Sunday, March 20, 2011

India 2011 - Day 8 - Dera Village Retreat in Kalakho

The itinerary said that we were embarking on a five-hour drive.

Praveen had a wonderful routine at each hotel. All the suitcases were brought to the bus by the 'boys' and we all had to identify ours to make sure that none was left behind.
Arriving and leaving he always told us that we did not need to worry because he would take care of 'the boys' very well on our behalf. The same every time a tip was in order like for the rickshaw driver or the toilet attendant. It was great that we did not ever have to worry about tips.

A 'refresh' stop at this hotel.
This picture:
We thought this gave a new meaning to the term 'rock garden'.

The bougainvilleas at the hotel in the middle of no-where were beautiful.

Out of the bus window:
A wedding procession. A happy lot of people with music and all.

The bus could not go all the way to our hotel Dera Village Retreat (formally Dera Lake View Retreat). We disembarked at what looked like the dam of the Madhosager Lake (a seasonal "monsoon" lake).

In jeeps we went to the elementary school first.
 The children were waiting for us.

The children sang their National Anthem for us and also recited a poem.

We saw that they are learning English.

At the hotel we were greeted as always: on arrival we get a moist towel, a glass of juice, a necklace of flowers and a blessing dot painted on our forehead. In one hotel the necklace was actually beads. This seems to be a lovely Indian custom.

Our room. The roughness of the ceiling was concealed with lovely fabric.

Each little house was a room with bathroom. The houses were in a semi circle. In the middle was "play space".

White chalk drawings in the plain dirt. 

Yes, and then we rode camels to the next little village.  Some rode the camels and some were on the camel-pulled carts which was reversed on the way back. James and I were on the cart to the village.

Photo taken towards the back.

Photo taken towards the front.

The photos should be out of focus because it was rather bumpy.

The local Meena tribes people live in mud huts that they decorate inside with floral and animal designs. Largely an agricultural people, the Meena have maintained much of their traditional culture and customs. They played music for us and danced.

There was also a demonstration of some kind of a religious ceremony with "Lord Vishnu and a basil plant" which we just did not understand.

It was very dark in this room and I had to use a flash.

And then it was time to ride back to the hotel.

Some of the camels had beautiful "hair cuts".

The getting on and the getting off is the difficult part. The ride itself is really fun. I got more comfortable with every minute.

 No, James wasn't too heavy for the camel, it is just that it "sits" down for one to mount.

In the evening we had a lovely time while entertained.

Standing on nails.

Fire eating!


  1. I love the hotel with the little 'cottages'. Yesterday elephant rides and camels today!