Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pushkar and some unexpected dinner guests

Pushkar is a tiny town in Rajastan, away from the craziness of Delhi. As it's a 5 hour train ride, a tuk tuk and a bus over the mountain away from Agra, not so many tourists make it quite this far (apart from for the camel fair, but that was in November) so we don't get assaulted by shop owners or tuk tuk drivers quite as often. Saying that though, Kat did get attacked by a friendly Indian lady who wanted to shake her hand, only to not let it go, blob an ugly flower on it in henna which she'd been hiding in her sari and then demand payment (Ryan gave her four rupees and Kat dragged him away before he could swear too much). We have learnt our lesson and are now hideously anti social. Aside from that incident, Pushkar had been a nice break from hectic Delhi and Agra, which both left us feeling a bit like everyone saw us as walking, talking pots of money (four hotel porters in Agra, two of whom had run to pick up our bags before we could, followed us to our room and all expected tips). 
The trains in India are actually much nicer than expected (provided you book a class with seats), with tea and meals, free bottled water, air conditioning and comfy reclining chairs, much better than national rail could manage at less than a tenth of the price, so our journeys haven't been too bad.

Pushkar is a Hindu town, the only one with a temple dedicated to Brahma, so today we went off to explore it and somehow got forced into making puja at the lake, as well as getting thoroughly india-ed at the bazaar. All the other foreigners we've seen have been in giant swooshy clothes, tie-dyed scarfs and sandals, so we decided we needed to fit in and we get hassled a lot less now that Ryan's shirt says 'ohm' and Kat's wearing ridiculous Aladdin trousers. Our hotel is lovely, miles ahead of the one we unfortunately stayed at in Agra, with paintings all over the walls and loads of hot water, perfect to recover from two 3am starts in a row. We've spent hours and hours on the roof terrace keeping the resident tortoise company, with mango juice, banana shakes and cinnamon tea on tap for pennies and watching the monkeys who get fed leftover chapattis from the kitchen. Last night what we think was a mourning ceremony was taking place next door, with wailing for hours, and today was monkey day (we think that was what they said), so there was live Indian music being blasted across the rooftops all morning, so we're getting our recommended daily intake of culture as well as a tan. 

For, the other side of the mounntaaaiiinnn - was all that he could see

count the monkeys!

this little chap joined us for dinner

the views from our hotel's roof terrace 

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