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After a nice buffet breakfast it was time to hop into the car and have Bhagawat start driving. It was hot today, probably 35 plus. Thank goodness for AC in the car! First 2 hours got us about 1/3 of the way. And to visit Chittaurgarh Fort.

Chittaurgarh Fort, or also called Chittor, is the largest fort in India. We eventually drove around the whole thing and it was over 20 minutes driving non stop. It takes up the whole mountain top. Built in 734 and abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It was the capital of Mewar, it moved to Udaipur after this.

The palace area.

This is how they “renovate” or reconstruct. Pretty sure WorkSafe BC might have issues here.

As we are atop a hill, the view into the city was pretty amazing.

There are a few temples here.

One of them was a Jain temple (Jain is a branch of Hinduism). Very tall and skinny with impressive carvings.

Seen here from the palace area.

And then up close after a short drive.

There were a ton of monkeys eating roasted chick peas. Many monkey moms breastfeeding babes. If only we western human types weren’t so uptight about it.
After seeing the fort it was time for lunch. I had chicken curry and Kris had butter chicken. Both were awesome. Her Masala Chai was as also yummy. My coffee was instant. Guess I should have known better. This is a tea culture after all.

Back on the road to Jaipur. I learned a few things about the “rules of the road”.

  1. Watch out, there are no rules except don’t hit each other.
  2. Honk so the others around you know you are there and might do something.
  3. The “fast lane” is where all the slow trucks hang out. Just like home (and California), the real fast lane is the curb lane.
  4. Except the curb lane is where the people, dogs, motorcycles and other random things pop out.
  5. You can park in the curb lane. Even on the hightway.
  6. Most of the oncoming (meaning wrong way traffic) is moving slowly and mostly in the curb lane. Yes this includes the main highway too.
  7. According to Bhagawat there are very few accidents because everyone is hyper aware. Not like home where people are lemmings and clueless.
  8. There is no weight limit or wide load limit. Or at least it’s not enforced. See photo below, this is common. Think half ton pickup truck with many pounds of hay or other produce stuffed into the “bag”. And yes he’s hanging out in the “fast lane”.

Apparetly there are helmet laws. But only when the police are around. Bhagawat says that when the police are seen by the motorcycle driver there is a mad rush to put the helmet on. Which is often stored on the fuel tank. That is funny enough, but often they don’t have full face helmets (meaning they’d blow off if faced forward.) So now in a panic the driver slams the helmet on. Backwards. Can’t see, and has an accident. So much for being safe!

After 9 hours on the road (to travel 600km) we arrived in Jaipur. And the souless JW Marriot hotel. We try and find local hotels or chains on our travels, but in Jaipur there wasn’t a lot of options. Apparently it takes 3 people to check you in, much fussing about, 2 different ways to upgrade our stay (free coffee for a fee??? and a suite for $60/night). We said no to both and one of the receptionists didn’t want to take no for an answer. Very much the slimiest experience we’ve had so far. The bathroom is pretty. But clearly the designer has never used one (a bathroom that is). The toilet is square???? The shower can’t be used except as a hand shower because it’s spray is aimed dircectly at the non sealing door. Kris sort of flooded the floor before she noticed and called me to rapidly fix. Thank goodness we had lots of towels to choose from. At least they have wifi. But we coud be in Chicago, Paris or Vancouver. They are all the same. Which I guess is the point of a chain really. Just not what we’d prefer.

Tomorrow we are back out touring and start with an elephant ride. That sounds more like India!



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