|The town of Pushkar|
After being in the crazy heat of India for a couple of weeks we were both ready to find a place with a swimming pool and relax in that place for a while. We decided that Pushkar would be the perfect place to do it, especially since we found a guesthouse with a swimming pool for a good price!
The bus from Jaipur to Pushkar was only about 30 minutes but it was unbelievably full that people were hanging out of every space imaginable. After that quick ride we decided to get a rickshaw to the guesthouse that we were planning on staying at. Our hearts absolutely dropped when we arrived and found that the pool was…empty!! They said that it was being cleaned and that we would be able to use it the next day. We decided to take the risk and stay there.
They lied…it took a total of 5 days for the pool to get halfway full so we only got to use the pool once during our time there. This right here is what we found Pushkar was like, just a series of disappointments.
We had never intended on going to Pushkar but so many people had told us that it was their favourite place in India so we decided to check it out for ourselves. Indeed it is a beautiful town. There is a lake in the middle and all around the lake are beautiful white washed buildings and behind them are beautiful hills just waiting to be climbed. Indeed we would have climbed up these hills if we weren’t there at the wrong time of the year and we may have fallen in love with the town then.
I guess the main reason that we didn’t fall in love with Pushkar and ended up resenting it is because this is where we got ripped off big time! Before I continue, I know you will probably be thinking, I’d never let this happen to me, why didn’t they just walk away! and yes I would be thinking the same and while I’m writing this I’m thinking “why didn’t I just walk away?!” To be honest when you are there you are feeling vulnerable, you are surrounded by people who do this for a living and you are completely out of your comfort zone.
When we went to take a look at the lake we were told that we couldn’t go in until we made an offering. Then we were suddenly surrounded by men, lots of men and we were seperated. I was sat down and made the offering which meant throwing some flower petals into the lake, getting a tikka on my forehead and saying a prayer. After this they would not let me leave until I gave them money (after spending the whole time telling me they weren’t looking for money) When I tried to get up and leave they would stand in my way and not allow me to go, finally I gave them money and it was not enough, they wanted more! It was an awful situation and I’m still asking myself why didn’t I just leave the money with them and go, but no, I ended up giving them more money and then finally just walking away. I finally found Jason and luckily he was stronger than me and didn’t give them as much money but he felt quite threatened by the situation.
|My “I just got scammed” look.|
|…and Jasons “I just got scammed” look.|
Because this had happened on our first day in Pushkar it had left a bitter taste in our mouths that was hard to get rid of.
The town itself though is beautiful. There are lots of little alleyways that lead down to the lake, many little cafes and restaurants that look on to it and it really is a beautiful town just to walk around in. We spent the rest of our time there just relaxing in our guesthouse and walking around the town.
|Pushkar, it really is beautiful!|
Our plan was to go to Amritsar from Pushkar as we had seen that there was a train that went there directly but after trying to book a train we had found that they were completely booked up for the next seven days. We had to change our plans so began looking up flights from Delhi to Leh, luckily we found one cheap flight at 6am so booked it and then booked a train to Delhi. We would arrive in to Delhi at about 9pm, get a bus to the airport and then spend the night in the airport waiting for our flight the next morning.
All went according to plan, our daytime train was pretty great. We found that we were constantly eating as our ticked included a big meal and snacks. When we arrived in Delhi it was dark and there were so many people around the train station. We ended up getting a bit lost while looking for a bus stop to get us to the sirport but luckily some very friendly rickshaw drivers helped us out and stayed chatting with us until the bus came.
The airport was quite an interesting experience. When we arrived we noticed that there were people dressed in all black with a couple of guns each and helmets with cameras on top. Then we turn around and find a man pointing a gun at us from across the room. It was a bit startling as we had no idea what was going on. There must have been about 30 men all just ducking and sneaking along the terminal. We were getting pretty excited that something big was going to happen, especially when a bomb robot started rolling into the terminal. But we soon found out that it was just a training exercise. It was interesting to see though.
After a sleepless night in the airport we were bound for Ladakh. I was sleeping on the short hour long flight when Jason woke me and told me to look out the window. When I looked out I realised that we were flying right above the Himalayas. The view was pretty spectacular, just snow capped mountains as far as the eye could see. It was crazy to think that we would be driving back from Leh through this terrain! (unfortunately I was too tired to take photos of the views)
I was so excited for this next part of the trip. Ladakh was the reason that we had decided to come to India in the first place and it definitely didn’t disappoint!