Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The road to Thordi: Playing chicken with trucks is the Indian way!!!

Early the next morning we were at it again. Up early and off to the next place. This was the first time that we had used public buses on the whole trip. This was a fast trip and our first experience of public bus driving. The road rules are simple: do what you can to get to the destination without crashing. This includes risky overtaking including on blind bends and when there is oncoming traffic (usually a truck). Non-overtaking traffic has right of way when confronted with a vehicle overtaking another vehicle but there is a fair amount of playing “chicken” involved and sometimes it is scarily close to the point where you can feel the draft of the oncoming vehicle.

There are thousands and thousands of these polluting trucks and they are the ones that have perfected  "playing chicken".
 The bus was to take us half way to our destination and the rest of the way was by jeep which isn’t as bad as it sounds. After surviving the bus trip (hallelujah), the jeeps took us over some wet, potholed country roads to a back blocks village of Thordi Garh. The journey included passing overloaded vehicles full of people including people riding on the bonnet (presumably hanging onto the window wipers) and camels, lots of camels.
Jeep pooling

Old and older modes of transport

We are so inefficient in the West!

Keeping the camels in line.

Camels, camels and more camels

It was quite an entertaining trip and certainly made you feel like you were off the beaten track somewhat. By this stage it was raining which according to Raj and Ranny “never happens in Rajasthan” which was where we were. It was also a bit chilly.  We were to do a camel cart ride around the village but it was too wet and cold so took time to meet some of the accommodations owners animals including his horse and his beautiful boxer dog ‘Tyson’.

Our accomodation in Thordi
Note the funny ears

Still only young but its destiny is edurance riding

The plan was to have dinner under the stars but there was still some rain so it was moved indoors. Dinner was meant to be a meal that was to blow the brains of a few people who had been crying out for a “hot” curry but yet again lead to disappointment. This could have been related to the consumption of rum which continued to flow for the rest of the night and nothing more will be mentioned about that night on this blog. What happens on tour, stays on tour but it was an excellent night.
Locals providing entertainment at dinner

Ranny and Raj getting the night time activity started

The next morning and everyone looking refreshed (not) we set off for a walk around the village to meet the locals and to see what life is like in rural India. Brightly coloured houses, some adorned with well wishes for a married couple filled the narrow “roads” that created the labyrinth that was the village. I am sure the continuing rain damped some of the activity that would normally happen as things seemed quite quiet. There was an opportunity to buy some saris (but some of us were not in a sari buying mood), just stroll at a leisurely pace and to also see a potter in action. Some of us just enjoyed the photo opportunities that were everywhere and the kids were fantastic models.
The village life of Thordi

Kids enjoying the foreigners passing by

Some of the housing

Narrow alley ways

Just plain cute!

Some of the local pottery

I think a few of us got this shot

Point of manufacture. All of these were made from a single piece of clay


Our eye stunning bathroom. No wonder I crashed getting out of here in the morning the tiles were a little unsettling on the eyes

After lunch we were back in our jeeps and off to Jiapur.
The jeeps used to get to the next place
The trip took about four hours and again there was some driving that left you holding your breath but late in the evening we arrived in Jiapur, did some quick laundry and then met together to decide on dinner. Surprisingly the choice was Pizza Hut so in the late evening Renee, Raj and I are tucked into a tuk tuk in search of Pizza Hut to retrieve pizza’s and drinks for the whole group. It seemed to take some time to get there and thankfully it had stopped raining (momentarily) which made the journey just a bit better. The tuk tuk driver took us to where he thought it was but it took us a bit longer to find it but it was to be found down the side alley. I am not sure what they thought of two westerners and an Indian buying so much food but the comment that we were really hungry drew a unusual smile from the Pizza Hut worker. Eventually we got the goods back to the hotel and tucked into it. For some of us this involved eating pizza in bed watching dodgy Bollywood which made it taste even better and I know that room 103 was asleep before the rest of the group.

No comments:

Post a Comment