Saturday, January 07, 2006


The plan this morning was to catch the 6AM bus to Rajkot, and then that afternoon, catch a bus to Bhuj from Rajkot.

The plan started falling apart when I got out of bed, walked across the room, turned the alarm clock off, and got back into bed. From there, it continued to go downhill.

The next bus was at 12:45, in theory. However, it showed up an hour and a half late. Then, after being in it for about 45 minutes, it promptly broke down at the next stop, and we had to wait half an hour for another bus to show up. Yikes.

Eventually, at 9PM, we arrived in Rajkot.. but it was a long, hard, but mainly long journey. This is clearly a part of the country where tourists don't venture... most of the gujirati people don't speak more than a word or two of english... usually enough to ask me if I speak their language. Even more than anywhere else so far, I stick out like a sore thumb. At a chai/rest/toilet stop along the way, about 20 people gathered around me just to look - as none of them could speak enough english to ask anything. Eventually, I ventured the answer to their standard question (where are you from)... Once i said the magic word London, the crowd became abuzz...

The journey along the way was beautiful... Gujirat has some amazing animals. We passed a pretty dry forest area for about an hour, which was packed to the brim with peacocks and white-spotted deer. Eventually, the trees gave way to cactii, and it continued to get drier the more we drove north.

On the way -in- to Diu a few days back, I spotted the largest Goat i've ever seen in my life. I kid you not, it was some kind of half horse/goat mutation, and in prior years, could easily have been kitted out with armour and used as some kind of calvery beast. Alas, I didn't see it on my way out....

Bhuj is supposed to be about 6 hours away from here. There is a night bus at 12:30, but I just don't have it in me to travel another 6 hours today, especially since the only bus going is peasant class. Thus, i'm checked into a pretty ghetto hotel - 175 for a room, but it has a TV, so as soon as I finish this, i'll retire to my room, watch the simpsons, and doze off.

With any luck, I'll get up for the 7AM bus.

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