I had another amazing weekend, this time I went to Bundi and Kota.
This weekend we planned at the very last-minute to go to Bundi. Originally there was going to be 4 of us, but at the last-minute someone got sick so the trip was just three girls, myself, Megan, and Kate. We left Jaipur around 4pm, the drive was amazing. Bundi and Kota are very wet towns, the highest rainfall in the entire state, and Kota has the only natural flowing river in Rajhastan run through it. On our drive the landscape was all kinds of crazy! I loved it, we got to stop in one of the most beautiful places on our drive where we watched the sunset over a fantastic horizon of mountains!
A couple of hours later we knew we had arrived in Bundi because of the beautifully lit up castles and forts that appeared on our downward spiral around a mountain into Bundi. We drove straight to our guest house, which ended up literally being someones house, it was perfect for us though, only 4 dollars a night!! AND they had the best food ever! My favorite Indian dish: Dal and Bati. I had a wonderful dal and bati, with a banana lassi for dinner on the roof top restaurant. The next morning we got up early to set out on our adventure!
We started the day off right by eating a banana crepe with nutella smothered on top. The breakfast was once again on the roof top restaurant, but this time we had several guests, monkeys were everywhere. When I first arrived in India I thought monkeys were the greatest thing.... NOW: I am scared of them, like seriously don't like them. I saw a monkey hissing at people and making people cry in town one day, and have heard stories of them attacking people and now.... they freak me out! Although the mama monkey with her baby monkey grasping to her stomach was cute. I am more aware now of their feisty selves and try to stay away from them.
After breakfast with the monkeys we began heading to the Bundi castle... IT WAS AMAZING! My favorite place thus far... the castle had the most amazing features... the paintings alone were so beautiful, the turquoise colors, golden details, the holes in the walls that used to home the birds that did air mail, the drop down floors that were water pools covering the entire floor. The beauty of the place was incredible. Our tour guide was wonderful too! He was so helpful in explaining everything and did a great job about explaining all the small details including what each room was used for, who was researching the paintings of the castle etc.
We took so many pictures! (AS you can see)
After the fort our guide took us to a step well which was also really cool. The step wells are wells where you descend many flights of stairs to reach the water. Depending on the season, or that year's rainfall you may have to descend more and more steps. THE WELL WAS HUGE!!! It was really cool though, and I can't imagine trying to carry any amount of anything up and down those stairs!
After the wells our tour guide drove us 30km into what appeared to be a mountain desert like land where we hiked to rock paintings. The hike was kind of crazy, it was so so so so sos sosososososooso... OMG it was hot and there were monkeys running all over the place because we were in the middle of nowhere, where the monkeys gathered in huge groups...40+ and were running across the ground in front of us, not even 100 meters in front of us. It was incredible. The rock paintings were hidden in this tiny little cave like structure. They were in a crest shaped cave that would have one time provided shelter for someone. The view from the dave was amazing and we sat there for a while looking at the waterfall nearby, the ancient rock paintings and thinking about how amazing it is that WE ARE IN INDIA, before heading back where we would then visit the waterfall.
Our hike was so exhausting but totally worth the hike. THE WATERFALL WAS SO STUNNING! I couldn't believe how amazing it is that in such a hot place there was a really cool calm misty waterfall in a desert like landscape, it was more beautiful than I can even begin to say. We sat at the bottom of the waterfall wishing we had brought our swimsuits as we watched several people swimming in the bottom of the waterfall as we were dripping in sweat from our hike.
After the waterfall we went to a 9th century temple made of solid stone which was incredible.... by this time we had not eaten and it was 4! The beauty of our trip kept us so busy that we hadn't even noticed that we had eaten in so long and suddenly we were starving. We agreed that it was time to go to Kota and get something to eat and see the fort.
BUT, we got there and the fort was closed!!!!! It was Gandhi's birthday so closed the fort, so we ate a couple of snacks before moving on. So instead we decided to go on a boat ride on the only flowing river, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was beautiful, we once again saw the sunset, on our private boat ride on the beautiful river.
THE ENTIRE DAY WAS LIKE A FAIRYTALE! Waterfalls, deserts, castles, boat rides, ancient paintings, amazing food and all in just one day!!
I LOVED BUNDI!!!
Our tour guide was great, he gave us the best places to go, and helped us see so much in such a short period of time!
We then headed back to Jaipur around 6:30pm. We still hadn't eaten much so we had to stop in a small village on our way back...
(Since I have been here there are things that are just "SO INDIA" this was a moment)
As we got out of the car to buy some snacks to eat on our way home we stepped into the street shop... and the town's power went out... its super late!!! We can't see anything, we are in an area we don't know. CANT see anything. Now when you first arrive in India you get annoyed with this kind of thing, impatience is still flowing through your system. But after being here this long... it's just. SO INDIA! We waited and finally the electricity turned back on and we headed out, but didn't arrive in Jaipur until 12:40am.
We had plans for the next morning and had to be up at 7am... so we went straight to bed... got up just 6 hours later and prepared for our all day tour of Jaipur. We visited something incredible like 9 sites in one day! TOO MUCH!
The day started out perfectly... exhaustion, no breakfast, and me puking my brains out on the side of the street from a small lil stomach virus that ended as quick as it came. After we saw all the sites... they were also beautiful, but we had just been terribly spoiled in BUNDI...
We got home around 7:40pm... from our early morning tour, and passed out!! I was so exhausted! Got up for dinner, cranked out the book report due the next day and SLEPT ... really well to say the least.
The next day was just as interesting. Megan and I decided to go to a local coffee shop and boutique, Anohki. It is wonderful, western food which is nice when you are feeling exhausted, homesick, or just craving a super sweet something. We begin doing homework when our friend Anna comes, with her two Indian friends.
The rest of the night was incredibly interesting. Two old men who have had quite the life history. One of them is a chef around the world, very wealthy man, Rajput (warrior caste and royal), and world traveler. The other is constantly working on designing a new motorcycle. We made friends with the two guys at Anohki, and then they asked us to go out to dinner with them at an amazing restaurant called HENRY'S where I had like all of my favorite things: India, pasta, philosophy talk, music, gin and tonic, friends, and laughs! It was our first time experiencing Indian night life. Our host families are generally pretty protective so we have been unable to go out at night, but for once we were able to get out and see the town :0
Which brings me up to now... today was a relaxed day with the host family, trying to catch up on sleep and studies.
I did pick up my sari today from the tailor, check out the photos!