October 9th - Indore to Udaipur

After the problems of driving on Indian roads, virtually everyone decided to have an early start so that the 400 kms drive to Udaipur would be completed well before dark. Also, tonight we are staying at one of the great hotels of the world, The Lake Palace Hotel and to see it properly you must be there before the sunsets.

The first 150 kms of the drive north from Indore were simply horrendous. The roads were diabolical with giant potholes everywhere. When you did have a decent section of tarmac you could not be certain that you wouldn't suddenly hit a pothole. We had one moment of pure India. There on the side of the road was an elephant with its rider (mahout?) and a man in a turban leading it along the road.

We stopped and I remembered that we had half a water melon left from the day before which I gave to the elephant who took it with its trunk and swallowed it whole! We took our photos and headed on for our first planned stop at a former maharajah's palace that had seen distinctly better times.

We had taken over four hours to do under half our trip so we were very relieved when the roads improved and we drove on good smooth tarmac roads with very few trucks. The next 200 kms took only 3 hours and we arrived in Udaipur at 3.30pm.

It is very difficult to describe how stunningly beautiful the Lake Palace Hotel is. It was built by a maharajah in the 18th century. The palace was built on a man made island and became a hotel in 1963.

I hope the photos give some idea of how beautiful the hotel is. In the evening we took a boat ride around the lake as the sunset. A fitting way to end another great day in India.

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