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From Jaisalmer to Pushkar

sunny 34 °C

So we had a day in Jaisalmer before the night train to Jodhpur. Cecil took himself off for the day (wherever he goes) and myself and Marion explored the fort for a while and did a bit of shopping. Later we went for a lovely dinner with Timmy and had a great auld chit chat about life, love and travels. (We had to get a tuk tuk to the dinner! ;) )
We got back to our hotel in time to get our bags and be ready for our tuk tuk to the train station for my 7th overnight sleeper train in India!! So Cecil appears in the hotel, all clean with new clothes and a new haircut. He looked pretty normal and with it for a change and said he was gong to take a shower and follow us on to the station. I wrote down the train number and sleeper carriage number and seat numbers for him in his notebook and said we'd see him there.

The manager was not pleased to see us bungle into a tuk tuk without taking Cecil with us, as he was worried Cecil would cause trouble! But we couldn't fit 4 into it with our bags and we were ready and not willing to hang around and risk missing our train! So off we went. So we're on the train and there's no sign of Cecil! The train starts moving and there's still no sign of Cecil. Hmmmm. We began to think he might actually have missed the train!!

Another couple from London were on the two top bunks above us. The dude was really ill and looked terrible! We were chatting away to them telling them of Cecil's adventures and wondering aloud what had happened to him.
Then about 45 mins later, up pops Cecil in a terribbbbble humour, yelling at us that he had told us to wait for him on the platform and he'd been waiting there for 20 mins! When we hadn't shown up (we were on the train!!) he hopped on anyways and had been in a kerfuffle with the train conductor about his ticket ever since (we had it). Then he told us all to go F ourselves! :D I made an exaggerated gasping noise and shocked face and then he said ''not you!''. But he was well peeved.

Eventually he calmed down and we all settled into our bunks. Cecil woke us alll up at 1.30 am looking for a light for his smoke. The cheek! Then when we awoke at 5am to get ready to get off the train, there was no sign of Cecil. We walked up and down the carriage, peeping into people's bunks looking for him but he was nowhere to be seen. After a while, the sick London dude (henry) told us that he had seen our ''mate go that way at about 1.30 or something''. We were all like ''ooooh shitttt...'' thinking he'd gotten off the train for a smoke, and hadn't gotten back on again. We didn't know what to do!! Then sick London guy goes to the loo and comes back very quickly to tell us that our ''mate has passed out on the floor in the jaxx''. AHAHAHHAHAH and yet URRRRRRRRRGHHH those toilets are DISGUSTING and covered in wee and poop. Myself and Timmy started banging on the jaxx door to try wake him up. After about 5 mins ofbanging and shouting, Cecil emerges and says '' uhhhh I just fell asleep on the toilet floor''.. ahahahahahhaha. I was like 'eh sit over there away from me please luv''

So after this, tensions were high in the group, we were all knackered and fairly fed up and getting annoyed with Cecil and his antics. We made our way to the bus station to try and get a bus to Jodhpur, but the bus station was like something out of that Asterix and Obelix movie - there was a lot of running around, instructions in different languages and nothing concrete achieved! Cecil was annoyed at me for not answering his questions ( I DONT KNOW HOW LONG THE FECKIN BUS TAKES WHY DO YOU KEEP ASKING ME??) and decided he wanted to go off by himself and said he'd see us in PushP. I tried so hard not to loll my head off. (Pushp was the name of the guesthouse 2 towns ago. We were off to Pushkar!)
Then just as were were hugging it out and bidding each other adieu, Timmy offers us all a car trip to Pushkar for 750 rupees each. It was expensive and soooo uncomfortable (my head kept hitting the roof and I kept sliding into Marion) but after 6 hours squished together, we were nearly there.
Trying to find the hotel (with a swimming pool) that we'd booked in Pushkar, resulted in another 30 minutes of madness as Cecil shouted at the driver, and Timmy phoned the hotel for directions, while the driver leaned out the window asking every Ram, Miki & Ravi where the hotel was.
Eventually we found it. It had an AWESOME swimming pool and lovely gardens filled with foreigners and monkeys! Myself and Marion were so happy to be our of the car and away from the lads for a short while, when all of a sudden, Cecil decides it's not for him and ups and leaves, so Timmy moves into our room. sighhhhhh.

