So we reach the holy town of Pushkar. Our plan was to stay here fro 2 nights before we head up the the capital of Rajasthan - Jaipur. What can be said about Pushkar? well it has hippy written all over it. Its supposidly a place where people come to find spiritual awareness and whatever else, personally thats all well and good but on the flip side, Pushkar is somewhere tourists get fleeced and for a holy place I think thats bang out of order. Me and Shenel had heard about the lake that was in the centre of pushkar where people go to pray, wash etc etc and we wanted to see it. So, we headed down there completely unaware of what we were going to go and see. As we got maybe 50 yards from our hotel a guy comes and puts some flower petals in our hands to throw in the lake, oh great we thought something to do when we get there, we said thanks and headed on. About 10 yards more down the road another guy comes and talks to us, tells us that he too is heading to the lake and could he walk with us, sure we said and we carried on, still unaware. So, we got to this lake and at first your greeted by some local dude, he tells you to take off your shoes and come and sit by the edge of the steps near to the pond, ok we thought, no big deal. We are then taken away from each other and a priest is assigned to each of us, he then gets out some coloured dust, some rice, a coconut and some water from the lake, let me just say this lake was not clean in the slightest, even the fish looked like they had grown 3 heads from living in there, it was nasty. Anyway, the "priest" then starts chanting and then you have to repeat after him, so I do and do and do, he went on for ages. He then asks about your family, brothers, sisters and all that, then starts to chant again (which u have to repeat). Then (here comes the good bit) he starts to pour the water (from the septic pond) over your hands and sprinkling it over your shoulder, at this point all I could see was me showering in dettol for about a day in my mind, it was the sickest thing i'd ever come across. Anyway, after the lovely septic shower, chanting and total bewilderment he then brings out the punch line - donation. Now, as far as we were aware donation means donation, you set the limit you want to pay and thats that, well here they do it different (remember holy place too), I said I'd like to pay him 500 rupees, he then goes great, 500 rupees fopr your mum, for your dad, for your sister and for you, thats 2000 rupees, at this point I almost fell into the septic lake, I couldnt believe what I was hearing, after some haggling (haha haggling priests!!!) I gave him 1000...but it didnt end there. One more chant later (i think i may be fluent in Hindu now) he then says a donation for my family please of 500 rupees, at this point im totally past the whole religious stuff and give him a couple hundred and walk off, we got completely fleeced by so called holy men....what the hell. Afterwards we both said why didnt we just walk off? i guess that the fact we were in a holy place, doing a so called holy thing stopped us from doing so as it would have been a bit disrespectful, but were we to know about the ending of it all, we may have changed our minds. Making a donation is no problem at all, a warning prior to the fleecing would have been nice, we were a bit naive that night, haha. After the fleecing of the century we wanted to get the stench of urine off of us so we did go get some dettol and we did shower in it, seriously people, it was rank!!!!! So basically in a nut shell, day one we paid to be showered in urine water at a price of 1250 rupees each and got a little bit of string tied round our wrists for our troubles, you gotta love India!!!
Day 2 was a lot better. It was mainly spent shopping for clothes and stuff to send home. Me and shenel picked up some random looking trousers (as some may have seen already) but in this heat they are actually quite needed. You can pick up almost everything in Pushkar, even the guys on the corner of the street shout "food, drink, clothes, hash, drinks food, clothes, see the slyness of that ? hahaha. Oh yeah, eggs, meat and alcohol are also forbidden here but you can still get it if you know where to go, very funny. Apart from the shopping all day we didnt get to do much else on day 2, we had obviouslY done the lake and seen the temples the day before so we just chilled back at the hotel by the pool (a pool!!!!!) for the rest of the day, it was real nice actually. Our next destination is Jaipur!!
D & S