2nd April- checked out of hostel at 10am but left bags there. HAd a casual breakkie of pancakes, collected out train tikets....SLEEPER!! Then hit the streets of Varansi for some adventures in the little alley ways. Got a bit lost, but all great fun. Bought some trousers, matching of course, which are lovely and cool! As yes it is unbelievably HOT! On our walk we past 2 people who remember us from yesterday....weird....indians that had just seen us around! They all have their faces painted as its the final of the cricket today....SO wish we could stay to watch as I htink it will be crazy, but have to get the sleeper tonight, oh well. Everyone kepps saying, 'pray for India, pray'...we will we will!!
Found a cafe and sat there for the whole day really, well till 3pm. Had a drink and food, massive food. Kind of Nepali style, in the school plates....oh the memories! Headed home, after a card game to decide who got which bunk...I Rose, won, YES so chose bottom bunk, Meg is middle!
At hostel met some girls who gave us some birthday cake, very nice of them....they had been to theone and only NEPAL....so had lot to talk about. Also there was one hell of a crazy Russian in the room....who was shouting and stuff, he spoke hardy any english, just shouted....I think he likes the wodka!! He eventually was asked to leave as the men were watching THE cricket....not cool Mr Russia!!
Then headed out to the station, very very sweaty waiting for the train. Talked to some Indian boys, who said we had to find him on facebook...sure sure!!! On or bench on the train were 2 diff indian who were sharing a bed, so we had to quish on the seats...but luckily noone by the window oppsite so we moved across....no supps tonight, so in for a long night.
The night was....interesting....the decission of bopttom may not have been the best....it was freezing firstly (for us both) but as I squrewed up into a ball to keep warm when I woke up at one point there was an Indiam man at the end of my bed....thats a first!! Not a great sleep, as stopped to pick people up at 9.30, 11.30, 2.30 and 4.30....they were noisy, turned on the lights, and one ned had a family of three on it...they are mental!!
Ok...mee Meg...arrived in Agra at 6.30am pretty shattered after an eventful night...after climbing over bodies that were sleeping on the floor we climbed out of the train and on to the platform...spirits remained high in the Barnes Dyos duo, and off we set...right into another con. We asked an auto-rickshaw driver to drive us to the touristic area, instead he drove us to a construction site hostel full of Indians...no! The positive attitude towards India is really beginning to diminish when these con artists do not take you where you want to go....So 30 rupees down, off we set again landed in the right area...but just before getting out, we were informed that we might get food poisoning as the usual con is to give food poisoning to people in this area then take them to hospital where the hostel and the hospital split the travel insurance money....fun times!
Off we set and found a great hostel overlooking to Taj for 200...when i say room, maybe i should describe it as the end of a corridor with a door attached and a bed wedged in. Majopr plaster falling off of the walls, but we love a bargain and it was coolio smoolio, so we stayed for the night due to there not being a train to Jaipur until 5am tomorrow....chilled on the roof terrace, met an english guy and then headed to the Taj for sunset...750 rupees each (10 pounds)....it was WELL WORTH IT! WOW....Its incredible....as Rose would say, the whole world and his wife were there also, but it was amazing. It took 23 years to build, and the detail to amazing...it is all symmetrical completely to the extent that the man who designed it had to put in a fake mosque, to mirroe the one on the other side! We hitched along with a tour....and got some good history...an Italian designer and a french architect were brought in to help with the project, but they were then made to livein India so that they could repair the Taj if it was needed....honestly it was amazing, so so so so beautiful just like everyone says, and we are so hapy that we paid to go in...The worst worst worst thing however, and i hated it was that at least 10 - 15 if not more Indians asked us to be in photos with them....after 5 and feeling like a zoo animal i refused, but Rose continued....secretly i think she loved it...hahahah...but it was very weird weird weird....some people woudn't even ask....We met the gardener and had a good chat with him...the little Nepali we know, it coming in quite useful....
Came back to hostel....for yep....curry. beauty beauty beauty, and then an early night before our 3.45am wake up and next stop....i hope that this entry doesn't make Agra sound bad, it really isn't you just get pestered an awful lot, and when people say Nepal is a baby step to India they are 100 percent right....India is at least 10 times more mental!
Rosa Rose....awoke at the god awful time of 3.45am to get on the train. Had a little bit of a scary ruk ruk to the station as a man jumped on board with us....didnt know why, but he simple scabed off our ride....the cheek of it! Again on the train we wre the only whities....same same! Didnt get back to sleep as it is a sitting train, arried in at 9.30am...as planned we deided we would get a rickshal to the tourist area then walk to find a place....did we do this...no....stuid us....we fell for the tuk tuk mans charm....he said he would take us o the tourist place, but e did in fact take us to his mates place no where near the tourists!! NOT COOL...mkaes us soooooo angry! So left this place got a rickshal to the pink city....but when arrived it was the wrong gate for us white girls, and only Indian hotels whih were ery expensive. So FINALLY GOT THE giude ook out, found another rickshal and headed to the right area....it was hot, stressfull and we had no ffod in our bellies!!
So a lot of rupees later we got to the right road and walked to find a place....luckily one lovely man pointed us in the right direction...and we finally found a place. The Pink Hotel I think it is called....the men wanted 250 RS and we said 200 max....Meg wacked out the KARMA card and we got it....nice work!!
Lovley restauent across the hall, with comfy chairs and cheap food....we spent all day here chilling, reading our books and chatting to the owner and manager...the manager/sole cook is loverly...calledSantog, now known as Santy! As we are tight as thieves! He's only 32...married with 3 kids, oldest of whih is 12...yu do the Maths! Also met Ronnie...a 57year old traveller from England....woman with a man voice, she is nice. So chatted or ages with them all....then headed for supper, evntually found a place and had...CURRY!! Shared of course as we are poor poor poor....well on a tight budget!!
Back home, showered, and sleep.....disturbed as this is a muslim area and they wack out banging tunes throughout the night....how kind!! SO a fun day had....stressful with the tuk tuk men...we have learnt our lesson!
Meg again....Awoke at 8.30am after an averge sleep...a combination of dogs and mosque...Jaiur is a very muslim area....very muslim...chillaxed in the restaurant until 12amish, and then headed to Jhaiselmeir (wrong spelling, sorry!) in the Thar desert where we plan to maybe use Linda's money, to do a couple of days camel trek, but we shall see....a 12 hour sleeper train (another cards battle as we have middle and upper berth...upper is three up...!) We got on a rickshaw to the 'pink city' for a mooch....te driver attempted to persuade us to go for a drink with him that eve, but after 5 no's he got the picture that we weren't interested...in the 'Pink City' "madam madam would you like mens shoes" very funny....literally from 100 metres away they see you and start calling! An Indian asked us why westerners are so cold towards North Indians, we kindly told him that it was due to us feeling like all they want is our money...he didn't seem suprised...
so after a great mooch seeing SO many bangle shops, they are beautiful, we headed back to our local shop where the man gives us free sweets, and then went to a lovely small shopw where we brought some small bags...beauty! Back to hostel and chilaxed for the rest of the eve with Ronnie, and chef man Santoj...There is a festival tomo which we might go to, we might also pop out with Ronnie to look at bangles....and then night train to Jhaiselmer at 11.30pm....we have had a GREAT time in Jaipur, very relaxed and ready for some desert action.....oh my goodness....major news flash....Rose has left her Swoyambhu in Jaipur....we are offically Swowambhuless!!! See you in Jhaiselmer!!! We also did some washing...Roses panties fell off the rail and the men bellow picked it up....we were unaware and by the time we found out the whole street knew...how emaressing!! CRINGE....