WelcomHeritage Bob's Place
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... to the hotel reception for the purpose. Off he went to top up our phone so we could resume our negotiations with the bank. It was an anxious moment when he returned with the news that the local phone shop was only authorised to top up by 100 rupees (about one pound). However this was enough to phone our bank at home and establish that the cards were all usableat ATMs throughout India – but how to use them if, despite the banks assertion, they ...
... that of Inder (tandoori chef) and Surender (grill chef) and our lunchtime waiter at Jim’s Grill, the lovely, ever-smiling, Puran should be included in my blog. Given the high standard of cuisine and service, this is the very least I can do.
The walk back to our cottage each evening through the lighted garden is an experience in itself. The heavy perfume of the night-scented jasmine is almost overpowering in the still air, providing a fitting end to another perfect ...
... cash to foreigners through an ATM. Sadly, as we were to find later, most rural ATMs do not dispense cash to foreign credit cards. Back in the bank, dear Paddy withdrew cash which she gave to Judith on loan, though how we would find a way to pay her back or indeed to pay for our accommodation and meals was as yet unclear.
After Paddy left us to attend an open day at the children’s convent school in Bhimtal, our driver ...
... rising steeply into the forest. here the driver announced that we had another three kilometres to go. Occasionally, through the trees we glimpsed the lights of Bhimtal reflected in the still waters of the Lake far below. Once we stopped for Judith to take a picture as she stood by the roadside with a sheer drop beneath.
Our arrival was greeted by Padmini Smetacek and her whole family, together with servants and dogs, who welcomed us and ...
... mimicking what they had done to me as they went.
Only later, did we learn that these hijra are an accepted part of Indian society and much in demand at weddings where they entertain and are supposed to bring good fortune to the bridal pair. Often castrated, they live in closed communities and may provide support for unwanted children who themselves will join the group. Apparently, it brings good luck to give them a 10 rupee note and conversely the opposite ...