Happy hour on the sand dunes with ride on a camel cart and entertainment...

We were being pulled on a cart up the steep hill to the sand dunes for an exciting happy hour with entertainment.
We've been posting highlights of a few of our activities on the excursions we made away from the Maharajas Express train each day, all of which have been included in our train fare.
Comfortably seated on fluffy cushions on the sand, we enjoyed free-flowing beverages and snacks.
We have so much more to share that doesn't include dining and entertainment. We've visited no less than a dozen forts, palaces, and sights of historic significance.
Tom captured this sunset while we were out at the sand dunes.
Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the day for us to tackle those more comprehensive stories to coordinate with the hundreds of photos we're accumulating.
We were bundled up in warm clothing and blankets provided at the venue. Several bonfires scattered around the area helped keep us warm.
By the time we return to the train each day, it's so late, we simply don't have time to compile the research, check facts and present the kind of story we'd like to concerning these many historical areas of interest.
We were entertained by traditional Indian dancing and musicians.
With only two days remaining until the train journey ends when we'll spend three nights Delhi, we'll work on these new stories of the many exciting venues we encountered while traveling on the train from Mumbai to Delhi.

Plus, during the upcoming 55-night tour we will have a little downtime here and there and we'll surely catch up during these periods. At that time, we will have the opportunity to present detailed information on the various places we've visited.

At this point in the ceremonial festivities, she stood on a bed of nails and continued her dance.
In most cases, when cruising, we may miss going out on a port of call or two,  especially, if it's a location we've already visited in the past and also, since most tours can cost hundreds of dollars, we may avoid partaking.

The Maharajas Express includes major tours each day in the original train fare and then there are additional tours, referred to as "optional" tours at other times with varying fees for each.
As darkness fell another dancer performed a ritual Hindu dance.
These optional tours would be going on right now, as I'm sitting here in the bar with Tom while he's conducting research and I'm preparing today's post. Once completed, we'll head to our cabin to freshen up for dinner with perhaps a stop back in the bar for a cocktail and more lively chatter with other guests.

It's hard to believe this part of our journey ends in 48 hours but with the big and long tour yet to come, we continue to be excited about India. We're comfortable here. Its colorful people are warm and friendly and its culture is undoubtedly also colorful in countless ways.

Some of the passengers on the train joined in on the dancing. We sat back and watched the show.
The smog hasn't been as bad as we expected. The traffic, although heavy and a bit treacherous, is not much worse than any major city in the US. People aren't wearing face masks with fear of Coronavirus as we'd anticipated. 

Yes, there are sacred cows walking in the streets along with goats, horses, camels and an endless array of stray dogs. Yes, there are endless areas of horrific poverty where citizens live without electricity and running water. But, we've seen these circumstances in one country after another.

Upon returning to our cabin around 10:00 pm, we discovered this pretty "towel" display presented by our attentive and thoughtful cabin attendant, Surender.
No longer do we experience "culture shock." After almost 7½ years of world travel, we're no longer shocked by the realities of life which unfold before our eyes. Instead, we embrace the differences and revel in the ways in which people of the world make a life for themselves and their families.

We continue to be in awe and grateful for the experiences before us, never forgetting for a moment how fortunate we are.
Have a fabulous day and evening and we'll see you soon with more. 
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Photo from one year ago today, February 6, 2019:
Sorry, there was no post one year ago today as we waited to figure out my medical situation. 

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