We spent a few days in Udaipur, a lovely little city on a lake in the south of Rajasthan where Octopussy – one of the James Bond movies – was filmed. We spent our days doing some shopping, checking out the City Palace, learning to cook some awesome Indian dishes, and avoiding the rain.

The City Palace is a huge, grand old palace that looks out over the entire lake. Apparently it’s been taken over by a number of successors who have each built their own additions to the palace, resulting in a number of different styles and random add-ons.

We did a cooking class at a great little family-run restaurant called Black Pepper, learning classic dishes like Malai Kofta, Paneer Butter Masala, Navratan kofta and Paneer Mutta. We were taught how to cook the dishes by the husband and shown how to make a good rotti by the wife (which needs some practice to perfect). All in all we did pretty well and made some tasty dishes.

We did one yoga class with a character called Prakesh who had us jumping around and doing headstands – entertaining, but certainly not the beginner class that we need! Still, it was good to get the blood flowing first thing in the morning.

We left Udaipur on a night train Sunday night at 10.20pm, arrived in Agra yesterday morning at 11am for a quick stop to see the Taj Mahal (photos to follow), another 2 trains to New Delhi airport and are now sitting and waiting patiently for our 6.15am flight to Leh (it’s 4am and we are way beyond over-tired). Luckily, the change in altitude from here to Leh calls for a day or two of relaxation to adjust, which we’re more than happy to do.

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