Monday, 12 November 2012


We left from Pushkar and got the train over to Jaipur. On the train I was speaking to a family of a mother, grown up son, daughter and the daughter had a baby. They asked if me and Andy were married, now sometimes we say yes, but they were such lovely people I thought I would say the truth and we were just friends. The Mother couldn't believe it, she said that her only friend was her husband. It's so different over here. They then made me hold the screaming baby to take photos of me and her together, she obviously wanted her Mum and not me!

We then got into Jaipur and got a taxi to our Hostel which was lovely. The family there was really lovely, and our room was really big and clean.  We were still tired from sleeping in the desert the night before, so we just had some food and relaxed.

The next day we got a rickshaw driver for the day, through the hotel called Mr Raju. He was such a lovely man and took fun photos of me and Andy such as jumping ones with out us asking him too! He first took us through the city gates into the "pink city" which is Jaipur's old city. We were abit dissatisfied with it as we imagined it to be very pink (like Jodhpur is very blue) but the pink colour didn't really stand out at all! We then went up the Isar Lat. Which is a very tall minaret, which has great views of the city below. We then went to Hawa Mahal (palace of the winds), which is where ladys of court would be able to look down on what was happening below through hundreds of screened windows, while remaining in purdah.

The next (and best attraction of Jaipur as far as I'm concerned) was Jantar Mantar. It was built by Jai Singh as an observatory, with 18 huge stone measuring devices. They were so strange and amazing looking, really modern and abstract, and surrounded by a beautiful garden.; My favourite was the sunken semi circles that were cut out, and also the biggest one which was a huge sun dial that we dubbed "the royal slide", as that's what if looked like from the palace!

We then saw some more cenotaphs which were lovely and made of marble.; We then went to the Amber palace which I really enjoyed. It was up a big hill and when you finally get inside it has a pretty palace structure and a gorgeous garden, and you can imagine the princes and princesses wandering around in the summer heat. It also had a gorgeous room covered in mirrors, and you were left to explore the place with all the nooks and crannies by yourself which was fun. We then walked along the secret underground tunnels which then come above ground take you up to the fort. We walked all the way up to the fort and decided not to go in.

We then went to a charity/co-operative textile factory, for poor/low caste people to work in. We saw how they made the material and coloured in the golden patterns (the men were completely golden coloured), and I bought a bag from them. We then went to a Jewry shop where Andy bought a ring. And I then got henna done!

We then got dropped off at MI road as we had heard it was the main street but all the food places were too expensive so we went (to our shame) to McDonald's. We then got a cycle rickshaw home.  We both felt so awful as this poor man was really struggling up a slight incline. We both felt like getting out and cycling for him. I have never felt more like a rich western bastard in my life! We paid him extra money when we got out, but I guess you have to remember that this is their livelihood and not to use them is actually worse as they can charge westerners more!

The next day we went to monkey temple (Galta) called so because of the hoards of monkeys who live there. We went with an older guy called Neil who wanted to join us and went with the rickshaw driver Mr Raju again as he had been so lovely from the day before. As you drive up to the entrance there are so many wild peacocks its amazing. You then get there and there is a guy selling monkey food, so of course we bought some peanuts.

As you walk in there is abit of an abandoned Disneyland feel, as you can tell it was once a colourful magnificent temple now fallen into disuse. There were half broken statues staring at you (one very forlorn looking broken cow statue), then you see all the monkeys!
They come upto you and take the nuts out your hand, and the babies are so cute, sort of scared of you, but wanting the nuts more. You realise how human they are with all the interactions they have, they seem more human though the younger they are!

We then walked up past the 2 sacred springs (where people where bathing, with fish and terapins) and up to the sun temple at the top, where we were rewarded with a stunning vista of Jaipur. The buildings were cloaked in veil of pollution so we couldn't see the further most part of the city. The rest of the city seemed to be growing by itself with little or no planning.

After we did this we went to an awesome restaurant called the peacock (which our friend Neil suggested) and had some lovely food and beer. We then all went back to the hostel to pack to go that night to Agra!

Thursday, 8 November 2012


We were getting the train over to pushkar at 7am, therefore we were suppose to get up at 5am, to have showers and pack. Luckily I woke up and checked the time, we had both slept through our alarms, and it was 6am!  We literally threw everything in our cases, and went to the station, and luckily we got there with time to spare!

We then got into Ajmer station and got a taxi to Pushkar. Our hostel was amazing, it was a family run place, the wife was a lady from the UK who had gone traveling and fallen in love with an Indian guy, and stayed and got married, and they now have 2 kids. I thought it was kind of amazing.

Pushkar itself was werid. It's suppose to be one of the holiest places in India, as in Hinduism, the creator Brahma, dropped 3 lotus leaves which turned into the lakes at Pushkar and meant Pushkar was the first place ever created. But although its really holy, holy people don't think twice about trying to scam you out of your money.

We went down to the lake and were made to do the holy ceremony to bless you and your family. It was a nice ceremony, but the whole time your thinking, when does the money bit come in. Once they finish the ceremony they put a bracelet on you which is known locally as a "pushkar passport" which means the other holy people will leave you alone as they know you have done the ceremony. After the ceremony you then have to argue a price, and then escape.

The second day we were there we went on a camel safari, which is one of the best experiences I have had in India.

The guys picked us up with 2 camels, one Andy got on, and the other was pulling a cart which I got into. We then went along into the desert. We then swapped and I rode the camel and directed it with a harness. My camel was called slowmo. And every so often one of the guys had to chase slowmo so he would hurry up. When slowmo ran it was horrible as there wasn't much to hold onto and I almost fell off!

