We smell a rat (or quite a few actually!)

We started 2017 as we meant to go on – doing something a little different, out of our comfort zone and really challenging. 
No, it wasn’t sailing to some far flung place we had never been to, nor was it tackling an ocean with a reputation for being wild – our New Year’s Day was spent visiting a temple in India. This to some, might not sound particularly challenging but I can assure you it was as this was the famous Karni Mata Temple in Deshnoke which is dedicated to RATS!

Waiting to go into the RAT temple!
With more than 2,000 rats running freely about our feet, this was indeed a test that would set the tone for 2017. Surely no gale, no rogue wave, no disastrous break down or breakage could be more of a challenge than standing in a temple with the rank smell of rat urine in our nostrils and scores of the little darlings almost running over our toes!

The rats have free rein and are given milk to drink and lots of treats to eat
It is believed that the souls of deceased relatives now reside in the rats – prayers and offerings are therefore made to them

We were in India for one month before returning to Bali Hai in the middle of January. As this is meant to be a sailing blog I won’t write any more about this trip to India but will instead look forward to recounting our next Indian adventure when we sail to the Andaman Islands in February. In the meantime, here are just a few photos from the many hundreds I took in Rajasthan!
Jaisalmer Fort was built in the 12th Century and is the only fortified city still inhabited that we have seen. Most of the families living within its walls can trace their ancestry back to the original inhabitants
No roads just these little laneways. The only traffic – a few motorbikes and quite a few cows!
Amazing who you meet just outside the place you’re staying in!

From Jaisalmer we went out to stay in a desert camp and had an amazing camel safari
They call camels Ships of the Desert and with sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see it is easy to understand why! Very reminiscent of the open ocean!
Deserts have beautiful sunsets too

Then it was off to Jodpur
Another amazing Fort at the “Blue City”
Roof top dining with a great view of the fort
A guard at the fort museum
Built in the 1740s, the Toorji Ka Jhalra was built for water storage and was where women gathered for generations to collect water
It has recently been restored and is a popular gathering place once again
The gorgeous colours of Pushkar – our last stop before returning to Delhi
Pushkar is set in the Pushkar Lake, a sacred place to Hindus. There are 52 ghats (stone entrances) where pilgrims enter to bathe. Such a serene place
On the shores of Pushkar Lake

Langurs keeping us amused
A Hindu ceremony in the banks of Pushkar Lake
View from Sivitri Temple on Ratnagiri Hill.
Thirsty Langurs
View of Pushkar from the top of Ratnagiri Hill
Another view of Pushkar Lake
Pushkar is The place to see camels!
Back at Hannah’s enjoying the colours of India
If you would like to see photos from the beginning of our trip see my previous blog entry “Incredible India”. 

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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