Sunday, November 04, 2012

Crashing a Wedding, and A Palace For Us

As we rode through tiny villages yesterday we suddenly saw a crowd of brightly clothed people sitting under a pavilion right at the edge of the road. Our amazing guide, Krish, immediately asked the driver to stop. "what was that?" he exclaimed. "Come on, let's go find out!" so we all came out of the van and waded right into the middle of a wedding! We were completely swarmed, first by children and then by everyone else, touching us, our hair, faces, hands, begging us to take their photos. Judy and Anita were drawn in to dance with some of the women. We probably stayed for 15 minutes, every second of it a sensory explosion of color, noise, touch, fragrance of spices and bodies, and everywhere the beautiful faces of the Indian people. Our driver eventually had to extricate us from the melee. They wanted us to stay and eat with them and await the arrival of the groom, who was due to arrive 4 hours later on his white horse. But alas, we had to push on.

Krish had been telling us that we would be staying at a "lodge" for the next 2 nights near the tiger preserve. Imagine our astonishment when we pulled in to a HUGE white palace owned by the royal family of India, descendants of the last maharaja. What a mind-boggling contrast to the abodes we have been seeing. This place is monumentally stunning and our room alone is a suite fit for a whole harem!

We opted to skip the late afternoon hike to an old fort in the forest. Those who went reported that it was beautiful, had outstanding views, and was teeming with monkeys, parrots, and other tropical wildlife.

We stayed here and rested (I have caught the cold going through our group) and last might we both had Ayurvedic massages at the poolside spa. It was hands- down the best massage I've ever had (D agrees), and we were slathered in the spiciest, most aromatic oils. Deluxe!

Soon I'll write about the food we've been eating, but enough for today!!

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Location:MDR 111,,India

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