We went through farms, where the people were still living as they would have done for century's and then came to our sleeping place, where we lay blankets out, and then helped to peel garlic for our food.  The guys made us food which was delicious, and a type of bread which they buried into the hot coals to cook, which was very heavy and dense.

We then lay under the stars and saw shooting stars and sang songs together. It was all very lovely, until the stray dogs we fed to leftovers too decided we were its new best friends and came and sat on me through the night. It stayed with us all night and then in the morning followed us back to town. We affectionately called him mangey.

On the way back we both rode one camel, which meant I only had Andy to hold onto. We then walked through the town on camel back, along roads (which felt abit ridiculous!) With our mangey friend following us and getting into fights with other dogs along the way.

I absolutely loved the camel trek though and totally think everyone should have ago! At it!

We were then dropped off in our hostel before getting a train onto Jaipur!


We caught a bus from Udaipur to Jodhpur and it has defiantly been the best mode of transport so far. We had a big double compartment, which had a glass screen and a curtain across it to give you some privacy. We also had a big window to get some air too. The only problem is people kept opening our glass screen and curtain. I am unsure why, apart from them wanting to check me and Andy weren't up to anything! We saw a red moon, as well, as we had been crossing the desert. It was beautiful.

My first hint that I was still unwell was when we were trying to get off the bus. The simple act of trying to get my bag down from our compartment made me feel sick and dizzy, and I thought I would pass out.  We got a rickshaw and then had to walk up a hill to get to the hostel. I felt very unwell but felt worse when trying to eat, (apart from when a lizard jumped on Andy),  I went to bed.

The next day I tried to go out but just walking down stairs made me feel like I would faint. My legs went shakey, like bambi legs. I decided at this point to call the Dr. It cost 500 rupees (£5) for the Dr to come and tell me I had tonsillitis and about 60p for the prescription. I spent 2 days in bed (the second day I made it half way to the fort before almost fainting).

The 3rd day I went to the Mehrangarh fort by myself (Andy went the day before) it was an amazing place. Huge and really beautiful inside, with loads of interesting peices, such as babys cradles, and  palanquins (for carrying ladies around) and the audio tour was very interesting. They had some very luxerious rooms, such as the room of mirrors! While I was there people were constantly doing things, and we found out Naomi cambell wad having a party there the next day!  Me and Andy then walked along the city wall until a local shouted at us that we couldn't walk along it.  We then walked to a memorial of one of the princes which was a beautiful marble cenotaph.

Our hostel was amazing. Jodhpur is called the blue city because the old city is all painted blue (in olden times only the high caste, brahmin, were alowed to paint their house blue) and we were right in the middle of the blue houses over looking the fort, and it was spectacular!

In the evening Andy did a zip wire around the fort, but since I was still ill, I desided not to Do it!

Tomorrow onto Pushkar!

Friday, 2 November 2012


So we escaped Ahmedabad, and got on our sleeper train. We were in a compartment with a sweet family, who got us to talk to their daughter on the phone, and invited us to their village, which we declined!  The sleeper beds were hard and as soon as the train was going it became freezing inside. Everyone on the train seemed to be very ill too.

We arrived into Udaipur and the hostel had sent a driver to pick is up which was amazing. The hostel itself was a beautiful blue and pink place up a small hill, with amazing views across Udaipur!

We didn't do much the first day we went to a temple in the center of town. The second day we hired a rickshaw driver for the day for 600 rupees, so about £6! He took us to loads of interesting places.

First he took us to lake Pichola, which was beautiful, and we got the boat ride around it, the lake is huge and has 2 hotels on it, and is surrounded by mountains! He then took us to a local market. We then went to a royal cremation ground. It was full of beautiful cenotaphs, all different for different royals. It was a huge place. Now we were the only ones there, and our driver said to pay on the way out, he said he might be able to get the price down. But the guy we paid was a secruity guard and he made us go behind a wall to pay him, so I guess we weren't actually alowed in there and we just paid a bribe to get in!

After this we went to a Hindu funeral ground which was very peaceful. We then went to sahelion ki bari, which is gardens with beautiful fountains. We also went to a tailor and I got a salwar kameez top made, which is beautiful.

That evening me and Andy met Raj, my Uncle Philips friend. We had an amazing time. He picked us up on his motorbike (3 of us on the motorbike, abit of a squeeze!) And we went to the hotel he's the manager of, which was over looking the lake! We had lovely conversation.

The next day we went to city palace, we just went round the museum bit, it was quite beautful in parts, with stained glass Windows, and rooms full of mirrors. And there were a few beautiful courtyards. The best bit was a courtyard that was embellished with 3 mosaic peacocks, which was just stunning. The tour got abit thin towards the end, and they had a lot of paintings which didn't really interest me! We then went over to Raj's house and had a lovely home cooked meal with him and his wife Suchi. It was all delcious, but I had started go come down with a fever, so couldn't eat much, and I spent the evening very ill in bed.

We hired the same rickshaw driver the next day and went out of the city and saw some temples, and we then saw a dance and puppet show in the evening. The dancing was very good, all traditional dances, one girl danced with a pot of fire on her head!

We then changed from our hostel to a hotel for some luxery. The reason we picked the Anjani hotel was had a swimming pool. But when we got in it was FREEZING! So didn't spend ages in there. I was feeling abit sick, so spent most of the day relaxing in room. We then went up to the roof top terrace to take pictures of the sun set. I started to be violently sick over the side of our nice hotels balcony, luckily Noone else was around! We then met up with Raj and Suchi in the evening which was lovely.

The next day hung around the hotel,and then Raj came to see us, he then let me try riding his bike, I was pretty ok, for a first time, and I saw my first elephant! It was then time to catch our bus to Jodhpur! Bye Udaipur! the