular furry fellow inspect at least 3 apples before deciding upon one that met his approval, carefully placing the rejects back into the box! Some of the monkeys would take apples back to their mates in the trees. At one point a scuffle broke out between two of them with Dean and his camera being caught in the crossfire!
Apart from the monkeys the park has an impressive set of 400 year old temples, though I suspect this will be surpassed by what's awaiting us at Khajuraho.
We headed back into town, settled our account at the hotel, and decided on one last look around Jodhpur before embarking on our voyage to Udaipur. As mentioned in the LP Guide to India we found the "Omelette Shop" right next to the Clock Tower, a local landmark, and decided to sample some of the specialties on offer. Two omelette sandwiches later, we're ready to roll. We take a pre-paid taxi to the bus station and board the coach.
This experience travelling by coach was not great. After six hours of driving on bumpy roads in the sweltering heat and dust, narrowly avoiding oncoming truckies, we arrive in Udaipur dirty and exhausted. The scenery was fairly unspectacular, although there was a stretch of about 20 kilometres that contained nothing but marble retailers. This was obviously the marble and granite heartland of India.
We pull into Udaipur at around 8:00 pm and hail a taxi directly to the hotel. After befriending a couple of fellow travellers (and solving their internet problems) we all decide to grab a bite to eat in the old town. Because the streets are almost
deserted (in contrast to Delhi and Jodhpur), we decide to return early.
Tomorrow we shall attack Udaipur!