We arrived 7km away from the bus stand at Ajmer at 4am in the morning (which is 19km from here)! We refused to be ripped off by the rickshaw drivers, so decided to walk the 7k and then get a government bus from Ajmer bus stand to Pushkar (the 1st one leaving at 6am)! Very interesting seeing the city at that time in the morning... some very interesting characters!! Mums, please don't worry... we know about Personal Safety... we were in a group of 8 other backpackers... safety in numbers.
Been here 6 nights now - the last 2 of which have been for the Holi Festival.... its mental... we thought the Americans knew how to party at xmas... The Indians partying for Holi is off the scale!!
It began with a bonfire in the middle of the street on Saturday - no need for a courdon let alone Health & Safety. This bonfire is made from straw, hay, and cow dung... so with one match the whole thing went up like petrol! It is good luck to take a burning ember back to your house to ward off evil spirits - so rather than backing away, people were getting as close as possible with spatulas and all sorts!
The following day, everyone plays colour.This means you go round the streets, with powder paint, and get as many people as possible! The elder generation to it quite respectfully - handful of paint, smeared across your face, and then you do it back. But all the kids chuck it at you from miles off... then come up and rub it all over you. Needless to say, its more fun for the boys!
Becks and I had been warned about this! So while Colour was kicking off we sat on our balcony watching all the tourists get grief, whilst we nailed a bottle of Rum. Everything died down about 3pm, so Becks and I emerged to celebrate with everyone and avoid the groping!
We met up again with Hannah and Andrew (we met in Mumbai and Udaipur) - during the day we trekked up to the highest point in Pushkar, the Shivatri Temple - some awesome views, and neon lights round the altar, which then played really budget music (worse than ringtone quality)!
Hired a scooter to nip round the local towns - comlpetely different experince to the tranquility of Mt Abu! Becks and I have never soiled our trousers more! We drove 11k to Ajmer - it was like driving the wrong way down the M25... then around Ajmer, and return to Pushkar via a place called Baijnath... it has a cool cave Temple, and during/after the rains, a cool waterfall! An accident was inevitable - thankfully we weren't hurt! The girl bounced off the handlebars and asn't even bruised... we continued on our way!
Woke up really early to watch the lunar eclipse - people went nuts down by the lake, more loud drumming, singing etc, all starting at 3am!
Going to Jaipur now for one night, then Agra