Monday, 14 January 2013


To say we had a bit of a palaver this morning might be a bit of an understatement, it was a drama at it's very best. We woke up at 5am to catch our 6.20am train to Jaipur and suffered a rather tense tuk tuk journey which only got us to the station in the nic of time, only to find that our train has been delayed by 12 hours. A bloke suddenly suggested it might be running after all. With hope and 60 seconds to go, we sprinted to platform 2, via the footbridge battling through the crowds, me struggling with the 42kgs of luggage, knocking people including elderly and children out the way................only to find it was still delayed. We felt exhausted and deflated. "What shall we do for the next 12 hours?" Sonja asked. There was only one option, head back to the hotel and beg for our room back and a late check out despite the fact we'd already checked out! Fortunately Sonja's charm did the trick and the staff allowed us to have our room back at no extra charge. We returned to bed for some stress-busting sleep.

Delux Volvo bus to the rescue!!!
At midday we checked the Indian train website and learned that our train was now delayed by 14 hours with the likelihood it would be delayed by more, meaning that, at best, we'd arrive in Jaipur at 1am. Change of plan required. We decided to go by bus and so booked two tickets to Jaipur, leaving at 2.30pm. The move proved to be a stroke of genius. The journey only took 5 hours and as well as being very comfortable, provided us with amazing scenery and views of Indian countryside. We arrived safely in Jaipur one hour after our train was supposed to leave Agra. Result!!!

Our hotel was beautiful. It is an old maharaj palace and reminded us of the film 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' with it's ornate design and quirky furniture and trinkets, even down to the charming young men managing the place. It has a fantastic rooftop terrace with incredible panoramic views of Jaipur with the surrounding hills and in front of us the dominating Tiger Fort nested on top.

Entrance to our hotel
Lower roof terrace


Unfortunately Sonja awoke to our first experience of "Delhi belly" so therefore spent much of the first day relaxing on the roof terrace, reading, watching life continue beneath us and enjoying the views. Unadulterated, raw Indian life was going on in front of us and it was fascinating. So many things to describe....a hundred or so kites soared in the skies preparing for the kite festival in two days time (reminding us of the book, The Kite Runner), sounds of children laughing, car horns hooting, Indian music playing, the "call to prayer" echoing and Sonja's tummy growling!! Beneath us, a woman doing her laundry in the street, men shaving on roof tops, children being washed and dressed by their mothers whilst smiling and waving at us, even people going to the toilet. Not sightseeing as such, more "Indian life-seeing".

We did manage to visit two sites that afternoon. The City Palace was very impressive with it's pink coloured external walls, a wonderful collection of textiles and Indian clothing and a detailed history of previous to current Maharajas. We also strolled down to visit the Palace of the Winds. The frontage has many covered windows which allowed the women to watch processions pass without being seen.

Our final morning in Jaipur consisted of a trip to the Amber fort. A guide took us round this palace on the hill, telling us the history and tales of the Maharajas exploits. The wall surrounding the fort is 16km in length and spectacularly dominated the rugged hills around fort. Afterwards we thought we deserved a bit of fun so we bought six brightly coloured paper kites. It was a pathetic attempt as none got off the ground, which the local kids found rather amusing. Our kite careers started and ended there!

It was a shame not to see a bit more of Jaipur as the people have been more friendly and there is much less hassle, but another train journey awaits.









  1. Mr Robert, you look like a 12yr old with a beard in that there photo.... We need a tuk-tuk photo, preferably one of you in the drivers seat. Still jealous. S

  2. Train journeys and battling through crowds certainly seem to be giving you the most stress so far but you are seeing Indian life at close range and obviously enjoying yourselves and the people-watching. Hope your next train journey is stress free. Marlene