The first part of the Itinerary is the most difficult - checking out of the Oberoi Vanyavilas. Our focus on the game drives left us little time to take advantage of the services and facilities offered at the resort.
"Feb 14: Afternoon - Check out of your hotel and proceed on a drive to Jaipur. Arrive at Jaipur and check in to your hotel. There is a break for lunch.
Late afternoon - Proceed for a brief city tour of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace..."
One facility I didn't miss was the observation tower that offers a 360 degree vista of the hotel grounds, our "tent" and the adjoining National Park. The previous night, A tiger was spotted walking along the road visible in this panorama.Sigrid outside our "tent"
Another resort facility we took full advantage of was the courtyard dining room. We did not miss a meal. The food was spectacular.
But this blog, like your travel reporters themselves, must finally, reluctantly leave Ranthambore...
Elephants see us off as we step through the door to our waiting car.
One interesting sight along the way were the many "Jhogards" or "jugars" on the road:
"Jugar" literally translates as "temporary arrangement". These "temporary arrangements" are hand crafted vehicles fashioned by carpenters and craftsmen in rural India,. They are powered by diesel engines intended for use as water well pumps. Shurveer informs us that the vehicles are unlicensed and completely illegal for use on the road, but very popular among farmers for local transportation. They cost considerably less than vehicles build by legitimate manufacturers. We saw a lot of them, used for everything from a pickup truck, to a mobile bandstand, for delivery services, or even as a bus.
When we arrived in Jaipur we did some touring, but I don't remember which sites we saw this day or the next, so I will consolidate our Jaipur pictures in the tomorrow's post. As a proxy:
We check in at the Taj Rambagh Palace...
...and enjoy a Valentines day dinner under the portrait of Maharani Shri Gayatri Devi Sahiba, the late Maharani of Jaipur, once included in a Vogue magazine list of the '"World's ten most Beautiful Women". I don't think she holds a candle to my valentine.
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