RIDIN SHOTGUN TO JAIPUR
Trip Start Sep 02, 2012
42Trip End Oct 10, 2012
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Where I stayed
The Hotel Palms
What I did
Amber (Amer) Fort and Palace Jaipur
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
This morning we were picked up outside the Kishan Palace by luxury coach. It is a luxury by Indian standards not to have to fight your way through crowds of people to catch a bus. Our coach might be small but it's functional, just like the little guy riding shotgun for the driver. This guy makes multi tasking look like a walk in the park.
Our first close encounter came as we descended a very windy road on our way to Agmer. Another rather large coach went too wide on the bend, which meant that both coaches came to a grinding halt with nowhere to go unless one or the other coach driver backed up. Our plucky driver told the driver of the big bus to back up. ' No way' says the driver of the big bus. It was a Mexican stand off. Meanwhile smaller traffic was able to pass on the inside, but the larger vehicles were now queuing behind the big bus and tempers were starting to fray. Our driver then phoned a friend, and when he finished the call he made the decision to reverse back as little as possible, and try to save face in the process. The upshot being, that when the two buses actually passed, I swear you could not have separated them with a sheet of paper. Crisis avoided. Phew!
We made some very bizarre stops to pick up passengers, one of which was in the middle of the motorway. We also picked up some very unusual passengers. I refer to the 6 Shebies. These were clearly men, they were not wearing women's clothes, but they were wearing make-up, nail varnish, scarves and carrying handbags. I was quite intrigued by them, and had to ask DJ more about this little group. He said. 'They are born Eunuchs.' I said. 'We call them Trannies'. But he was most insistent that they were born that way. Anyway they all piled on and were sent down the back of the bus by Shotgun. Five minutes later, what appeared to be the spokesperson for the group, came up to the front of the bus to speak to Shotgun. The Sheby appeared to be most upset. She kept going in and out of her pink sparkly purse and producing a pink slip of paper. Meanwhile Shotgun was standing his ground and shaking his head. I was beginning to feel that perhaps they hadn't bought enough tickets and that Shotgun was going to evict one of them off the bus. The Sheby was becoming quite frustrated and rather tearful - another Mexican standoff. In a bid to break the deadlock the driver once again made a decision to phone a friend. His conversation quickly became very animated - I was a little concerned each time he turned around to speak to the Sheby, perhaps he hadn't noticed we were on a busy motorway - he also took his hands off the steering wheel from time to time ( Indians talk with their hands) during this confrontation, which was very scary. Next thing the driver turns around and passes the phone to the Sheby. I was bursting with curiosity, I wanted to know what was going on. DJ was sitting opposite me so I gave him my best puzzled look and that little jerk of the head that I have adopted from the Indians. DJ leant across and put me out of my misery. Apparently, the Sheby was upset because she did not understand why they had been made to sit on the back seats, she thought she had booked the front seats. Obviously not! Eventually she returned to her seat, but she was most unhappy.
I was wondering as we got back on the bus, if the driver was going to travel back down the motorway and use the same cutting to re-enter the motorway on the opposite side so that we could continue in the right direction. Nope, once again, maybe for entertainment purposes, we were going to dice with death and travel up the motorway in the wrong direction. Oh for heaven's sake!!! However this is where Shotgun excels. He was perched on the running board and calling the appropriate manoeuvres for the bus driver to cross the 3 lanes of busy traffic and re-enter into the fast approaching traffic on the opposite side, well at least we were now going with the flow of traffic. Holy shit! Fred didn't blink for 10mins, his eyes were like saucers - I think he was in a state of shock. It's perfectly OK for the Indians to take these risks with their lives, because their religions tell them they will be going to a better life when they depart this one. Unfortunately, if you don't happen to subscribe to that belief, then you tend to be a bit more cautious, and don't blatantly drive up a motorway the wrong way!
I forgot to mention the section in the front of the bus that is petitioned off, it's where the driver and Shotgun sit.
We arrived at midday in Jaipur.
Dinner was possibly the best dinner so far. We went to quite a famous Tandoori restaurant. The food was beautifully cooked and presented. It was a little bit more expensive than we have been paying, but well worth it. Another day done, I'm ready for bed.
My Review Of The Place I've Seen