Road trip around Gujarat part 2

Anya checks out local biker style

Anya checks out local biker style

One of the towns we visited was Bhuj out in Kutchch. Much of this area is salt flats which flood during the monsoon season. At this time of year it feels a bit like driving through the desert and the glare off the salt is intense in the more remote regions. Many of the people out here were traditonally nomadic and they are famous for their handicrafts like embroidery which were originally created for significant like events like birth, marriage and setting up home. These days most stuff is made for tourists and the antique pieces are either worn out or criminally expensive.
What I like about this area is that life is really tough and this has created a ‘wild west’ feel to many of the towns and everything seems to have a slightly extreme edge to it. The bike Anya is sitting on is the Kutchch workhorse and is used for lugging people or goods across the dead straight roads for miles. It is astonishingly noisy and based on an ancient German engine (probably pre WW2 by the look of it!). Like most things out here, it looks like a prop left over from a Mad Max movie.
Tribal boy's head gear

Tribal boy's head dress.

A head dress like this was given to children at 6 months - hence the tight fit!

A head dress like this was given to children at 6 months - hence the tight fit!

Everywhere she goes Anya is the object of extreme curosity. A bit unnerving, especially when men keep grabbing her and taking photos of her with their mates. The evidence here seems to be that she is getting used to it.
Anya shows the big boys how to pose for the camera

Anya shows the big boys how to pose for the camera

On the way to Bhuj we stopped off at Diu which was an old Portuguese colony much like Goa. No foreign tourists to speak of, but it does have a beach as well as old Christian churches and a b

Portuguese prison

Portuguese prison

The beach is even better when you should be at school doing maths!

Sunesh 'The Hoff' Patel

A taste of luxury in Diu - a hotel with a pool

A taste of luxury in Diu - a hotel with a pool

Of course, it wasn’t all fun – Dad made everyone go and look at old ruins as well:

And worse than that, an old fishing village which really stank!

swordfish minus its sword

swordfish (oops, sailfish, of course!) minus its sword

One that should have got away...

One that should have got away...

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Road trip around Gujarat

The lady of the manor at leisure

The lady of the manor at leisure

Sunesh, Sanjeev and Anya have just come back from two weeks travelling around Gujarat visiting some of the historic, beautiful and unusual sights it has to offer. The highlight was going on a camel safari in the Rajasthani desert outside Jaisalmer. Apart from that, they also climbed up 3 mountains to look at temples at the top, spent a few days on the beach and stayed in a couple of old palaces. I’m not sure how many thousands of kilometres we travelled, but sometimes we drove for 10 hours a day and Gujarat doesn’t even look like a big state compared to other states in India! Over the next few days I will post up a few pictures to give you a flavour of what we saw. Connection speeds are terrible at the moment and there are frequent power cuts …

We have enjoyed the faded charm of old palaces

We have enjoyed the faded charm of old palaces

Lounging about on the veranda

Lounging about on the veranda

A bed each? - such extravagance!

A bed each? - such extravagance!

We also visited the ‘eco’ fair – all hand powered of course!

We saw Jain temples at the very tops of mountains. Sanjeev would like me to point out that he was dragged out of bed at 5am to do this.

A temple too far...

A temple too far...

Cracking open the Pringles at the top to celebrate another conquest

Cracking open the Pringles at the top to celebrate another conquest

It was always worth the climb although we struggled despite lots of snacks and bottles of water. Most people were visiting as pilgrims rather than tourists and they were fasting, weren’t allowed to drink and most walked barefoot. Some had walked from their home towns and we even saw one man rolling down the road towads the mountain!

Stairway to heaven

Stairway to heaven

In case you were wondering how all this marble and stone gets to the top of a mountain – it’s still done by the same method used over a thousand years ago…

The definition of suffering. These guys could only manage a few steps at a time and it's hours to the yop in 35 degree heat. I didn't have the heart to ask how much they get paid but this must takes years off your life.

The definition of suffering. These guys could only manage a few steps at a time and it's hours to the top

Definition of aneasy life - probably for the dolly carriers as well.

Definition of an easy life - probably for the dolly carriers as well.

And then there was the desert…

and then there was the desert...

a sea of dunes...

...the camels...

...the camels...

Sanjeev of Arabia returns

Sanjeev of Arabia returns

such glamour...

such glamour...

such romance...

such romance...

such High School Musical!

such High School Musical!

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