Up at the crack of dawn today, 4:00am to be ready for a 5:15am pickup to the Aurangabad airport for two flights, Mumbai, then on to Jodhpur. The Aurangabad airport was a straight forward affair, wish I could say the same for Mumbai. We were directed to domestic connections, where for some mysterious reason we were required to go through security again. We got in line, only to be told we had to go to the women only lines. There were only 3 lines for women. We got in line again, to be told we had to go to a nearby check point and leave all our carry on bags to be rescanned. We returned to wait in line to be body scanned and were finally allowed to retrieve our worldly goods. I was so nervous, as all our bags with money, credit cards, iPad, camera, etc. we’re sitting out, with hoards of people milling around. It has been a bit of culture shock with India’s conservative attitude towards women. And I wasn’t coping well, because of course with the early flight we both woke up long before we needed to and we’re lacking sleep.
Speaking of women, this reminds me that yesterday Suzanne and I had been talking about how we hadn’t seen women driving motorcycles, the main mode of transportation, during our ride out to the temples. Suzanne asked our guide Gulati if women drove motorcycles and he kindly explained that women only drove scooters, because motorcycles were too difficult with having to change gears. Thought Suzanne would have to bite her tongue off….
Made it to Jodhpur early afternoon and were driven to The Ajit Bhawan a heritage hotel owned and residence of the younger brother of the late Maharaja of Jodhpur, Umed Singh Sahib. Our room is a vision in pink and white.
We had a great dinner in the garden and noticed small animals darting into the trees and under the tables. When being quizzed about how we were enjoying our stay, I asked what the animals were. Our interrogator looked around with a puzzled look and said there weren’t any animals. We have been here 7 hours and this is a guy that spends all his time out in the garden talking with guests and he hasn’t noticed the furry critters? Suzanne and I were laughing, that he didn’t want to say, “madame those are rats”! There was a wonderful Indian music (featured photo) and dance program during dinner that we enjoyed immensely.
Tomorrow we are off to see the Mehrangarh fort, the Mandore gardens. Lots of climbing, so we took the afternoon off to save our energy.