Next on our adventure was our 14 day tour around Rajasthan "the land of kings", where we travelled like kings with our own driver, staying in heritage hotels.. Not exactly roughing it! The best part about having a driver was not only the A/C in average 43 degree heat, but also they follow a "touristy" route which made it easy to meet other backpackers along the way.
Our first stop after leaving Agra was Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan. We drove through pink city, and visited amber fort, on the way stopping to hold a snake charmers cobra. Kell kept her distance, while I got up close to the slimy little thing. I'm not sure if I should have trusted the charmers version of "not dangerous" but I live to tell the tale! A bit more site seeing, a few more forts (so many damn forts!) then back to our hotel. The next day we drove 6 hours to Pushkar, probably the town with the most fitting name.. Everyone is so bloody pushy! We were innocently walking to get some lunch, when out of nowhere a man jumps and puts flowers in our hands, demanding we go to the holy lake, festival blah blah.. This is the second time this happens so we explain we will eat then head down later, with that we are pushed down an alley way and directed to the lake. A little agitated we make our way down the steps thinking that all we had to do was chuck our flowers in the water, make a donation (nothing is free!) and then go about our day..apparently not! Kell went one step too far with her shoes on, (not that there was any signs like other places) and was told quite rudely to not "make a joke of the place" . Still just keeping our cool, (me counting to ten a few more times then Kelly) We remove our shoes and are taken individually with a man who is going to talk us through the ritual. I think the man (the rude boy!) sensed my lack of interest, especially after asking for a 2000r donation. I told him he was dreaming, and maybe if he hadnt been so rude to my friend I would have paid..(attention that is!!). He just Pushed a little too far! I waited for Kell who had also been asked for $20 for each member of her Family, looking a little grumpy we walked back up the street and found some lunch. On our way back to the hotel a lady asked us to take a photo with her, after already falling victims to the "take my photo and then pay me for the photo I asked you to take" game we told her we didn't have a camera. With that she grabs Kells hand and begins some henna art, Kelly trying to pull free, but realizes theres no point fighting the henna gypsy with the tight grip, and ends up paying her for the henna mess on her hand. Cheeky! We had some drinks with the driver on the roof top of our hotel and then went to bed ready to leave Pushkar the next morning.
Udaipur was our next stop, and was the nicest place in Rajasthan. We stayed near lake Pichola. We visited city palace & the palace museum and spent some time distracting boys training to be guards. They got slapped around a bit! For lunch we went to cafe edelweiss which was delicious.. So delicious that we made our driver wait the next day so we could have muesli for breakfast. Another 6 hour drive, (lucky the travel sickness tablets knock us out for a few hours) and we arrive in Jodpur where they have a blue city. And more forts! The mehrangarh was an interesting fort though, (some start to all look the same) and gave us a good view of the blue city.
Next was Jaisalmer where we got rid of our driver and travelled by camel, (for a night anyway) we rode the camels in the afternoon, watched the sunset on the dunes and then head back for dinner. After dinner and an awkward father son musical production we went back to the dunes by camel cart where we slept under the stars. We swapped nights so we could join the group of 8 people camping rather then doing it on our own. Was a really fun experience! The stars were amazing. The next day we spent with our camel friends by the pool, where we met up again with 3 Aussie ladies we saw in udaipur. That night we went out for dinner, where I Lost our hotel room key in the tuc tuc, luckily he bought it back for me!
I'm not the key holder anymore. After Jaisalmer the trip was mainly just getting back to Delhi.