Jardine was picked up at 6:30 this morning to head for the airport. She had a 10 hour layover in Dubai -- thank goodness she was told that airport was like a shopping mall -- she should be fine, although that's a heck of a layover.
Boo and Larry left at 2:00 pm in a cab to go to the airport. They are on their way to Tel Aviv for a long awaited trip to the Holy Land. They will go there via Mumbai from here.
At 5:00 pm Allan was picked up to go to the airport. As his friend Jens from Germany was supposed to come with him, he is going back through Frankfurt to London.
So, with the exception of Jardine we ate breakfast together one last time. It has been so wonderful to be with such good friends during this celebratory time in our lives.
One thing that Allan had not done was to take a ride in an auto rickshaw. I took care of that by taking him quickly back to the store called Max (yes, really) to buy one more kurta. I love traveling in auto rickshaws, but the only problem is the diesel and other smells from the cars around you on the street and just the regular street smells. It's an exercise in holding ones breath! Later Steve took Allan over for a special drip coffee by Basra Pride, which gave me some time to write and relax.
We've been leaving Max and Devika alone -- while they have been eating breakfast with us, the rest of the day is for whatever they want to do.
Our one big adventure today was to go down to the lakefront restaurant at the hotel for dinner. After the patio is fumigated for mosquitos at 7:00 pm, the restaurant opens at 7:30. As the lake smells a bit when it rains (and it's been raining a lot here), the restaurant burns incense to negate the smell of the lake. Citronella coils are placed under each of the tables as well to take care of any mosquitos that either survived fumigation or are brave enough to come in from the water. I didn't hesitate to go to this restaurant -- the staff here at the hotel have been wonderful, and the food has been exceptional. It was going to be our easy adventure for the day.
Max and Devika joined us at dinner. Max had met the head chef when he was checking out the hotel a few weeks before we arrived. The chef came out and greeted Max warmly -- he doesn't speak any English, so he and Max spoke Urdu -- the chef was so impressed by Max. He told us what dishes he thinks are best, and actually offered to make us one what is no longer on the menu -- we opted for a mutton kebob, a chicken kebob and a fish kebob with a special bread that I can't remember the name of that flaked like a finely done croissant but it was made in the tandoor. Here is a picture of Max speaking with the chef at our table.
We had so much fun at dinner -- we were there over 2 hours enjoying the beautiful evening and the great company. Steve was especially excited because the chefs let him come behind the counter and watch them cook various dishes. Max was on hand to translate.
Tomorrow Steve and I will tour some tombs near Char Minar, go to a few museums and shop. We're taking a few days here to relax and see some sights before we head home very early on Tuesday morning.
I leave you with pictures of our adventure at the lakeside restaurant.
Location:Road No 1, Hyderabad, India