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An Alien in Spain - Visits India (Sawai Modhopur / Ranthambhore Safari)

Setting off from Bundi we circumnavigated the town and were on the outskirts when our driver spotted a group of ladies by the side of the road "Ah, Wedding" was his war cry - "You want to dance" and without waiting for an answer he spun the car around as only an Indian driver can and came to a halt by the group. We were soon dancing and joining in with the festivities and we were even taken in to the wedding field to be introduced to the groom.

What a great experience and we were even invited to come back to enjoy the evening meal with them and they were genuinely disappointed when we explained we had to be elsewhere that evening. Goodbyes all round and we were back on the road and at lunchtime arrived at our hotel where we were presented with garlands and welcomed by the hotel owner who also happened to be our guide for the morning Safari next day.

After a very mediocre meal we drove up to Ranthambore National Park where Denise and Kay joined me in the trek up to the Ganesha Temple via some scenic views and the usual Indian greetings

Returning to the hotel we all agreed we were totally underwhelmed by the food at our hotel and wandered the very noisy and dusty streets to find "Siddie Riddie" a real Indian cafe who didn't understand the concept of "little spicy" but we managed to get through the meal with the help of Ice Cream to finish and then back to the hotel for an early start for our first Tiger Safari.

Getting up to get to the park before the tigers is not fun, couple this with the fact it's bloody freezing and you know if you don't see a tiger you won't see anything else because no other animals are silly enough to get up that early! And your set for the morning except for John and June who only have summer clothes and we all have to cover them in blankets so they don't get pneumonia. The Safari started at 7 am and finished about 10 am and all we saw was Jack Frost The only good thing about the afternoon Safari was that it gave us the opportunity to see a different section of the park, but apart from a few birds, reindeer, antelope and a couple of basking crocodiles we were left disappointed at no sighting of the Tigers we had come to see.

The rest of my time was rather anticlimactic and in the evening I went for a walk where another wedding was taking place and the roads were congested with the hundreds if not thousands of people attending. Perhaps I should explain, this is the time of the year known as the wedding season as couples all wait for this good weather to tie the knot and weddings can go on for a minimum of 5 days and up to 11 days.

India is a sea of noise anytime but the noise surrounding a wedding makes me think they have to outdo each other to prove it's a good wedding. I have a video if I can upload it that shows a groom riding his horse to collect his bride, following a group of dancing girls with a cart in front, with music blasting out, in front of that, fireworks being set off and to top it off, six chandeliers connected up to the cart, ablaze with light, surrounding the whole group so everyone can see the procession.

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