From Jaipur to Khajuraho

i have skipped a day of the blog, which I will send later, because yesterday was memorable. We left our hotel in Jaipur early to get our 8:00 train to Jhansi in central India. The first class train was okay, no chickens, cows or people hanging off of the roof! The countryside was all farms, reminding you that you could be almost anywhere.

Insanity at the Jhansi train station

 

Once we arrived, there was a tight gaggle of auto-rickshaw drivers vying for passengers. It could have been daunting had we not had a Smartours bus waiting for us. Yippee!

Our group on the huge bus

We left for lunch and a bit of sightseeing. Our bus was much larger than we needed and had what we believed to be no suspension system. The worst part was that it had no a/c. Luckily, the heat of the day wouldn’t hit until later, but you couldn’t open the windows either.

Ravi told our driver to get it fixed or get another bus. In the meantime, we ate some lunch and went to see a huge home from one of the shahs from the 1600’s.

Typical Shaw residence

There are so many monuments to history, but unless they are maintained by the country, the individual states can’t keep up with the renovations required, as it was in this site. Many have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites, about 88 of them, and slowly, they are being brought back to their former glory.

After our visit, we were met with a different bus, even larger than the first. Great suspension, but it now required that it squeeze between the millions of motorcycles, each with a minimum of three on board, the auto-rickshaws, large trucks, many, many cows in the road, one lane bridges and two train crossings that added a minimum of forty minutes to our journey. And, with no visible lines to indicate lanes, which are probably only suggestions anyway, vehicles were coming right at us most of the time.

The Hindu temples

Sitting in the second row, gave us the unique prospective of seeing the oncoming traffic in vivid detail. It was absolutely frightening, and we had 4-1/2 hours of travel still to go! Pretty soon, we just closed our eyes and dozed, mainly to avoid the scary view through the windshield. By the time we reached the Radisson Hotel, it was dark and we were spent emotionally! A light dinner and a lovely bath and off to bed.

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