29.03.2015 - 29.03.2015
We had the early start because we had a 6 hour train journey to take us near a village called Tordi Garh. The train station was packed, even at 5.30am on a Sunday. It's a massive place, which is probably much more organised than it looked, there were people sleeping everywhere, and lines of people waiting, groups milling about. But we got to our train without a hitch. The seats were big, and comfortable with loads of leg room, I think the whole group were asleep within minutes of leaving the station. Then a little while later they came round with breakfast, some kind of potato cake type things, with veggies, which were far nicer than I thought they'd be, some bread and butter and a cup of tea or coffee.
It was a very pleasant journey through the countryside of India. The views were spectacular, and changed from almost desert, to rich foliage, to urban and back to desert almost in a blink of an eye. One minute it would be sandy yellow landscapes, and then without noticing we'd be in the middle of a patchwork of fields and trees. Eventually we arrived at our stop, and piled into jeeps waiting to take us on the 2 hour ride to Tordi Garh. This journey was quite something. The jeeps had 2 front seats (driver/passenger), a row of 3 front facing seats behind them, and then 2 bench seats facing inwards behind that. We had 9 people in total to a jeep, so we had enough space in the back. Our driver had some awesome 90's tunes pumping, and even if was a little bumpy, scary and rough going at times, it was a lot of fun.
We pulled into the small, very remote village of Tordi Garh in time for lunch which was a delicious home cooked buffet. The hotel was an old palace used by the royal family, which they are in the process of renovating. Our rooms were small and basic, but lovely. The whole place had a very homely feel to it. We spent the afternoon wandering around the village, playing with the kids, watching them play cricket - of course - and taking in the daily life of the villagers. A local girl then came to the hotel to give us henna tattoos - she was so talented. She just came up with the most intricate designs without even thinking about it. After dinner of another buffet, we all hit the sack pretty quickly after our stupidly early start. Plus we had decided to do a sunrise hike up the hill to watch the sunrise, which meant yet another one!