Jaipur, Pushkar & Jodhpur

I wish we had some more exciting stuff to talk about from the last week but it’s all been kind of uneventful. It looks as though we’re going to get through Rajasthan faster than we thought!

We met up with Mark and Grace again in Japiur. The night before, they had met a tuktuk driver called Khan who had promised to take us to all the sites of the city with a few shopping stops along the way, which turned out to be a whole lot of stopping at tourist-trap shops and very few sites. Disappointing for us who didn’t see anything and disappointing for Khan who made no commission.

From Jaipur we jumped on a very bumpy bus and made our way to a town called Pushkar, a Holy City that surrounds a lake about two hours from Jaipur. The lake edge has been turned into a whole bunch of Ghats, or baths, where all the locals come to do their daily bathing in the holy water.

The first morning we arrived, Liam and I jumped up early to go for a walk and see the sights. Turns out it was a festival for the two wives of Brahma (one of the Gods) so the town was already jumping. We went into the temple with what felt like half of the city to throw rice and offer our prayers. We also watched all the locals bathing (in the least creepy way possible) and almost got conned into a ceremony with a “priest” who would then demand a ridiculous amount of money. Luckily we’d been pre-warned.

Pushkar is a cool looking city, but also extremely chaotic. Because it’s holy, cows have free reign and are literally everywhere – main streets, back alleys, lying down and taking a break wherever they choose. Because there is cows everywhere, there is cow poop everywhere. Seriously everywhere. You have to watch every step you take. It gets especially fun when it starts to rain (as it did every day we were there)  and it all turns to mush and you’re walking in thongs with it all flicking up the back of you. Great fun. We were sitting at breakfast one day from a balcony watching the chaos below us. A cow was walking down the street and decided to stop and pee in front of a guys shop. No word of a lie, Grace saw the shop owner run out, catch the pee in his bare hands and then throw it all over his products and shopfront. Madness.

We hung out in Pushkar for a few days, catching up with Jay, one of Liams old friends, walking around the lake, sitting with some Baba’s who were smoking chillums and trying to understand what they were saying, and doing some shopping. We also did a walk to a temple at the top of a mountain one of the festival days, spending the whole 30 minute walk shaking peoples hands, taking “just one snap” with various groups and saying “I am good. How are you?”. The view from the top would have been great, had it not been covered in cloud, though every few seconds you got a view of the town below.

Yesterday we caught a very, very bumpy bus to Jodhpur. Poor Mark and Grace were sick before we caught the bus, so didn’t have much fun for 5 or so hours with the bumps that threw you off the seats. Jodhpur is supposed to be The Blue City, but isn’t really that blue. There’s not much to do here except check out the markets and huge fort on the hill, which we’re going to do this afternoon for sunset. Heading to Jaisalmer tomorrow night where we’ll be  doing a camel safari and (most likely) cursing the heat.

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