Sunday, October 22, 2006

Diwali in Jaipur

As promised a report on the celebrations in the centre of Jaipur last night. Like most things in India it was an unforgetable experience and a total assult on the senses. Let's start with the ride from hotel to the action. For those that know the main form of transport apart from foot and bike is a motorised lawn mower called a Tut Tut. Imagine the front of a scooter attached to an Atco mower with seats. 7 of us in 2 of these 3 wheeled coffins headed off after an hour of fireworks and snacks laid on by the hotel. The entire population of Jaipur were on the streets all in their new clothes and very happy. We survived the 30 mins trip cutting (excuse pun) through the crowds and were set down amidst this fantastic throng of humanity. We spent a wonderful 2 hours wondering through the bazaars being greeted by many locals with happy Diwali. I think we stood out just a bit and June's red hair was a great favourite. The ride back was even more scarey as the police had closed many of the roads and we had to take the side streets to get back to the Hilton. Arrived back at 11.15 and sat at the bar with a nice cool beer, Tony Grieg was there so we were able to catch up on the cricket, which of course England lost!! Apart from that it was a truely remarkable day. These people know how to enjoy themselves with virtually nothing, a lesson for us all. Today on our 29th anniversary we have a full days drive to Luni near Jodhpur. More death defying road experiences, I am sure.

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