Day 14, Jaipur to Ranthambhore
We tore ourselves out of the heavenly beds at the Samode Haveli hotel for the 4.5 hour drive to Ranabath. Even though it is beautiful city, with magnificent forts and palaces, it’s a relief getting out of the congestion and smog of Jaipur. We were soon traveling through open farm county with cauliflower, mustard, wheat, garlic, guava and hay being harvested.
There was one of the big transport trucks being loaded with hay. The gigantic bags hanging off the sides of the trucks are like oversized panniers. As you can see the hay is chopped up, making it easier to handle with the front loader.
We’ve been seeing a lot of jeeps with 8 to 10 people jammed inside, sometimes half hanging out the window or riding on top. Parami says these are the local taxis’ that travel up to 30 kilometers. Longer trips are made by bus.
There was a large group of ladies in their colorful saris digging a trench alongside the road with pickaxes. It was a very jarring tableau of beauty and hard labor. We caught them taking a much needed break.
We stopped for a small lunch and I had some delicious local curried cauliflower with our usual garlic Nan.
Paramjeet drove us through one very small village that must have had 6 or 7 tin shed barbershops. We couldn’t figure out how such a small place would need so many barbers. This barber was all for having his picture taken, don’t think his customer was so sure.
We have arrived in Ranthambore and are staying close to the Ranthambore National Park, the park covers 151 square miles. The park has been preserving tigers, stripped Hyenas, Sloth Bears, Flying Foxes and Leopards since 1955, but wasn’t declared a National Park until 1980.
There was just time today to visit a women’s cooperative that specializes in hand loomed camel hair carpets, textiles and paintings. The work is very time consuming and intricate with a lot of hand stitching. Suzanne and I might have appreciated their workmanship a bit too much. We might not be able to buy anything for the rest of the trip.
Tomorrow we are off on two safaris. With luck we will see a tiger…..