With enough rupees for petrol we set off on our first long trip to Bikaner, on the edge of the Thar Dessert and not so far from the Pakistan. The quest - eagles and vultures, but first we have to get there.
First destination Rankapur, driving through the beautiful Aravalli Hills, up then down driving on roads damaged in the monsoon and still be be repaired. Hairpin bends to take your breath away even though we know this road well. We stopped often to enjoy the view, bird watching and, of course, the naughty monkeys waiting for tasty offerings.
Just the two at this stop, normally they are in very large troups. Note, should you be travelling this way,
do not open the car window!
We tried booking in at a friends hotel (still being completed). It was full. Not surprising really after all it is the Indian Wedding Season.
We found a simple lodge in beautiful surroundings. Everything was a bit run down and being renovated.
The room was basic and clean. Samshu cooked supper, declicious, and we ate out under the stars. All
was peaceful apart from a few jungly noises during the night.
first light the geyser for a hot shower having gathered
paper, sticks, dry leaves and twigs
It was fabulous. We watched the dawn come up over the lake, took breakfast, vegetable parathas,
and I used up the last of my 'old money' to pay the bill,with just enough left to pay for a chai stop.
On to Pushkar, another five hours on the road. We stayed in another friends haveli, The Chand Hotel. Fortunately they took bank cards. Another evening under the stars and enjoying supper around the firepit in very good company.
the two cooks
Breakfast, a walk down the lane before going into Pushkar to a) try and find cash
and b) buy petrol. No cash and no petrol. Non Indian credit cards not accepted.
Ha! Ha! We had just enough of both to get to Bikaner.
another Indian bathroom option!