Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday October 30 - Around Mysore

We up at 6;30 and off with a local guide to visit a 13th century Hindu Temple and and a 18th century palace of an Indian prince who made the mistake of siding with the French against the British. The temple was completely covered with carvings and was reminiscent on Ankor Wat in Cambodia - stunning. At the palace, there were lots of Indian tourists and a couple of groups asked Mike to take photos of them. On the way to the palace we came across an Indian Wedding and jumped off the us to take pictures. After lunch we walked to a real market - not a tourist thing but small shops along a busy street. We bought ibuprofen, toothpaste and a strap for my suitcase -because the zipper had burst open on the flight to Mysore. Fortunately everything was in its little storage containers and the inside straps were done up so I don't think anything fell out. We were able to fix the zipper - but a strap will be good for security. Just as we started out there was a torrential rainstorm. The fellow who tries to sell flutes and stuff at the hotel door did some very excellent magical tricks that included blowing smoke and fire out of in his mouth - while we waited for the rain to stop. Then Gopal gave us a good talk about Indian Mythology. I now understand Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer - and we have heard many great stories about them. Dinner was at a small lovely "homestay" in the countryside. The bus had broken down so we all got into tuk tuks and zoomed out into the country. 7 tuk tuks loaded with "road scholars" zipping through the traffic - each one trying to out race the others and stay out of the way of cars and motorbikes. On the way we stopped to view some beautiful diwali lights - sort of like the lights on the Legislature in Victoria - but many more buildings and more lights. When we got into the country, the tuk tuk drivers could not locate the home stay place - Geetanjali Farm - you can find out about it on their website. There was a bit of driving back and forth on the road, stopping to call on the cell phone, discussions among the drivers and sudden about-turns. The tuk tuk Mike was in actually ran out fuel and had to be pushed along by one of the others. We finally found the long dark driveway. Dinner was lovely and we are now safely home again. Another very busy day in India!

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