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Posted by squeakylee 01:44 Archived in India Tagged swimming pool journey pushkar driver Comments (0)

Pushkar part 1

a week of vegging out

sunny 33 °C

Pushkar is a small, hippy town that Hindu's pilgrimage to. It consists of a big lake, surrounded by 52 bathing ghats. It's considered a very holy place and Gandhi's ashes are scattered at the ghats here. Unfortunately it has no booze, no meat and no eggs! It was, I thought, a nice place to spend a few days. (I had intended on going on to Bundi and Ranthambore but spent the whole week in Pushkar!)
Well our hotel DID have a pool! :D The gardens were pretty fancy and were filled with monkeys and tortoises. Myself and Marion quickly made use of these facilities for some serious sunbathing. And went to see sunset down by the Ghats that evening.

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The next day we climbed another hill/mountain to the Saraswati Temple (Goddess of learning) to take a good look at the town from above. It only took us 30 mins to get to the top though but we were rewarded with great views! 8643976237_78ec0287be.jpg8643974599_6ddcd3b087.jpg8645069380_93bc22ffae.jpg8643972199_ca0cfe19c3.jpg8645067268_a97fe73e71.jpg8645064320_34261491e9.jpg

So after that and a bit of shopping at the many many stalls stuffed with scarves, clown pants, incense, elephant statues, purses, bags, jewellery and other trinkets, we figured we deserved some sneak rums and cokes. Timmy zoomed off on his motorbike to get us some hooch from out of town and we spent the evening by the pool sipping on the sweet sweeeet rum. We met an Irish couple and a Dutch girl and they invited us to have dinner with them in a restaurant later that night. Apparently this restaurant is thee place to get rum, but you have to book yourselves in for dinner and drinks early in the day. So off we went to book, chatted to some weird guy in the place and booked 3 of us in for dinner and drinks. Despite the dude telling us not to tell anyone else, Timmy invited 2 strapping Ecuadorians along later too.

So the gang of us rocked up to the restaurant and there was no where for us to sit as the joint was full so we decided to go for a falafel and then pop back for drinks after. Which we did. Welllll, when we returned the weird restaurant dude reprimanded us for not being there for dinner! We tried to explain that we had actually been there at 8 but there were no seats. We pointed at his dad who was in reception and said ''He saw us, we were here at 8!''. However I think the auld fella was blind or mental and wasn't much of a witness. Anywho, this dude was being a jerk so I wasn't relly sure if I wanted to stay and neither was Marion. But Timmy persuaded us to sit insdie and stay for a few. So in we popped to this tiny little room with cushions and mats on the floor and a low table. We piled in on top of each other, me, Marion, Timmy, another UK dude with fabulous eyes, 2 handsome Ecuadorians, the Dutch gal and another couple of ladies from Sweden and Iran. Out came th rum, which we drank from tea cups (sneaky sneaky) and then out came the playing cards. And so the drinking games started!

The room was tinchy, with no fan or windows, the lads were smokin, the rum was sweet and the coke was cold! There was laughing, shouting, sweating, head clasping, spills, oohs, aahs, animal noises and general merriment and hilarity as we all played and failed at this game King of Cups. Failure was rewarded with 3 fingers of rum. It was hilarious and we were all lamped.

