Saturday, January 23rd, 2016
We left the not-so-secluded camp to continue our drive to Ajanta. But before exploring the caves, we ate lunch at Rafik’s brother’s restaurant, “Sai Milan Ajanta.” The food was great! Before making our way to the cave monasteries and temples, we took in the view from a distance. It was a huge complex!
We battled the steep stairs downhill as we watched Indians carry the fat and elderly tourists cave to cave as they relaxed on stretchers. The first two caves were monasteries that had beautifully preserved painted walls and ceilings.
We went to Cave 10 next since the ones in between were apparently not as well preserved. Cave 10 was a chaityagriha, or prayer hall with beautifully painted pillars.
We would visit Cave 16 and 17, both which were monasteries, before the last cave, Cave 19 which was another prayer hall.
It had beautiful sculptures inside and out. What also awaited outside was a group of school children who wanted their photo with us.
The Golden Girls caused yet another cluster fuck as they always did. One of them wasn’t feeling well, so one of the others stuck around to keep an eye on her, while also forgetting to hand over the tip money for the guide. The poor guy had to walk all the way up the hill to the truck to receive it. The Aussies were quite pissed as well. The sick Golden Girl had been laying all over their belongings and had been coughing directly into Carmel’s pillow. Being the high maintenance lady she was, she also refused to sit upright and continued sprawling all over the back while we all had to cram in on top of one another to find seating. It was completely obnoxious.
After all the unwanted drama, we drove until we arrived to the next camp site. Just like the one before, it was located nearby a hotel. We were once again divided between those “roughing it,” if you would even call it that, and those who chose to pay money to stay inside a mediocre hotel by India’s standards. We set our tents up outside a nearby gas station and vented our frustrations with some of the others before joining everyone for dinner and more fire pit games. There’s nothing like a few laughs amongst friends to make you forget about all that had you pissy throughout the day.
Jump Back to Part 29: Mandu, Nail Polish & A Nudists Cult
Jump Ahead to Part 31: Carrots, SeeSaws & Monoliths
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety