Well we've left India. We spent 3 lovely relaxed days in Udaipur city. The City Palace there was beuatiful, probably one of the best preserved/restored ones we've seen. We did a day trip to the fort at Kumbalgarh. The wall around the fort there is 36kms long, second longest in the world only after the Great Wall in China. There's a palace there and approx. 300 temples and shrines. We wandered around the place and explored a few of the temples near the entrance. We drove to Ranakpur then to see the Jain Temple there. It had 1,444 marble pillars and each one had different carvings. Some of the workmanship and carving that we've seen in all the places we've been is spectacular and it's hard to imagine how they did it.
We spent 2 more days just wandering around Udaipur and it was lovely. The people were friendly without hassling us and even though they were trying to get us into their shop or whatever they were fine if we didn't want too.
It was on to Mumbai then and on first arrival we were sorry we went there. We had no room booked and the amount of touts who were following us and haraunging us was terrible. Added to that all the guesthouse were up about 4 flights of stairs, which we had to climb with our backpacks in the dead heat. The standard of the guesthouse was terrible (imagine a one floor of a building about the size of the downstairs of an average house, divided up into shoebox size rooms with plywood or something to that effect, with communal bathrooms all for way more than we've paid anywhere else in India) Not happy campers to say the least.
Anyway as we'd been traipsing up and down the backpacker area (Colaba), Foss had spotted that Leopold's Cafe was really busy and he suggested we go there for dinner. the food was so nice that we went back the following day too. It was busy enough, so we were seated with a Swiss gentleman at a table for 4. It was only when he started pointing out the bullet holes that Foss realised it was the Cafe that had been at the centre of the terrorists attacks. I thought he knew! Our 'hotel' was quite near the Gateway of India too and we hadn't realised that it looked out on the back of the Taj Hotel, well it would have if it had windows.
Anyway the last two days weren't as bad as our arrival but I still think we might have left with a nicer impression of India if we'd left after Bundi and Udaipur.
In Bangkok now and it's fine. Can't believe that people say to get out of here as quick as you can. It seems so much cleaner and more civilised than India was, but it is more expensive. We did a little bit of sightseeing today, went to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho (despite the best efforts of any Thai person we met who all told us they were closed and to go to this other place or that other place). I'd say that's all we're going to do here though after temple/palace overload in India. We have to stay here an extra day because we're waiting on our Vietnamese visa's and Monday is a public holiday. Don't know what we'll do for the 2 days, maybe just chill out by the pool :)
Anyway hope all is well, don't forget to email us with the news. We'll try to put up pictures again soon.
Jan and Foss