At about 1 or so, Marion wasn't feeling well and wanted to go back to the hotel so I said I would go with her and we went downstairs. The restaurant dude offered to walk us back to our hotel. We forgot the key so the dude went upstairs to get it for us, and here starts the confusion! The restaurant dudd says as he went to get the key, Timmy grabbed his arm and told him to *unmentionable swearing*. (I wasn't sure I believed his story or else he was confused). Timmy maintains he said ''don't touch those girls or I'll kick your ass'' (In a jokey fashion he said). Anywho, whatever he said or joked about was lost in translation and not received well! YEr man came downstairs saying to us that ''That guy upstairs is an asshole and I'm going to kick his ass''. :D I was thinking to myself ''Please don't let it be Timmy'', but of course it was! So then Timmy came downstairs to have it out with yer man and there was a whole big pointless kerfuffle while the two lads threatened to Duel but didn't actually do anything! Hilaro. In the end, Timmy apologised to yer man and we all wandered home through the dark, empty streets of Pushkar (The town shuts down at about 9 or 10!) A big fuss about nothing! :D
(I thought that restaurant dude was weird from the start though..weird vibes...)

Next day Timmy and Marion were off to Delhi. Marion was ready to go while Timmy lounged about in his pants not packing his bag. hahahahahah I would have been sweating with the nerves wondering if we'd ever make the train, but luckily I was going nowhere and dind't have to fret about such things. I decided to stay and chill in Pushkar for another few days and ditch the expensive Tiger safari (where there were no tigers).

Before thel ads left, another young gent called Joe arrived at our apt and was chatting away to us. He'd just arrived in Pushkar so I invited him to hang by the pool for t day. We bid farewell to the other two, who I was very sad to see go actually! They are both awesome and we had a great few days - it was definitely lively! :D

Myself and Joe spent the day yapping away by the pool and eating sandwiches. I'm always astounded and impressed by where other travellers have been and especially when they are so young. I think Joe was only 24 or something yet had already trundled around Burma, Thailand and was planning to go to the Lebannon next. No Fear these young wans! Joe was studying politics and law in Asian and African countries. The brains on these young people!

I found the hotel staff in the swimming pool hotel a bit odd and a bit starey so I decided to make the move to Joe's hotel the next day. We went to his place so I could check it out and to have a rum on the rooftop. His gaf was a bit of a walk behind the main streets, but it was so lovely with rugs, big old doors and locks, what seemed like a living room in my room, a nice bathroom and the staff were really nice! And it was a lot cheaper than my hotel and sans weirdos. Nice.

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Posted by squeakylee 02:36 Archived in India Tagged dry pushkar rum Comments (0)

Pushkar - part 2

I had booked myself in to make some silver jewellery with a nice silversmith chap called Guru, so Joe came along to watch and maybe make something himself. Guru was a sound fellow and showed us plenty of fancy stones and lots of lovely rings, earrings, necklaces etc that we could make with him. I decided to make a reticulated silver ring, which involved me cutting silver, burning it with a blow torch, cooling it, burning it, poking holes in it with a tweezers and fluffing it up around the edges, oxidising it and then melting copper on to it, before moulding it into a ring shape. Although it looks like something you'd find in a dumpster, or perhaps that a child had made, I still like it. It's pretty cool and definitely different. :D I know my hands look like they need a scrub, but it's actually the end of the Henna tattoo I had.

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Afterwards we walked along the ghats and took in the sights. Met a guy called Ramu who tried to sell us grass and camel rides. And camel rides on grass! :) We walked on! :)
Joe had watched my silver making genius in action and then decided to return to Guru the following day and make a ring of his own. It was super. After another afternoon of silvermaking we went back to our hotel rooftop and met up with a lovely young lady called Jenna, from the UK. The 3 of us stayed on our rooftop all day chatting away. Unfortunately during this time, I got a text from my dad to say Johnny - my awesomest guinea pig, had passed away. I was quite upset as I had only been talking about him and showng Joe pictures of him earlier that morning. Gutted! I had really hoped he would have been there to welcome me home in July. :( But he had a great life and lived to a ripe old age of nearly 5. My folks let him have the run of the place in Milltown and he was having great fun nibbling Mick's newspaper and watching Midsomer Murders. RIP Johnny.

