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'.
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 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.
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.