Udaipur to Aurangabad - Day 19
Updated: Jun 22
We've left Rajasthan - first catching a flight to Delhi, and then a second flight to Aurangabad.
Indian security seems to have it in for me, or else the sheer quantity of electronic stuff I travel with confuses them. I was savvy this time, and had removed my card reader and SD card from my carry on luggage. I didn't want them to be corrupted again. I had to remove everything from my hand luggage - computer, kindle, tablet, camera, plugs, chargers, power banks, torch, umbrella - you name it. Finally they settled on confiscating a small Allen key that fixes my camera to a belt attachment. A small annoyance in the scheme of things, but wildly irrational. I fail to see what danger a two inch length of Allen key presents to the aircraft.
Aside from the minor irritation posed by security - and they are on high alert after tensions with Pakistan and probably the terror attack in Christchurch - the rest of the journey was tedious but uneventful.
We arrived at our hotel about 8pm and went to dinner. India has the most idiosyncratic alcohol legislation I've ever encountered. Our guide, Vikram has explained them to us. To sell liquour, a vendor has to apply, with a substantial, non-refundable payment, to the State - by which I mean the individual states of India, not the whole nation. Successful applicants are drawn by ballot, and then pay a large amount to purchase the licence. Obviously this generates a large amount of money for the individual states.
The price of the licence depends on the sort of use that will be made of it. A large international hotel will pay squillions, smaller enterprises pay a lower rate and so on. This scaling means, to limit their costs, most of the hotels don't have a bar in the mini-bar. Some can only sell alcohol such as wine in the restaurant part of the hotel, meaning you can't take a drink out to sit by the pool.
Others, such as the hotel we've just moved into, can only sell liquour in the bar - but not in the restaurant. Bang goes the opportunity of a drink with a meal.
Also as a result of this licensing, a bottle of wine will only be licensed for sale in one particular state. You cannot cross the border from Utter Pradesh to Rajasthan with a bottle of wine, even though you may only be travelling 20 kms to a friend's house. This would be smuggling.
It's all part of the fun of travelling!
Now that I've been able to upload photos from my camera, I've posted some of my favourite animal shots.