An exciting journey
Pushkar Travel Blog› entry 17 of 37 › view all entries
After Udaipur we headed to Pushkar. We got marginally ripped of for a ticket on a beaten up bus (a daytime bus this time, rather than an overnight one), but the bus got us to Ajmer as advertised. As usual, because it was a private bus, it dropped us at the side of a random street, rather than at the public bus station, so that no-one had any idea where we were. This is always to the advantage of the taxi drivers and autorickshaw men, who know that you haven't a clue where you are. At least this time it wasn't the middle of the night, so we weren't quite as desperate as we might have been.
We had rapidly coalesced into an impromptu group of six: Zoe and me, a couple of French, a Danish girl and another person I can't remember. We were trying to negotiate a good price with one of the taxis to take us to Pushkar, which was a few kilometres away, but the prices that they were charging were really high. They know that if we wanted to take an autorickshaw that we'd have to get three of those to transport the six of us plus our bags, so they didn't feel inclined to lower the prices. The autorickshaw drivers felt that they had a pretty good bargaining position too.
Then, all of a sudden, a guy turned up with a slightly larger autorickshaw. It had seats for six, three of them facing backwards out of the back of the vehicle, and three inside. This was exactly what we needed, and the price seemed right, although there wasn't really any room for our bags. However, we somehow managed to squeeze in, with the three of us on the back sitting with our legs over our rucksacks, desperately clinging on to stop both our bags and ourselves from falling off the back whenever the driver accelerated. The driver was not at all popular with the other rickshaw drivers; I do hope that he didn't suffer too much for having taken us.
To make the journey even more exciting, the road from Ajmer to Pushkar is up and over and down a big hill. The up bit went fine, with the engine straining under the weight of the six people and big bags in the back. At the top of the hill the driver stopped and went into a shop, emerging with what looked like a new brake disc. Which is exactly what it was. With all of us still in the back he managed to change the front brake disc, with the help of a toolkit borrowed from another rickshaw which he flagged down. With the new brake secured in place (not that we had any way of knowing that to be the case) we headed off for the downhill section of the journey. The driver insisted on going quite fast, but we got to Pushkar largely without incident.
On approaching Pushkar there's a barrier across the road where you have to pay for vehicles to enter. We didn't want to pay the extra, so we got out and walked the last few hundred metres into town.