Rajasthan Tour – The Reality – Day Four

My research for the day is here. By this time we had gone slightly off the programme order.

Up at seven o’clock with a determination to have a light breakfast. I had chance to wander round the hotel grounds to get my bearings. Soon after we were on the coach to be driven into Bikaner.

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Heritage Resort, Bikaner

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Checking of e mails in reception

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Off the coach and into the tongas

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Past the Red Fort

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A usual street scene

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But as we neared the gold district we saw the women panning for flecks of gold that had escaped the traps of the gold workers in the open drains .

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Soon we arrived at the old part of town

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As we waited for the rest of the group to join us I took a couple of images of the horse.

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Nothing goes to waste in India – a recycled British Airways strap

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Then a little excitement as a cart got stuck in a gulley. The horse was soon unhitched and the men pulled out the cart.

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Ever present Gnasha reminding me of what I was learning on my trip.

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And some offerings for him.

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I didn’t see many decorated trucks or wagons so this one caught my eye.P1030215

Into the gold smiths’ workshop – as usual all very low key.

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I’m unsure which of the many gods/goddesses these are as multi-handed ones are common. But wherever work is carried out they are to be seen blessing the artisans.

P1030223P1030224A welcome lunch at Gallops Restaurant overlooking Junagarh Fort then onto where the glorious patchworks are made. There was a wonderful display on the wall outside.

P1030228P1030229P1030226P1030230P1030231P1030232Then we met the ladies who make them.P1030233P1030234P1030235P1030251P1030247Out came some of the never-ending array of work – here is a silk and camel hair shawl with detail below.P1030249P1030250

At the end the floor was littered with small and large pieces, some woven, some patchwork pieces, some very old, some made yesterday. Much buying was done by members of our party – our guide joked that maybe we should spread our money around and not give it all to the middle man.

Onto the next place – no, we never stopped! We were driven to Raisar – a small village where camel wool rugs are made.

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The looms are strung over pits so the weavers can sit at their work.

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Some are so large it takes three people to throw the shuttleP1030261

Some of the yarn is coarse.

P1030256And seem to stored in a random fashion…but that’s to my uneducated eye!P1030268P1030262

The shuttleP1030266

A quicker way was to use this electric tool that punched the yarn into the backing fabric.P1030267

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I’m unsure how these rugs were made but the men were cutting the design into the wool.

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Other small artefacts – a water potP1030280

and a charpoy (bed)P1030282

The children were charming and followed us around but didn’t ask for anything apart from to have their photo taken.P1030290

Feet were often used to work with

P1030291Whilst waiting for the bus I saw two beautifully coloured surfaces.P1030292

But our day’s adventure didn’t stop there. We drove through the dessert, catching a glimpse of one of the most hansom men I’ve ever seen – he was riding a camel – a scene out of my dreams! Then we informed we were lost – how the driver found his way around I often wondered. However, fortunately there were camel carts near by!

P1030297P1030298P1030299P1030302P1030300We were soon ensconced in the carts which were covered with bright textilesP1030303

And off we went into the sun-set! (Unfortunately it was too hazy to have a sun set that evening)

By the time it was dark we had arrived at a small oasis – the crickets were chirruping and the air warm. We were greeted by ladies wearing traditional costume; they  presented us with sweet smelling rose garlands and led us to an outdoor arena.DSC_7029

There were two long tables with chairs along one side giving us a view of the stage. Soon the band started to play.

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 This experience was the best for me – the surprise of the event, the setting, the tasty pakora, the music and the dancing. I made a short recording here of our guide explaining how to play a mouth harp. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

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