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I composed myself and we all swapped pet stories on the roof and then decided to get a 'special' lassi in his honour. Weird how special lassis are on the menus everywhere here, but booze and eggs are verboten! :)

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Anyways we sipped our disgusting special lassis slowly as they were too vile to knock back. They tasted like grass. However we got a right good buzz off them and spent the evening laughing our heads off. I developed a ten second memory and couldn't remember the end of my sentences or stories as I was still telling them. Ended up tellin the lads a lot of the start of various stories and not being able to finish them! Great craic!
On our way back from walking Jenna back to her hotel, a big pack of wild barking dogs ran at me and Joe in the street! We didn't know what to do and basically froze to the spot... You do not want to get bitten or scratched by a dog in India! They are filthy, flearidden and viscious. eeeek. We were freaked out but as we stood there wondering what the hell to do, the dogs ran straight by us at another stray dog behind us! :D Phewf! That would have been freaky without the effects of a special lassi nevermind with it! then I tried to walk into someone elses gaff thinking it was our hotel. Joe was like -''eh where are ye going''. hhahahhahahahah. Luckily we made it back to our REAL Hotel safely a few minutes later. :D

The next day the 3 of us met up for a sneaky illegal eggy breakfast (breakin all the rules in Pushkar) and then met another young gal, a Canadian named Cathy who wanted to try a special lassi. Soooo off we went again for more food and another hit of the good stuff, but this time we got a juice - which was much nicer if a little aluminous. Quite like a mojito. It wasn't very strong but young Cathy seemed to be quite spaced out by it and asked the waiter what was ''hummus chips & pita salad''. hahhahahahah..

Cathy: 'what is hummus chips and pita salad?''
Waiter: ''hummus? sauce. Chips? eh chips. Pita? pita bread and salad..ehhh salad.'' And he looked at us as if we were all retarded. :D

I was lolling away. Turns out there had not been a comma after the hummus and Cathy had thought he was selling hummus chips. Doesn't seem quite as amusing now, but at the time we were in tears laughing at her spaced face and the look the waiter was giving us. Fun times! I also saw a monkey in the tree nearby but no one else could see it for ages, so naturally I thought I was going bonkers. Until finally 20 minutes later, Jenna saw it too.
On tonight's walk home, a cow ran towards us and we came across a group of kids, aged about 1 to 4, who were gulping mouthfuls of PETROL from a can and then spitting it out onto rubbish that was on fire! WTF?? It was pretty surreal. We didn't know whether we should try to take the petrol off them or run away in case they hated tourists! :0 Another weird evening in India.

Our next day in Pushkar, we went back to the mad restaurant from earlier's tale (see Pushkar part 1) for a few rums. The mental dude recognised me as I came in and high 5'd me so I thought everything was hunky dory. Then as we sat down and were sipping our mugs of rum, he joined us and started to tell the story of this group who were in his place the other night, and how they were drinking, having fun, and then one guy started a fight with him. WTF?? That was the night I was there!! I was thinking to myself - is this for real? Is he telling the story about the night I was there, to me? I thought he had recognised me! :D LOL. Anywho, turns out his version of events was a little different! He told us that Timmy had told him to go F himself! :D LOL. I was trying not to laugh my head off as he told it but I was still a bit freaked out and was wondering if he was waiting for me to pipe up and say I was there? Or did he geniunely not recognise me from that night! (we all look alike apparently. And also I look like Angela Lansbury (my phone cover) ) Then he said that some of them hadn't paid him for their rum, so I stayed quiet! I had paid for my rum!! Turns out Marion had left her ipod there too, and he was yapping on about how he now had a free ipod... I could'nt quite pipe up then either as it would have looked like I wanted a free ipod, and then I'd have to pay up for those who had neglected to pay for their rum! I told the lads to drink up and we got the hell outta there. I asked Tommy 2 to go in and get the ipod for me the next day as we hung out by the pool. He said he would pick it up later.

Posted by squeakylee 04:04 Archived in India Tagged india madness pushkar lassi Comments (0)

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