Udaipur - Diu
Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
22Trip End Aug 25, 2006
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9.30pm: Got a tuk tuk from Hotel Lakeshore, Udaipur to bus stand. The driver was a nutter and insisted on playing rave music full blast - surely the sound system cost more then the vehicle?! On arrival at the bus stop we were informed that the bus was running 1 hour late. Got some sweets and waited.
10.45pm: Bus arrived. FULL of people; on the floor, on the seats, in the beds... everywhere! We had reserved a sleeper bed, but there seemed to be 3 people in it... large arguments and shouting between bus driver and Indian family while we stood and waited, praying we wouldn't get stabbed
11.15pm: Bus left Udaipur. Rain began to fall and continued throughout the night.
10.30am: Bus arrived in Rajkot. We were dropped off in the middle of nowhere and had no idea where our connecting bus left from. Nobody spoke any English, and the town was not one of the most salubrious that we have visited. There had been a hole on the underneath of the bus, so our bags (which were in the luggage compartment) were soaked through and extremely muddy. Puting them on our backs meant that WE were then soaked through and extremely muddy. (Maybe now we'll fit in with the locals a bit better?)
We were befriended by an Indian New Zealander who was going the same way as us, so the three of us, and a Belgian lady and her son, made our way to the next bus. Just time for a quick chai and a banana (when I was buying the bananas the cross-eyed filthy fruit seller spat all his chewing tobacco saliva in my face by mistake... enough to put anyone off their food).
11.30am: Bus from Rajkot left for Vereval. A smaller bus this time, bus still full of (not overly welcoming) people. Continuous staring, and stopping for people to get on and off. Rain remained persistent and hard.
12.30pm: at one of the pointless stops I spotted Cadburys Dairy Milk! After running off the bus to buy it, it tasted disappointing but better than nothing. A packet of orange cream biscuits and we were back on the road.
5.30pm: Finally, we arrived in Vereval after what seemed like a never ending journey. We now only had 1 more bus before we arrived in Diu, and remained hopeful that the rain wouldn't come with us all the way (not much of a beach holiday with relentless monsoon rain!). We ate a stuffed Parantha (flat bread stuffed with curried potatoes and fried in butter) and began the next and final leg of the journey.
6.00pm: bus left Vereval.
9.30pm: We arrived in the small, ghostly town just on the mainland before the crossing to Diu. Dev, our Indian friend, managed to work out (they speak a local dialect here that he's not familiar with) that we had stopped because the bridge to Diu was too flooded to cross, and that some trucks were stuck in the road. GUTTED!! (mayber another night on the bus would be ahead?)
10.30pm: The driver obviously decided that he wanted to get home... so we set off for our slippery ride to Diu. There were police on the bridge blowing whistles (and getting very wet!) and helping us accross, so after a few hairy moments (I was thankful it was pitch black and I couldn't see how close tho the edge we actually were!) we made it onto Diu Island. aaaah, a huge sigh of releif heaved by all!
11.00pm: On arrival into the bus stand we were greeted by... nothing! Not a single tuk tuk. Just a pitch black, deserted place. We began walking through the sheet rain into the town to find some way of getting to the hotel we had booked (on the beach - ha ha!). I saw a hotel with a lone tuk tuk outside, so went in and asked them to take us. 10 mins later the driver appeared from his slumber and hopped in the cab, (for the mere fee of 150 rupees - about 4 times what is should be, but we really were in no position to negotiate.) Only when we got going did we realise he was blind drunk, and we became very thankful that we were the only lunatics on the road in the storm!
11.30pm: We arrived at our dark and quiet hotel, and woke up the nice manager who showed us to our room by candlelight and gave us a bucket of boiling water so we could have a (much needed, and fantastic) shower! I opened my rucksack to assess the damage, to find that all my freshly washed and ironed clothes were now totally dripping with muddy water and STINKY! a few tears and a little tantrum later and we were both fast asleep in our amazingly comfortable bed, hungry, but too tired to eat, and keeping our fingers crossed that the sun would be peeping through our curtains in the morning!