We set the alarm for 04:30 as three different people we asked told us three different times of arrival in Jaipur, and we wanted to make sure we were ready to jump off at a moments notice. At 04:50 we arrived and "set up shop" in the waiting room, after some bad planning as we were no longer staying in Jaipur we waited around for our next train to Ajmer in 6 hours. First impressions of Jaipur we as most cities in India seem to be, dirty, cramped, smelly, and plenty of people staring at Rachael!
After an easy three hour on an empty train, around 14:00 we arrived in Ajmer ready to get a bus to Pushkar. As the bus station was a distance (unknown at this point) we hired a cycle-deathshaw (a none motorised version) for us and the two heavy bags. We bartered long and hard for a 20 rupees fare, but 2-3 km later, a hill, pushing, chain coming off, and masses of sweating, Tom fell soft and gave the poor sole 25 rupees (33p).
Now at the bus station we boarded the state bus to Pushkar which cramped on as many people as possible, nice journey if not a little "cosy". Getting off however was a much bigger problem.. We were at the back of the bus and curtious Brits let those off in front. As soon as the majority were off the bus, the Indians ready to board started flooded in, fighting for seats, while we and three other Brits were left in the doorway waiting to get off. Tom's infamous aggressive side (Rachael edit!) kicked in and literally launched himself airborne onto the crowd of people below fighting to board. With cheers from the spectating Indian touts shouting "go on", he the turned back, man handled some old Indian man by the shoulder, and relieved the bus of its four remaining Brits, HERO! (Tom edit!)
Excitement over, only eaten snacks for a day we needed somewhere to eat. We randomly chose the state run RTDC Hotel Sarovar, and wow was it a place. Quoting the Rough Guide (we read later) "a bit institutional and with miserable staff", the service was poor, food poor, and décor from the 1970s, they overcharged us and consulting the menu price list they simply said "the menu is out of date, this is the price now". Not going back put it that way.
The next challenge was to find somewhere to stay for the next four nights. As the RTDC Hotel Sarovar was out of the window we looked around about five guest houses in the town. We found a placed we like, the guy desperate to get someone into his new hotel charged us 75 rupees (£1) each for a place we thinks worth about 400-500 rupees. Unfortunately when something looks too good to be true it usually is.......etc. Once we'd committed to the four nights stay we returned to the room and on closer inspection the sheet were filthy and the room was covered in dust. We then blagged the owner for new sheets, he replied "You expect a lot for little money", but finally conceeded.
Spent the evening pottering around the town, looks very nice if a bit touristy. Unfortunately this place has a Alcohol ban!