Village “Safari”

Bijapur Travel Blog

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The castle had a surprisingly uninspiring buffet breakfast, but it did include good banana fritters with honey, good oatmeal and crappy coffee. We all piled into 2 jeeps and went on a “Village Safari” - which made more sense once we started driving around on the unpaved roads. There were long tailed monkeys on the roadside and in the fields, ibises and other birds, and mongooses (mongeese?).

They drove us to a village where the Bheed tribe lived, and showed us their poppy fields, which they cultivate for opium. A bunch of local kids followed us into the fields and were all excited to get their photos taken and then shown to them, but then when we got in to pose with them, they got very serious!

We walked around the village, and I guess it doesn’t happen as often as you might think. I assumed that with these tour groups arriving every couple of weeks that they’d be used to seeing foreigners, but they seemed to be very excited to see us. Everyone came out of their mud homes to check us out. We played patty cake with the little kids - one little girl was VERY serious when she played patty cake. One mother brought her baby out just to show us. Boys were showing us how they could skid on the smooth stone road. They were all happy to get their pictures taken, and the kids especially liked seeing the videos I took of them.

We had another cooking demo at a resort by the lake, and we learned how to make the chickpea flour bread, and goat stew (called “Rajasthani Style Mutton” - mutton here apparently refers to goat). It was delicious, but the stew was full of bones that you had to pick around.

Back at the castle for free time, I just wanted to jump in the pool after the dusty, hot drive. Of course, the clouds covered the sun by the time I got into the cold water. Most of the others joined me and we took a bunch of pictures of this beautiful place...Morgan and I went up on the high stone wall to see the sunset. Some of the group went on a walk to the nearby village, but Morgan and I just wanted to relax. I got a gin and tonic and we hung out in the courtyard. We had dinner up in the restaurant (a slightly dry tandoori chicken and lemon rice) and then went to the game room and caught up on email and posted pictures to social media while others played ping pong.

The first night of the Holi holiday began, so the Indians make bonfires and throw wood in to symbolize releasing the bad memories/luck/whatever of the previous year - the air got pretty smoky and I started sneezing all over the place! I don’t know what they were burning. The next day of Holi is when they throw colored powders at each other, or smear it. We had discussed doing the colors in Bijaipur, and again, Pancham kind of left it to the group to decide, and we were split, and finally he made the decision that we will go to Udaipur to celebrate it. He stopped at a shop during our “village safari” to see if we wanted “white” clothes (the stuff they were bringing out wasn’t very white!), but everyone agreed we will use what we brought, expecting that it might be destroyed. The colors that Pancham bought in Delhi should wash out, but apparently some folks bring ones that stain.
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photo by: AdamR3723