067 / Octopussy's Udaipur

067 / Octopussy's Udaipur

The last stop in the mighty subcontinent was Udaipur, India’s most romantic city in a lake district with a somewhat Mediterranean feeling. We went there to wind down and to recover from the exciting trilogy “night train – night in the desert – night bus” of the past days. I checked in in a tidy quality hotel with a stunning view over the Water palace where Octopussy was filmed starring a legendary Roger Moore as OO7.


The food was good, the people smiling, prices sweet, laundry fresh and talks generous. Vehicle-maniac Adam had the cool idea to rent an old school motorbike (A Royal Enfield Bullet 350) and to cruise around the hills and lakes surrounding the city. After the years of cruising through Paris, it was my turn now to be the passenger…



 The nice thing with a bike is that you can go to places where normally it’s really hard to come. We discovered an amazing lake side and drove through some very local villages where the young children had smiles the size of a kite when we passed by, waving our hands. A pair or Ray Ban’s, a dusty old bike, a bit of cash and some time on your hands… One day I’ll be ready for my midlife crisis!



At night, we went to the daily sunset showing of Octopussy (it’s been 30 years that the hotels show the same VHS every night… talking about a winning business concept). We celebrated the global presence of beer by offering a little piece of our liver to Kingfisher (the local beergod). For some unexplained reason, Adam could not remember the name of the city: Upadour Odupur Podudoor…


In the morning, I left a bit emotional the first leg of my big trip. When I arrived in Mumbai, there was a siege-like, tense atmosphere. A highly symbolic conflict between Muslims and Hindus has been going on for 60 years, disputing the ownership of a holy side. Today, the Supreme Court has made a ruling, and the Indian government was alerted for potential riots in the big cities. Result: I’m for 12 hours in Mumbai, with all shops closed, public transport disturbed, a zero tolerance alcohol policy, a prohibition to stay for more than 4 hours in the airport, hotels in the neighborhood who adapt their prices accordingly and topped off with a late monsoon rain and 90% humidity. Oh traveler in India, if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere...

I’m counting to hours to board for another hyperkinetic destination : Hong Kong…

You’re coming?





06:38 Gepost door Wouter* | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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