Hope everything is good at home. Its rather warm here, but i guess we have to get used to it - on Thursday we start at the children's home and they don't have AC at all.. should be fun!
We spent rather a long time in Jaipur in the end as we couldn't get tickets to Ranthambore until the 12th. We spent a few days meandering in the Bazaars, attempting to avoid the touts and find somewhere where they didn't charge 'tourist prices'. In the end we were quite happy with our purchases and found several really nice places. We met up with Geraldine who we met in Mumbai in our hotels' rooftop restaurant on one of the nights and we caught up with each others adventures and heard about her volunteering placement, which was pretty cool.
We eventually made it to Ranthambore on the 12th following a very expensive train ride (15 quid for 2 hours.. almost England prices!) and checked into our tiger themed hotel - I swear they had paintings of tigers from every angle in every scenery type. The following morning we enjoyed a wondrous 4.45am alarm to go to collect our tickets, and then were on our tour bus at 5.45 (as stated on the ticket). In typical style the other people on our trip decided that they were outside the terms and deserved a lie in, so we ended up hanging around until 6.30 when the last few trickled out seemingly unaware of how annoyed we were. This utter disregard for others (and wildlife) became a theme of the tour. When we luckily came across a tiger it was immediately surrounded by around 10 jeep/truck loads of people and followed for at least 45 minutes whilst most continued talking loudly and small children were allowed to scream and shout seemingly to their hearts content. The tiger was suitably magnificent but we felt very sorry for it as it attempted to escape the crowds to little avail. Now we understand what our Kiwi tour guide said about over-viewing. Once the crowds had eventually tired of the tiger the rest of the tour was very enjoyable (loud children excepted). We saw lots of different types of deer/antelope, a black winged stilt (which excited Billy a lot), lots of painted stalks, wild boar, a kingfisher (which took me about 10 minutes to spot!) and a paradise fly-catcher. We arrived back to our hotel at about 9 and spent most of the day napping and reading. Our hotel had a pool, but we forgot our swimming costumes =(
We returned to Jaipur that evening and checked back in to the ever friendly Pearl Palace for the night before we caught the poshest bus we've seen in India across to Delhi (we got free water and everything!). We checked into a vaguely OK hotel (our room is relatively clean but thats about all that can be said for it..) and went out to the cinema where we saw 'West is West' the sequel to 'East is East' which we'd definitely would recommend.
Today we plan on heading over to look at the Lotus temple which sounds pretty cool..
Photos are being silly again, we'll keep trying! (the tiger and camel ones are really good!)
Lots of love,
See you soon,
Rosie and Billy