Jolly Boating Weather. Part one.

Last Friday morning I braced myself ready for 3 days of lavish entertainment. I’d blithely accepted an invitation from a friend of a friend to an Old Etonian reunion weekend starting at  Narlai somewhere equidistant between Udaipur and Jodhpur. I’d received an email with a list of 50 names – didn’t know a soul on it, BUT the programme of events read like something out of a 1930’s extravagant social diary and was far too intriguing to turn down. Here’s how it went….

Friday:  5pm arrived at Rawla Narlai hotel where I was shown to my luxe tent next to the pool.  As our host explained, ‘Rawla Narlai is a 17th century fortress which was developed into a hunting lodge and presented by Maharaja Umaid Singhji of Jodhpur to his younger brother Maharajdhiraj Sir Shri Ajit Singhji.  It is in the middle of a small picturesque village and close to a gigantic granite Rock, 350 ft. high dotted with caves and temples and offering spectacular views of the surrounding Aravali Hills.  It is crowned with a statue of a white elephant erected by Maharajah Umaid Singhji to commemorate the saving of his life when charged by a rogue elephant in Africa. ‘

8pm: After a G&T (no room for shyness) and  49 introductions all of us were literally carted off in a procession of rudimentary wooden bullock carts (lined with immaculate white cushions) from the hotel gates through the village under an almost full moon to a 1100 year old candle lit step well where trays of watermelon martinis waited. Magical!! We walked through to a clearing lined with what looked to be the ruined remains of a chain of small temples where we were met by the spectacle of 30 white sofas spread out in a massive semi circle, each with a table in front of it laid up with a dinner setting for two. First rate!! . Once seated, (I bravely sat down on my own sofa between two friendly couples and was shortly joined by a rogue Etonian) we looked on at a fire pit and past that to a group of Indian musicians and dancers. My dinner companion was entertaining but sadly not Prince of the Dawn I draw the line at 27 year olds (just).  Later the band stopped playing abruptly, I didn’t think anything of it until I was told the next morning that a cobra had appeared on the rock behind them. Not fully grown but who gives a monkey’s?? I’m squeezing this in between appointments back in Jaipur and will follow up asap with the next installment of Jolly Boating Weather tomorrow.

This entry was published on October 18, 2011 at 6:08 am and is filed under Hibiscus, hotel/places to stay, India,, Travel, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Jolly Boating Weather. Part one.

  1. Hey S.O.K

    Rollicking stuff! what a hoot. Feels like I was there + great pictures. Good on ya sweetheart. Enjoy rest of the trip & good luck.

    Can’t wait for second instalment.

    Olly x

  2. Marina Mazur on said:

    whats up with you and the snakes? its that aussie in you…..good post – v. brave undertaking!

  3. Jess west on said:

    Beautiful photos. Sounds like a success xxx

  4. Frigging love the name Sarah, brings back some very amusing memories! What a fun weekend!! xxx

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