My research for day 2 is here.
For the first time in years I was woken by my alarm – usually I wake at least half an hour before it’s due to ring – a hearty breakfast then an hour’s coach ride to the market.
The coach parked by a muddle of rickshaws and soon we were being peddled away into the market area.
Narrow lanes filled with shops selling a wonderous array of embellishments; braids, beads, buttons, shiskas, appliques. But there was always room for the delivery bikes.
The guides did an excellent job of keeping track of us, thanks to mobile phones, so we were free to wander as we pleased, thankfully no need to keep up with each other as the whole group.
I splashed out and bought 20 metres of braid, 10 pearl drops and 4 filigree carved bone hearts for R500 – say about £5.00.
No time to have a snack as we soon we were back in the rickshaws to be taken to a local restaurant for lunch.
A delicious masala dosa and salted lime soda for R144. I was still on borrowed funds as I’d had no success withdrawing money from any ATM.
On the bus to the next market we had a ‘show and tell’ of what we’d spent our money on. Of course there was stuff I wished I’d seen and bought but the place was so vast it was impossible to visit every stall.
Our next stop was the government market but I found it soulless. The ethos is that the village people bring their work to sell but I was unsure how much had been produced in factories as there was stall after stall selling similar wares. I wanted to see what would be on offer later in the trip so took the opportunity to have a lime soda in the shade with a couple of my fellow travellers – there were eighteen of us on the trip and it was taking me a while to remember names and where people were from.
Outside the market those who bought goodies showed us the bedspreads, tops, trousers and other items they’d stuffed into their bulging bags.
We were then taken down a subway. I expected the journey back to the hotel would be by metro but the guides had discovered an exhibition of textiles from all over Indian. People rushed by on their way to and from work but it was a delight to study the cases.
On the coach back I had a quick glimpse of a couple of sewing machine shops.
Return to the hotel for more food. I could feel the pounds settling around my stomach but I had no willpower to resist. I borrowed a phone and managed, after a protracted call, to sort out my debit card. In spite of informing my bank I would be away In Rajasthan a block had been put on it. I know it was for my own protection but how come I felt I was in the wrong?
As we had an early start the next day I put in a request for a 5.30 am alarm call. I was woken at 10.30 pm asking if I wanted the call in the morning, thankfully I soon fell back to sleep.