|We were up early this morning to catch a local train that would take us from Bundi to Bassi where we would get a jeep that would take us to Castle Bijaipur. The train was only fifteen minutes late which was good by Indian standards and when we got on we could hardly believe our eyes.......most of the seats were full....people were either sitting or laying stretched out on the seats taking up all the space.......they were even laying on the luggage racks above the seats. Adrian, Craig and Barb got to sit down while Raj and I stood in the aisle....after about an hour a gentleman got up as if to get off the train and offered me his seat....the seats were wooden and it was almost more comfortable to stand. We noticed later that the gentleman moved to another car and stood so that I could have a seat. The people were very friendly and were more than willing to scrunch together to make room for others to sit. Along the way vendors would get on the train selling local Indian snacks......something that looked like rice krispies mixed with red onion, chilies and fresh squeezed lime juice served in squares of newspaper that were fashioned into a cone and peanuts(there were shells all over the floor). We arrived in Bassi and met our driver and then rode for 45 minutes to Bijaipur dodging goats and cattle and their herders along the way....like an obstacle course. We arrived at Castle Bijaipur and were welcomed with music, flower garlands, a marking on our foreheads and a cold drink. The castle was an ancient building that is now a heritage site and has been converted into a hotel with a swimming pool. We were treated to a nice snack lunch of vegetable pekoras, finger fries and potato and tomato sandwiches with spicy tomato ketchup. After lunch we relaxed.....Craig and Adrian played table tennis and Barb and I went to the pool. In the early evening we went on a village safari by jeep to the small villages that surround Bijaipur, past a Kanjar Tribe Memorial where the cremated bodies of tribe members were placed, similar to a cemetary and we were taken into peoples homes to see how they live. In one area, because the schools were so far away, a classroom was set up and a teacher brought in to teach the local children. We then made our way to the Modia Mahadev Bageria Dam where we stopped to enjoy the views and peace and quiet and have a cup of masala chai. On the way back we stopped at a temple.......there were three gentlemen whose job it was to keep the eternal flame lit and to chant and pray at the temple three times a day. We returned to the castle for poolside drinks and entertainment before sitting down to a scrumptious meal which included a spicy honey chicken that was out of this world. Tomorrow is a free day to spend by the pool catching a few rays.....