Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pashan Garh. That's Indian for Heaven.

It really means stone house.  It's a Taj Safari Lodge:  click the link.  Their pictures are better than mine.

We have our own very private stone cottage.  Huge living/bedroom, 

miles of glass (in the photo most of the curtains are closed), a ginormous bathroom with an open stone platform shower.  

Huge outdoor terrace paved in stone.  An outdoor pavilion paved in plump white cushions.   

Wild.  In the lap of luxury.  In the middle of the teak forest.  No one tugging at your sleeve, begging or selling.  No smoke, no smog.  Clean crisp mornings.  Blissful bath-water warm days.  Air you can breathe.  Sigh.  And a real hair dryer, not a troglodyte dryer. Yay!

The Troglodyte hair dryers

Most of the hotels we’ve stayed in have a hair dryer in a drawer in the bathroom.  Wired into the back of the drawer.  So nice to be trusted.  With a really short cord, about two feet.  The cord looks like a garage door spring (remember those?) and is about as cooperative.  And the hair dryer weighs as much as a cinder block.   The only way I’ve been able to dry my hair is by sitting on the loo seat (on a towel and thank you for asking.  Yes, a clean towel.  Geez.)  I have to twist like a pretzel to see the mirror out of the corner of my eye.   Not eyes, eye.  Singular. My hair looks terrible, but I'm getting arms like Michelle Obama.  And I think I know how yoga got invented.  And troglodytes.

Every time we leave our cottage, some elf sneaks in and tidies up.  I fling clothes and scarves all over the room, looks like the suitcase blew up - the elf folds them, sorts them by color, and leaves them neatly lined up on the long couch built into the hearth.  Our laundry comes back beautifully wrapped, like a present from Des.

The most ridiculous requests are met with smiles of pleasure - I am tempted to become more and more outrageous in my requests (hey Peter: shall I ask for a banana daiquiri? or world peace?) but I behave.  This is the best service I have ever had.  And I've stayed in a lot of posh places.

Driving to the lodge, monkeys thronged the road.  Check out that tail. 

As we are checking in, black-faced Langur monkeys are dropping with heavy thuds from the trees onto the roof of the lodge, and we can see them loping along the roof thru the clerestory windows.  (Look it up - this isn’t an architecture class).  And yet not a monkey darkens our path during our stay.  We joke they must have a monkey wrangler, or maybe they have paid the monkeys to stay up in the trees.  There is, however, something small with very sharp teeth that takes a fancy to my patent leather shoes and nibbles the edge off one of them.   Each time I put them on I will remember this amazing place, and I will smile.

We have a fabulous dinner in an airy glass dining room.  When we return to our cottage all the candles (and there are dozens) have been lit.  By the elves, I think.  Good job it’s a stone cottage - I fall asleep with candles blazing.  

We can hear things moving past our cottage at night, and something heavy plops onto the roof and pads along.  At home we know the sounds - the shrill chattering of the raccoons, the keening wails of the coyotes, the deep windy sounds of the owls.  Here every sound is unfamiliar, and we lie awake listening.  And wondering.  And then drift blissfully off to sleep.

Tomorrow:  Safari!!

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