Our final journey together as a group today was the 7 hour bus ride back to Delhi. We left Jaipur Inn at 10am and arrived at the hotel in Delhi at around 4.45pm. We had a stop for lunch where I had possibly my last vegetable thali *cries*.
After arriving back at the hotel we took the Delhi metro (for the first time) as a group to Connaught Place which is where the British had their office when they occupied India. The buildings looked very British. Whilst we were here we saw Indian H&M and various other brands we recognised.
The shops for rent in connaught place are very expensive and so most of the smaller Indian shops were in the Palika Bazaar. Palika is completely underground and is like a shopping centre but the very opposite to a British shopping centre. We didn’t get to browse freely and the shop workers tried very hard to get you into shops.
Tonight’s dinner was at Nizams and Mandy recommended the rolls, i had a chicken and egg roll (the roll part was a roti which is similar to a naan) and it was amazing. We came back to the hotel after this and said our goodbyes which was really sad. Truly don’t think we could have got a better group to start our adventure with!
After leaving Agra we took the bus to a small village called Dhula Bagh. On the way we stopped at Fatephur Sikri and the Abhaneri Stepwell. Whilst visiting the stepwell we walked to the temple for the goddess of joy and happiness and here I was blessed by a priest where he said a prayer for me and gave me an orange bindi (which is a sign I have been blessed).
Arriving at Dhula was a mad experience, once we turned off the main road we started passing little country houses with whole families sitting outside waving to us. Being white seems to be a novelty for a lot of Indians and we’ve been asked for pictures quite a lot. Dhula Bagh campsite is the most beautiful picturesque place I have ever stayed. The villagers provided us with vegetables they had grown for dinner and afterwards we sat round the campfire drinking and playing games.
The next morning we walked into the village and when we were there a lot of the children would follow us and smile and wave and all the villagers were genuinely lovely. We then left Dhula for Jaipur, at this point we are in Rajasthan where it is very arid so the temperature is increasing now (I can actually take my hoody off!).
We visited city palace in Jaipur and then went to see our first Hindi Bollywood movie – Tiger is alive. There was less singing and dancing than I imagined and more blowing up.
Today is the kite festival in Jaipur which celebrates the sun moving into Capricorn and the start of the harvest season. All the locals fly kites and so the sky is filled with them. Our hotel owner is holding a rooftop party which we will be joining shortly! This morning we visited palace of the winds and the Amber fort, where elephants ride people up the hill (we walked as the elephants aren’t treated well). The fort was beautiful and the views were stunning.
Tomorrow, we head back to Delhi where the tour will end. *sob sob*