Tuesday, August 18, 2009

15th to 18th August - Jaipur, Bharatpur and Agra

Wow, what a last few days. Jaipur was an interesting place. The weather has been torrential to say the least but we managed to do our orientation walk late Friday afternoon.. We got to see the Pink City which is a beautiful place and is err very pink indeed...

From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


That night Allen, Milania, Henry and I went out for a few drinks. We were recommended a place called RRED by our tour leader... So we went along... It was pretty quiet... in fact, we were the only ones in there. It was one of those situations where you actually startle the staff when you walk in....

"Oh.... wow... so err... good to see you Sir... Will you be staying for a drink... You will... ok great... erm... let me just dust down this table for you..."

Maybe that's a slight exaggeration but it was pretty quiet. It was only until later we discovered that it was India Independence Day the next day so everyone was staying in with family... Oh well.

Still, we had a bit of a result. The other guys pursuaded me to try to blag a couple of drinks by claiming I was from Intrepid so I put on my best Melbourne accent and fired a bid in that I was from head office staking the joint out for future tour groups... Worked a treat and a free round of drinks quickly made it to our table... Nice....

We then ordered a 3.5l dispenser of beer... It was a sight to behold....

From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


The evening pretty much went downhill from there. We took a rickshaw to another bar we'd been recommended which actually closed at 11.30pm so not much entertainment to be had there. We had to console ourselves with finding and capturing on film two of the best moustaches known to man...

From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


The next day was a bit of a write off. It rained all day. It was a shame but we did manage to get out and experience the delight of a McDonalds Maharaja burger... a true pleasure. That night we went to watch Love Aaj Kal which is a bollywood film. The cinema was amazing, very regal in design and a hive of activity. Watching the film was an interesting experience. People talk on their mobiles throughout, babies cry, people behind us were coughing up lungs... Certainly an adventure.

From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


The seats in the cinema recline slightly to make for a much more comfortable viewing treat. Unfortunately, they also flip back to there originial position with a swiftness that would make a ninja jealous... If you're not careful you can be taken out in the movement... which happened to me on three occasions. My knee bore the brunt of three attacks by the killer chairs... ouch... fortunately no permanent damage was done but it made a bloody loud noise ... The film itself was really enjoyable.

Our rickshaw back to the hotel was driven by Jenson Button... he gets around.... I first had him drive me on a bus in Rio.... now India.... I think we managed to do 90% of the journey back to the hotel in the three wheel death trap on two wheels... A handbrake skid completed the trip and we were back at base camp in a jiffy.

Also, I was lucky enough to observe a bit of a mating session of Peacocks... amazing...

From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


From Pushkar, Jaipur and Bharatpur


The next morning we left early to take another local bus to Bharatpur.... The heavens opened again and the bus we got on must have been used as a swimming pool earlier that morning judging by all the water on it... I felt sorry for Jo who had water dripping on her knee from the beginning of the journey.. it was kind of like Chinese water torture...

We breathed a sigh of relief when informed we were swapping buses because the one we were on was just not suitable.... Imagine our surprise when we got on our new luxury vehicle.... err.... just as crap but this time without drinks holders... nice... thanks guys...

It was a little dryer though in fairness. We got to Bharatpur and the rain was still teeming down. It was a day spent reading and not much else. Bharatpur is home to the Keoladeo Wildlife Park.... I'm sure it would have been lovely to see but I took the decision that no animal other than ducks and fish would brave a flood so passed on that experience.

Another local bus journey awaited us on Monday.... oh joy we all exclaimed.. At least the rain had stopped. It wasn't as bad as we thought and we got to Agra without too many problems.

In Agra... the Taj Mahal awaited us. We checked in to our hotel... got some food and then took a walk down to the river at the back of the Taj Mahal. Our guide had been told of a boatman who offers trips on the river so you can take pictures of the Taj Mahal from the back. Unique shots that not many other tourists get.... It was a memorable experience. The Taj Mahal is truly a wonder. Beautiful in design and stunning in location. A bunch of local kids awaited us on the opposite bank of the river... I waved and asked how they were... they seemed happy enough and then waved back. It was only until we got closer that I noticed about 5 of them were carrying scythes.... When they asked for money and we refused I swear one of the girls stared straight at me and then brought the scythe to her kneck pretending to cut her throat... She was about 8 years old... I was scared :) Ha ha ha... gotta love the locals.

From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


Tuesday we tried to catch sunrise at the front of the Taj Mahal but missed it unfortunately. We still had an amazing day inside the complex, taking pictures and just soaking it all in.

From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


From Agra and Varanasi


Agra itself is quite an interesting place. The street hawkers are much more aggressve here than in the other places we've visited... It actually takes a lot of patience to keep your cool. It's a shame really. Tonight we take an overnight train to Varanasi, home of silk....

No comments:

Post a Comment