Udaipur to Thailand 23rd April to 15th May
Ok so I wrote this a few weeks ago before the fullmoon party, i'll get an update on that madness shortly. Enjoy...
Bless me Bloggy Blog for I have sinned. It has been 4 weeks since my last entry. During that time I have committed so many sins, like eating too much meat, not performing exercise duties, drinking firewater (a lot) and general debauchery. I’m afraid there’s probably going to be more of the same for the next week, I’ve been forced to attend James Zabiela at Zouk in Singapore and then the Fullmoon party in Thailand. I do promise however that afterwards I will accept your penance of laying off the firewater and being kinder to oneself, for a while at least ;-)
Well now that’s off my chest I’ll rewind a wee bit. The last time I was waffling, I was in Udaipur in Rajasthan, apparently India’s most romantic city. I can confirm this as 100% true as I was lucky to spend my time with 2 amazing girls, Elyse from Australia and Miriam from Spain, and of course they both loved me very much (that’s what Udaipur does to people!). I can’t talk about L.O.V.E and not mention the guy on our train, innocently reading a magazine until the train jolted and he dropped it to reveal a porno. I have to say fairplay to the guy, because once he realized he’d been stung he just picked it up and read it openly, pure Legend!
The romance aside, this was my first taste of Rajasthan, the land of the Kings. Named so because everywhere you go there is or was a King of that locality, who usually built a stunning palace or 10, really just because they could. Imagine Monaco then think of a country littered with Monaco’s and deserts in between and you pretty much have Rajasthan.
The town of Udaipur is no exception and from the roof of my hotel I could see 4 palaces, 1 that the King currently lives in and 3 that were featured in the Bond movie Octopussy, 2 on a lake and 1 on a faraway hilltop. The Movie is a kind of claim to fame that the restaurants all jumped onto in the 80’s and you can watch the movie pretty much everywhere every night. I just can’t understand why they’ve been showing it for such a long time and still haven’t realized its crap. Though in fairness that’s mostly the acting, the palaces themselves do look pretty cool both in the movie and in real life.
The land of Rajasthan is known for its colour which was evident everywhere from the fresh food and spices in the markets to the colours of the Sari’s and Turbans. It’s culture is also pretty famous and Elyse, Miriam and I were lucky enough to go to a show in Udaipur that included stunning dancers, incredible singers and musicians, and puppets whose heads came off (part of the show). It climaxed with an old lady dancing with first 3, then 6 then 9 pretty large bowls placed on her head, which wasn’t amazing enough for her so she danced on some glass just to add the cherry, easily one of the highlights of Rajasthan for me.
So my next stop was Jaisalmer, which was an experience to say the least. I do try to stay positive when I write this but its pretty tough for this place. In 2 days I maybe had some sort of conversation with maybe 150 people and only 1 didn’t try to rip me off or sell me something. One guy even said ‘Hello friend, won’t you please come to my store so I can rip you off’, I thought that was funny so I stopped to have a chat and then he tried to rip me off! I suppose at least he was up front. Anyways, I did do something fantastic there, I went on a Camel ride into the desert to see the sunset. This is generally the main reason why people come here and it didn’t disappoint. I got into a jeep with a smiling driver who didn’t speak English and turned out to be an opium addict, but I liked him straight away and we headed for the desert where I met the camel driver. He was a really interesting guy who told me about the difficulties of life in the desert, but you could tell that he loved the place and was more than happy to put up with any hardships. Although he did ask if we could give him some of our Irish weather, even just a little bit of rain would be nice! What a dry sense of humour he had! Ahem, moving swiftly on…
…and swiftly on I did move, to Delhi that is. My Indian adventure coming full circle after a month of extreme highs and lows. Overall though I’m really happy with the time I spent here and I’d definitely like to come back, it’s another beast altogether compared to Asia or Australia and is much harder to travel but the rewards for that effort are pretty incredible and I’d recommend anyone to be prepared to check it out.
Now after a month in India where I ate mostly Vegetarian, drank very little, exercised most days and slept early there was only 1 thing going to happen in Bali, my next stop. Yip that’s right, as soon as I got there before I even found a hotel I went to a bar and the weeklong madness began. I have to say that even all the Aussie bogans (aussie name for scally/steko) with their dodgy Bintang t-shirts and singlets (vests) couldn’t make me dislike Bintang beer one iota, crackin stuff it was and as my mate Dave put it, I only had a ‘Bintangover’ once! I stayed in Kuta beach, the main tourist area of Bali for 2 nights, then went to meet my friend Nadia on a little island called Gili Trawangan. The island is mostly for diving and snorkeling, but it’s a proper cool little resort too with great restaurants and bars. The party continued there and 1 of the nights I ended up in an open air club jammed with punters dancing and partying in the lashing rain, which didn’t dampen the party much at all.
After a few memorable days there catching up with Nadia, I headed back to Kuta and partied some more. This time checking out the huge club Skygarden, one of the best clubs I’ve ever been to. It had great music, loads of rooms and nooks and crannies to explore, a cracking view from the top, free drinks for 2 hours every night and great shows including an incredible mix of traditional Indonesian dance, fire dancing and contemporary club dancing, which honestly blew my mind! After India I think it’s fair to say I made up for lost time in Bali, a place I fell in love with, not just because of the fun side but also the people who were as friendly as anywhere I’ve been to.
So next stop was Singapore, the cleanest and probably nicest city I’ve ever seen. I had another amazing night at Zouk, the worlds 9th best club according to DJmag, where James Zabiela played a stormer and even played a version of Radiohead’s Everything in its Right Place, the remix by Northern Ireland’s Dibby Dougherty. It was then hangover-ville once again for my trip to Koh Phangan for the Fullmoon party, with stops in Kuala Lumpur and Hat Yai before getting the boat across to the Island for 4 days of bucket fuelled brilliance, which i'll try to recall next time I post, my short term memory isnt great anymore for some reason hmmmm???
Well, thanks once again for travelling with me, hope you enjoyed my dribbles ;-)