Day 16 – Wednesday 29th September – Mt Abu (Happy Birthday Dad!)

Firstly Happy Birthday to my dad! Sorry not there to see you. Hope you have a fab day and the card arrives in one piece without Rex chewing it up! x x x

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Mt Abu is unsurprisingly at the top of a mountain and the bus driver was a normal Indian driver – overtaking on bends and liking the edge of the road rather than the safer side. But we got here in one piece to another lake side town. The environment is plusher up here than in Udaipur. Lots of greenery and palm trees.

After traipsing round for half hour or so in the midday sun we settled on Lake View hotel which says it all in the name. The view is perfect – across Nakki Lake with hills either side and a palace on top. Shame about the room which seems to atrract all the bugs in town for a party at dusk but you can’t have it all.

We’d heard that Mt Abu town was a place for honeymooners who come from Guajarat (not the reason we came here i need to add). But it is not dissimilar to Weston-super-mare. Dodgy fast-food joints, amusement arcades, loads of mr whippy stalls (or mr “softy” as they’re called here), people selling lots of tat and numerous groups of teenagers loitering about.

Plus cheesy pedalos as a bonus. We opted for a Shikara (no not the singer) which is kind of like a gondola where you sit back and relax on a huge padded seat whilst a guy paddles you around the lake for a very chilled out half an hour. We did it twice. The first time being the best as it was just before sunset so really cool colours & patterns on the lake and in the sky and our “driver” liked to sing a little too.

As there didn’t seem to be much happening in the town we decided on a morning trek with Charles (Mahendra Dan) from Mt Abu Treks. This was our first ever trek so we opted for the easy one to see what it was like. 7am today Charles met us at the hotel and a taxi took us up to the highest point in Rajasthan.
From there he took us on a 3.5 hour wander across the Alvari* hills (none are actually called Mt Abu) with some amazing views and even made masala chai on a small fire on the rocks.
It was so peaceful up there. No-one but the three of us.
We immmediately warmed to Charles. He was an open and honest chap. Spiritual and passionate about what he does.
When he found out Matt was a software expert he borrowed him for an hour to help improve his blog site and in return he took us to his home and whilst we sat on a huge rock looking out over Nakki Lake as the sun lowered he made us milk coffee and cheese toasties. Proper cheese toastie. None of the crap we had last night at Kings Food restaurant which was 2 pieces of toast and some grated cheese inbetween!

There’s lots more I could write about Charles but we need to write on his blog page so i’ll stick the URL here….http://www.mount-abu-treks.blogspot.com. (We’ll be updating soon – though I’m not sure we can write well enough to do it justice – it will be a definite Recommendation).

After pottering around a bit more and not feeling overly hungry we ate corn on the cob from the streetstalls who shove it directly into the burning coals andthen rub it with chilli powder and lemon and serve it back in the corn skin. It was delicious. We of course had to finish off with a Mr Softy which was served in a 2 cones (yes one inside the other!!) and tasted like that fluuffy marshmallow gunk you had on toast when you were a kid. Sweet to say the least.

Another night of sleeping with the light on – not as many bugs as last night as Matt had an ingenious plan of blocking up the doorway with a blanket. I don’t mind little bugs but some of these things are massive beetle/grasshoppeer/jumpy/cockroach-looking things and they were not surviving in our room any longer than they had to! We probably flattened about 20 to 30 of the critters all shapes and sizes before settling down to sleep.


*need to check spelling

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