Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Fourth Lecture: How Asia Became A Supercontinent

On this trip I am giving five lectures and all but one are given while flying in the jet. My one ground lecture was given while at the Rambaugh Place Hotel in Jaipur, India. This hotel is part of the Taj Group of Hotels and they are known for their incredible properties. Here is a quick look.

One of the many courtyards located betwen the various rooms

A quiet place for breakfast

Marble floored hallway
The front entrance replete with welcoming peacocks. I would later be fully aware of some of the habits of these birds.

Lunch was a buffet enjoyed on the lawn. Dinner that night was on a separate lawn nearby.

Lunch venue

This was my lectern and screen for the evening talk. It was given outdoors on the property. Note that there is a train car near by....

Yep - the owner of the chain collects antique cars and trains and puts them liberally across his properties

This is a 1915 coal fired engine from England. Folks in the back of the "classroom" would be seated here.

At every event that we attended while staying here, the hotel staff would outline the way to the venue with zillions of colorful flower petals

The talk was scheduled for just at sunset and here you see our guests arriving

I just love giving geology talks when beer is served. It allows those might not be comfortable going to "class" to feel more at home. I do not partake until after the talk.

Now, about those peacocks. It seems that peacocks like to crow loudly as the sun goes down. So during my talk I was serenaded (that might not be the right word) by a tremendous cacophony of loud, raucous noise coming from them. It was very loud. One was in a tree to my left, the other in a tree to my right. I could only make light of it, what else could I do? So, I joked that each time they made a noise it did not mean that I was telling a lie about drifting continents. And I told the group after about ten minutes of it that if the peacocks came down on stage to mate, that I would stop talking. They eventually did quit and the lecture went off well.

Here is our expedition leader Micheline Place with a few concluding remarks about the lecture. You can see one of Ron Blakey's paleogeographic maps on the screen behind her.

Then it was off to dinner with the palace lit up at night

Fireworks especially for our group.....

Turbans for all the men, scarves for the women....

More drinks.....

And how about a little game of elephant polo before dinner! There were four matches with six players each.

What a festive evening!

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