"Everything is possible in India, baby."
Our driver, Babu, says this literally every 5 minutes because the most absurd things happen every 5 minutes. The amount of times a cow/dog/sheep/goat/camel has almost flown through the windshield is unbelievable. But I will admit, it is a relief to be in a car rather than enduring a 17 hour train journey to Jaisalmer.
It still feels like Charlie and I have hit the ground running though. We spent just about 24 hours in Delhi and are now at the next stop of our grand India tour, Mandawa.
We were told Mandawa is a very small but very beautiful town. I can now confirm that Mandawa is absolutely tiny. Much smaller than the village I live in at home and that really is saying something. But as always, the best things come in small packages and the beauty in Mandawa has easily made up for its size.
We are staying in hotel heritage. One of the most stunning hotels I have ever had the good fortune to stay in. I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
The detail in this hotel is unbelievable!
Babu had set up a mini tour for us so we could learn about some of India's history. So after an hour of rest time, a tour guide was weaving Charlie and I in and out of narrow, dusty streets leading us to our first haveli.
Haveli's were the homes of wealthy Indians. Each married couple would have around 10-15 children and on top of that business clients would often stay and be entertained in these homes, so these houses are capable of housing around 20-30 people.
It seems that it was something of a competition to see who could own and decorate their haveli in the most luxurious way. Basically they all wanted to show off how much money they had. This was particularly seen in the second haveli we saw where their entertainment room was completely hand painted in gold. I think most people would agree that a room painted in gold is pretty hard to beat.
Families no longer live in these havelis because they have upgraded to modern houses in the city, I'm not sure how you can upgrade from a hand painted gold room but y'know, each to their own.
Mandawa has been a much more soothing start to our trip especially when compared to the chaotic streets of Delhi. Once again, I'm bloody glad I'm not on that 17 hour train.