Pushkar - Relaxing Idyll
Pushkar Travel Blog› entry 26 of 36 › view all entries
Pushkar is another delightful little town, being a religous place it is also devoid of meat, eggs and alcohol (although again obtainable), but was perfectly happy to sell you a pair of leather shoes!
Over breakfast on our first morning we were approached by a "priest" offering to take us to a Puja (prayer) ceremony down by the holy lake, around which this town is centred. All was going well until the questions surrounding how many family members we had started cropping up, and this caused alarm bells to start ringing. We had heard tales of these faux priests conducting such ceremonies and then demanding at least 100 rupees for each family member, and it wasn't long before the magic number was raised. Luckily we all caught on and made some minor donations to his "charitable" organisation before beating our retreat.
We did not leave without the customary red and yellow dye and grains of rice to the forehead (which we immediately rushed back to the hotel to wash off), along with the red and yellow string bracelet, which remains around my wrist as a reminder not to be so easily taken in again. My only defence is that all 6 of us were involved.
That said, Pushkar quickly cast its spell upon us as it is another beautiful place, not too busy and with some good shopping - much to the delight of the Dutch girls who had by now sent 3 boxes home from their 4 months in India. It transpired that they had two budgets, living and shopping, and if one were to be sacrificed it would be the living.
We also found a hotel with a swimming pool where we could lounge all day for 50 rupees, and here we met several other travellers equally glad to be able to escape the scorching sun by taking a long dip. We assembled a good crew, including 2 Americans, John & Karina whom we had met on the train from Sawai Madhopur, Claire from Bristol and Jacinthe from Canada. We therefore arranged to meet them all on the balcony of our hotel in the evenings to have some pre-dinner drinks and listen to music, very civilised. We then generally dined at the Rainbow restaurant which afforded some great views over the lake, and the owner obligingly brought up his television in order that we could keep up with the football.
We also did a day on the mopeds again, heading down to Ajmer to stock up on booze, and then a fruitless 8 km ride in search of the Shiva temple. Fruitless in its goal but a fantastic ride through jaw-dropping scenery, blunted by my chain repeatedly falling off, although we did find a man in a village who was able to sort the problem.
We were in danger of becoming bogged down in Pushkar, the pace was so slow, so decisions were made and the gang of 6 turned into 2 groups of three, with Jesse and the 2 Mariekes heading to Jodhpur, and myself, Ian and Tom heading the opposite way to Jaipur.
Book Review - William Sutcliffe: Are You Experienced
A really good read about a young backpacker heading out to India with the aim of bedding his best friends girlfriend. A great introduction as to what the backpacking world is like, and India on first arrival. Quick and easy to read, very funny and well observed - whether or not backpacking is your thing a definate recommended title.