INDIA 3
We made an overnight stop in Karnal on our way to Jaipur. An unexciting town but we probably had our best food here in India. We even got special treatment being tourists which was embarassing. The "restaurant" was one of those basic places you find on the streets - various large pots of different curries and one or two open fires where the contents of the pots would be heated as required. The dining area is dirty, in desperate need of some paint and if you are lucky has cleanish tables and plastic chairs. The owner was insistant that we sit at his best table (even trying to remove the Indians who were there at the time) we said that the free table would be fine. His favourtie dish was Butter Chicken so this was what we should eat also - fine by us. Salads arrived complete with cutlery (unheard of in these places) and napkins which had been hastily purchased from the shop down the road. The food was excellant and the service over the top.

We left the following morning after Cliff threatening to murder a couple of lads that insisted on sitting on the bikes, despite the fact that they were not on a good surface. In his rage he tripped and knocked my bike off it's stand ! The road became dual carriageway - hooray - this will stop the nutters from coming at us head on - NO. There were all sorts heading in the fast last the wrong way - including a camel and cart ! There was some respite though from the constant onslaught on this road. We had decided to avoid Delhi altogether, another large polluted city - however, we still had to get round it and this took a couple of hours of fighting with scooters, cycle and auto-rickshaws for space. Eventually we found our selves on the right road for Jaipur, though this feat was achieved by pure luck, as we made our way around Dehli we saw only one sign for Agra and no signs for Jaipur at all, we were pretty lost when we stopped for a smoke and attempted to work out where we were, we showed our map to an auto rickshaw driver which confused him a little but after explaining that we wanted to go to Jaipur he said turn left at the next set of lights and you are on the road to Jaipur, so for once we were lost and several miles from where we thought we were, but somehow we had managed to take the purfect route, god its nice when a cock-up goes your way !!!. We stopped at a roadside hotel between Dehli and Jaipur which was like another world. The lawn was immaculately cut and flat, we were treated like kings by the staff and the peace was wonderful.

Our roadside hotel at Dharuhera.
We only had 180km to do to get to Jaipur so we left the hotel at noon after lazing around for breakfast. The road continued to be good until the last 5km when everything was back to normal. Eventually we found the Jaipur Inn Hotel that apparently allowed camping on the lawn - it did so after looking at the rooms that were available and deciding that they were little more than a shack type construction we set up the tent.
Camping for the second time in India
Having pitched our tent and settled in, we decided we would give the vegetarian food at the hotel a go, well it was OK but the meaty food here is just so much better so long as you can be sure it is fresh cooked, so we decided to ignore the dire warnings about eating meat here, the following evening the owner was getting a Take-away delivered, so we took his advise and ordered an Indian Take-away. We ordered a couple of dishes that we had never heard of, this turned out to be absolutely excellent so we had two more Take-aways before we left Jaipur.

We stayed in Jaipur for five days as there is quite a lot to do here, we toured around the Observatory, Tiger Fort, Amber Fort, Jal Mahal, the Palace of Winds and the city itself, it is a very interesting and colourful place.

Elephant in the street in Jaipur
We had a looked at the Jal Mahal Palace, which is a bit of a mess, this is excerbated by the lack of water in the lake that surrounds it, The Rajasthan area of India has had no monsoon rains for three years so everything is dead or dying and the area is very dusty.
The Jal Mahal Palace on the puddle.
The Jantar Observatory is like a enormous playground where even if you don't understand the use of the large concrete instruments you can clamber on and around them. Each structure is the instrument itself, incorporating concrete, marble and brass. They measure the position of the planets, time etc.
The Jantar Mantar Observatory
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