Asia | India | Orissa – Last day in Puri
i went to the first night of the konark dance festival on monday which was a bargin at 20 rupees, supposed to start at 6pm and after an hour of waiting the ‘vip’ guests arrived and gave their speeches. It got underway with an orrisa dance version of King Lear !! i know it sounds strange, but it was fantastic, the costumes were bright and colouful, the lighting effects excellent, and the live band (tabla’s, sitars, flutes etc) were spot on. This was followed by an exhibition of Cuttak dance, which involves lots of spinning around and shaking of bells around the ankles, again it had to be seen to be belived, and was very good. finally there was a local folk dance, with several girls dancing in harmony, and again excellent music (all live) the festival finally ended around 10 pm and i can only praise it and recommend it to anybody in puri the first week of december (1st – 4th). the sun temple was lit up in the background to create a magical atmosphere and i ended up twice having a camera thrust my face to give an interview to indian tv.
Yesterday i decided to treat my indian friend Robbie and his family to a day out at chilika lake to see the dolphins, so i booked a car for 650 rupees and went to pick them up. unfortunatly Rasmita (his daughter) was car sick, and i found out that his wife and kids had never been in a car before. after a 2 hour ride over a very bumpy road we arrived and had thali’s for lunch. then i hired a boat to go sea the dolphins and the edge of the lake where it meets the sea. Although we saw a few dolphins, it was only when they surfaced for air, and a few seconds a time. The water is not clear and the noise of the engine keeps them at a distance. the meeting of the lake & the sea is very nice, a thin strip of sand with a few islands thrown in. the locals have set up a couple of stalls and sell fresh tiger prawns for 25 rupees.
back at Puri i have met up with a dutch couple who have given me some great advice about Thailand, Laos & Cambodia where they have just come from. I’m meeting them in 10 mins for dinner, so thats it for now.
Next stop Chennai