Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mandu 2

With the exception of the couple of dozen tourists per day, the plateau's economy is entirely agricultural. Women go to wells and carry water for miles, and the men fish the lakes (or more probably old palace fish ponds) in small boats or just casting their nets standing in the muddy water up to their chests. In a sign of modernism, they arrived at the pond 3-4 on one Honda Hero motorcycle at a time.Mandu had the friendliest and most open people I met during the trip. Nobody begged, I got invited to sit down with a family when I walked out to the fish pond in the morning...I very selfishly hope that nobody improves the road there anytime soon. As it was, the bus almost didn't make it through one of the gates.

Since it's so out there, the hotel was a typical M.P. state establishment...wonderfully laid out, with a distinct 50s vibe, and partially falling apart even as new parts were built. I'd live to meet the landscape architect who put my bungalow at the end of a natural drainage ditch that the guide and I had to scramble up and down to get from our rooms to the reception/restaurant/bar.

And it was naturally overrun by monkeys. Monkey pee can't be good for walls.

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