Up very early as this will be our longest driving day - to Jalore!
Retrace our steps to begin with then turn towards Jalore. Rural life here seems harder because of the arid conditions. Mostly see herds of goats, sheep or camels with their herders. They live either in traditional thatched mud huts or have begun to build small flat roofed houses.
We stop for lunch at The Manwar Desert Resort. The main attraction is the man at the door with a magnificent two-tone moustache, black & white. He is happy to be photographed once he has preened in front of his mirror!
The resort is beautifully laid out and we have a lovely lunch. Whilst there an entourage of police appear with an apparently important personage. He has his own minder, the owner of the resort is very obsequious and he is shown to a ready prepared table complete with cloth. He is very arrogant looking!
Continue the long road trip, snooze a bit and stop for chai at a small hotel. We end up in a little conference room as it is cooler. Loo stop - ladies was apparently pretty grim when tried by one of our group. Les reports the gents is fine so some of us use it. Ladies was whiffy, dirty & a squat type. The gents was clean and a modern flush toilet! Who are the 2nd class citizens here? was the comment!
Passed through many small towns until scenery began to change with some mountains ahead in the distance. We enter a big granite mining area. Green granite from Mokalsar and pink from Jalore.
Off the main highway we come to a single lane Tarmac road. We have decided the national sport of India is not cricket, hockey or polo ........ it is playing 'Chicken' on the roads!
It is very scary seeing another vehicle heading straight for you with neither driver giving way till the last second!!!
Eventually though we do arrive safely at our hotel, Ravia Bhenswara, a Heritage hotel. Again we turn out of a tiny village lane through a gate into a wonderful courtyard. The 'palace' has been owned by the same family for several generations & became a hotel in 1993. The family still live in part of it & nephews of the owner run it.
Our room is stunning, albeit a very blue boudoir! We have a lounging couch set in the wall! The grounds are delightful and it is very peaceful. A fabulous pool is finished with mirrors in arches making it look huge.
A home cooked dinner finishes the day. Not sure about the huge photo of an ancestor over the desk in our room! Bit overpowering!