We safely made it to Jaipur at 6am after a frightful journey. I slept most of the way but Chris kept a watchful eye over the traffic. Wing mirrors don’t exist on all vehicles, cows and people just wander in the road, keep in your lane isn’t a thing… but after a day of driving it all becomes the norm. I am trying to remember the sounds of places so that i can be reminded of all the places i have been when i go home. Horns are the sound of India!
After a few hours sleep we met our driver who was going to drive us to the must see sights of Jaipur. When we met him he was with another man who turned out to be our unasked for tour guide that the agency had booked for us. He turned out to basically ruin our day rushing us around the sights at his pace not ours then asked for a tip. None the less we saw some interesting sights, our favourite was the observatory, containing the worlds oldest and largest astronomical clock along with tens of other fascinating space instruments. We had our first Indian meal here which consists of a metal dish with three or four curry/veg dishes, some rice, naan and poppadoms. Quite tasty! Our tour guide took us to a jewellery shop where we were supposed to spend lots of money, of course we didn’t so this was an awkward experience. He also took us to a fabric printing shop which i found interesting watching all the beautiful patterns being block painted onto the large pieces of fabric but principally we were brought here to spend money too and again had an awkward experience. We were quite looking forward to going to bed that night, knowing we would never get a tour guide again (not that we asked for the first one.)
Day two in Jaipur was much more enjoyable! We did things our way and in our own time. We saw the amazing Amber fort and Nahar Gahr fort and enjoyed stunning views over Jaipur. One side is dense flat land filled with roads and cramped buildings, the other is amazing green hills filled with trees. We just sat and watched for a while, taking a short nap on a bench under the tree as a group of Christians in matching pink sari’s walked past us up the hill heading for evening mass on the forts roof. The occasional wild monkey would swing around the fort walls and fascinated Indian take our photo. Also we got our first bits of travellers clothing! Chris got a long sleeve shirt to cover up his burnt arms (silly Chris) and i got some multicoloured Aladdin type trousers (as i found walking around in little denim shorts attracted unwanted attention, silly me!) I unhappily paid 500rupees (5 pounds) for both items as i left Chris to do the bartering. Had i done it i think we would have got them cheaper- this is why i did car boot sales over the summer! Our driver introduced us to a friend of his who we bumped into, he was a very nice man who told me i look like a Bollywood heroin and Chris looks like a strong boy! We liked that man a lot, but Chris was a little disappointed he didn’t get a movie role.
Now we are on our way to Agra where we will see the Taj Mahal! Im so giddy to go there, it’s somewhere I have always wanted to go. First we need to buy batteries for the camera as all the ones we brought from home have ran out. They seem hard to come by and expensive but hopefully we can find some on the road to Agra. Also we are finding it hard to load the blog when we include photos so instead we will post a link to flickr for now. One more thing- the Chai is very tasty!
Until next time!