After the camel safari I went back to the hostel had a shower (much needed) and then my driver and I hit the road towards Ranikpur. It was a mammoth drive and was pretty boring. The driver (Vishnu) wasn’t keen to drive all the way to Udipur and in an effort to make me decide to stay overnight at Ranikpur he called his friend who explained there were jaguars and tigers around so it isn’t safe to drive at night.
As soon as it got dark though I didn’t want to drive all the way to Udipur… it was so freaken scary as the cars and trucks do some stupid overtaking manuvers (it was like playing ‘chicken’ when you drive at speed head on to another car and see who will turn away first before having a head-on crash). Then to make it worse poor Vishnu had no idea where to go as it was harder to see the signs at night and he wasn’t familiar with the roads.
So about 8.30pm (after a couple of hours of playing chicken) I was feeling pretty stressed and was very happy to find a room. So happy to find a room (and tired and stressed) I payed 600 rupees for it even though its just a pit stop.
In the morning I discovered that Ranikpur is a lovely place set in the forest (that apparently has jaguars and tigers). I chilled out by the pool in the morning for a bit, had some breakfast and then checked out some more JAin temples. Vishnu fixed the flat tire (for a 2nd time, the job the guy did in Jodpur was crap apparently) and then we hit the road for Udapur.
It was only a few hours to Udapur but it was a lovely drive through the forest and over some hills. The roads were pretty dodgy but this is nothing new… 95% of the roads are dodgy in the places I have been so far!
Here are some pics from Ranikpur and the drive to Udipur:
We arrived in Udapur in the afternoon, I faffed around trying to find somewhere decent to sleep. The rooms are either cheapish and pretty disgusting or middle of the road (600-700 rupees $20-$25nzd) and pretty nice. I felt like going middle of the road as I was feeling pretty run down and needed a good sleep. My room was lovely, had stained glass windows, a big bed, a ‘theoretical hot shower’ and a sofa/coffee table… all for $20nzd. Man I love India.
In the evening I went to a rooftop restaurant, had a yummy curry and watched the Bond movie 007 Octopussy which was filmed on the lake palace in Udipur. The movie was ok but a very irritating rather unattractive French/Belgian guy sat next to me so I left pretty quickly after the movie to avoid hanging out with him!