'Rickshaw?' 'Rickshaw?' 'Rickshaw?' Noooo!!!

Trip Start Feb 24, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Jwala Niketan

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A new city, another pink hotel box room and the sun continues to shine!


We left Delhi early on Tuesday morning, trekking through the rubble to New Delhi train station. We sat in Chair Carriage which was total luxury compared to our last journey! Free papers, juice, breakfast and AC – it gave us the shivers it was so cold lol.  We were surrounded by slightly podgy Indians on laptops with big suitcases, never before had we seen so many rich people all in one place!

We arrived in Jaipur at midday – it's a different kind of heat here, less humid and more breezy so more bearable than Delhi.  We found our hotel to be lovely – free filtered water and we have a balcony.  The manager lectured us like school girls about all the scams – rickshaw drivers ripping you off and fake goods.

We spent the afternoon exploring the city, we visited a fantastic government emporium and had a cheeky visit to McDonalds for some ice cream.  We are so glad to have come to Rajasthan, it is so different to anywhere we have been in India.  There is a flavour of Arabia with old city walls, camels and sandy dust.  There are hardly any tourists so we stick out, have been stared at constantly and have faced a lot of hassle from beggars and rickshaw drivers.  We were so distracted by a rickshaw driver calling at us, a motorbike hit Cassi. (She is fine though!).

Jaipur boasts the Raj Mandir the biggest cinema in India (over 1000 seats!) so we had to check it out to get the bollywood experience.  We watched Raajneeti, a film all about politics – a very hot topic in India!  The building was magnificent, like an stately hotel.  Randomly the cheaper seats are nearer the front. Inside it looked like a theatre and throughout the film the atmosphere was that of a pantomime – lots of cheering and (like I do), lots of people talking through the film!  Kids were allowed to sit on their parent's knees and the exits opened 10 minutes before the end (like at a gig!) to prevent a rush!  The film was epic, over 3 hours long with an interval which is the bollywood way :-) Although it was in hindi with no subtitles we really enjoyed it, not listening definitely makes you more observant.  Though I must admit I feel asleep at the start – you put your feet forward and the seats recline so it was irresistible!

We have really enjoyed eating Thali ('complete meal’), a silver metal plate with different compartments on so you get to try lots of different things – chapatti, popadom, dahl, rice, vegetable curry, raita, salad etc.  We went to a place last night where it was 50 roupes all you can eat!  We went to the amazing Lassiwala lassi café and drank this delicious yogurt drink out of clay cups.  In Europe people tend to look down at street food but in India the food is so fresh, cheap and tasty it is a good place to get food so we have been having pathara (bread pancake), samosas and bananas.

Today we went on a long interesting walk all around the old city.  We’ve been starting our days early when it is cooler and then finding somewhere to go inside to escape the midday sun.  We went up a minaret tower which had spectacular views - Jaipur is surrounded by desert mountains with old forts perched on top. 

This afternoon we have enjoyed relaxing on our balcony, working out our budget for the rest of the trip and planning our visit to Agra tomorrow.  I am so excited to be going to the Taj Mahal !!! :-D

Can’t believe I will be back in England in a week, I know it’s the right time to leave but India definitely feels like home now, so it will be sad to leave and end our travelling adventures!

See you soon, love Kate xxx
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