Dhula village is about a three hour drive from Agra and would be home for one night. The actual camp site is a fifteen minute walk from the village and is situated in a beautiful setting.
Our trepidations of a camp site befitting what we had already experienced were unfounded as we gazed upon a row of ten white house style tents a dining hall and a swimming pool! Nothing on the tour so far could have prepared us for this.
The tents themselves housed sleeping and separate bathroom areas and consisted of two single (proper) beds with pink and white polka dot duvet covers. It all looked so quaint and ideal for my first time camping. The bathroom was the nicest, biggest and cleanest we had used so far despite the lack of running hot water, it even had a flushing toilet!
We spent the evening enjoying a relaxing meal followed by fireworks, drinks and games round the pool afterwards.
The following morning a small number of our tour party (including Paul) went on a bike ride around the local area. I had a refreshing shower and wandered around the camp site with my camera. It is owned and run by a former tour guide and has been part of the golden triangle tour since January. It grows a lot of its own fruit and vegetables and everything else is sourced from the village. Two of the local girls came over to decorate my hands with henna tattoos, before we went for a walk around Dhula village itself.
As it was still Diwali the village was decorated with bright, colourful flowers and streamers. The majority of people were on holiday so the village had a very busy feel about it. We watched men playing a game with stones, a queue of people waiting for the local doctor, a camel having a nap and an old woman taking a rest from weaving carpets, which are sent to the city to be sold. We also wandered around the playground of the local primary school. It was hard to imagine children enjoying themselves or learning in what looked like a derelict building site. Our guide told us that the majority of children only come to school for the cooked meal they get at lunchtime. For many this is the only decent free meal they get, he went on to tell us that children often come in for morning lessons only, have lunch then go home before the afternoon classes start!
Once back at the camp site it was time to check out. On our journey to Jaipur we stopped of in Baswa to see an ancient stepwell containing hundreds of steps and pathways to get down to the water.