Tales of the unexpected

Abu Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 48 › view all entries

I decided to stop off at Mount Abu as I wanted to get out of the heat for a few days.  Its about 5 hours from Udaipur.  I was annoyed to have overpaid for my bus ticket - I had asked my hotel and two agencies and they both said INR 200.  I knew that sounded too much for a 5 hour journey and the Lonely Planet said it should be INR 100, but I guess I was too lazy to take it any further.  In India, unless you take the state transport buses, it is very difficult to work out who actually runs/owns the private buses and you have to go through an agency.  Sometimes, the agencies and agents of an agent and thus you end up paying for two or more companies' commissions.  This is what happened to me - I was a bit gutted, but it was hardly the most expensive mistake to make so I consoled myself with that fact as I got on a rather clapped out 'coach'.

Cheeky monkey!
  I was annoyed, however, when they asked me for 5 rupees to bring a bag on - the cheek!


We got to Mount Abu early afternoon and after taking a few wrong turns walking through town (the Lonely Planet map is awful) I found Shri Ganesh Hotel.  It had a good write-up in the book and I could see a few foreigners eating lunch, so I took a lot around.  Its run by a rather abrupt old man and after looking at a room and agreeing INR 250/night, he became quite rude.  He commented on my 'dirty' backpack (which had some dust on it from the bus journey) and in an over-the-top gesture, proceeded to have one of his boys carry it out into the courtyard in front of everyone eating and have it dusted down (an Indian technique of slapping something with a rag, which they seem to think cleans things) - after all the scum and crap that I've had to endure in this country, I was livid that I should be made to feel like I was the dirty one - the problem with trying to insult someone who doesn't speak your language fluently is that they don't properly understand the tone of your insult, so I just glared at him.

The Nakki lake, Mount Abu


The owner had put me in a bad mood and  mellowed out by walking round the lake (in the company of many black faced monkeys!).  Mount Abu was a lot drier than I had expected - I know its in Rajasthan, but it had been described as a 'hill station' so I had hoped for something similar to McLeod Ganj, but unfortunately Mount Abu had none of the beauty or serenity that I experienced up there at the foot of the Himilayas.  So I was little disappointed as I went to check out Sunset Point.

The bizarre procession of Indian tourists in pull-carts
I left at 5pm as recommended by Mr Rude, but it only takes half an hour to walk there, so you end with a lot of time sitting around.  Its about 2km walk out of the town and after a short while, it became clear that I was not going to see this sunset alone. I estimated that there must've been about 500 people down there, at the point where the plateau finishes and you look down into valley below.  Mount Abu is something of a tourist hotspot for Gujaratis, and I can definitely vouch for that!  They were curiously being taken down the road in little carts, pushed by a mix of teenagers and crooked old men - bizarre.  Even though it was a perfectly clear day, the view down to the hills and valley was misty and I could tell there wasn't going to be a great sunset (thats something new for me, India had so far been the country of a great sunsets!).  Given that there was an hour to wait, I didn't hang around and made my way back.   I had dinner with Richard and Buckie from the States, a lovely couple who had been down in Auroville (a new age ashram in Tamil Nadu) for a month.
  They had a great story.  They had travelled together to India in 1972 and not long after had gone their separate ways as careers took them to different places.  After having families and then later divorcing their partners, they found each other again in Colorado and had been back together about a year when they decided to revisit India for a few months and were recounting their memories from their first trip with me and how much the country had changed.  Amazing how things work out sometimes isn't it.


I had originally planned to stay a few days in Mount Abu to chill out, but when I enquired about trekking and found the hotel had hiked their price substantially, it was the last straw for me.  Sometimes, you just don't get on with a place and you're better off leaving - that was my view here and so the next morning, I was on the move again, next stop Gandhi's Ahmedabad.
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Cheeky monkey!
Cheeky monkey!
The Nakki lake, Mount Abu
The Nakki lake, Mount Abu
The bizarre procession of Indian t…
The bizarre procession of Indian …
Abu Hotels & Accommodations review
Conceited service
This hotel had a good write up from the Lonely Planet and on the surface its easy to see why. You can get a good, clean room with hot shower en-suite… read entire review
photo by: Sads79