My arrival to Jaipur, the door to enter the state of Rajasthan couldn’t have been any worse. Let’s say that my mood wasn’t very good after spending over 7 hours in Agra station to get on a 5 hour train. So I had a power nap at the common area of the hostel and decided to go without direction around the city, ready to put into practice an advice that than man in McLeod Gang gave me: Open your heart. So I did. Despite all the warnings I had receive from this city because its touristy popularity and all possibilities of getting scammed, I was followed my heart, ready to make a good day after a bad night.
I met three different guys on my way to nowhere and I was having chats and chais with every single of them. The first two were just tuktuk drivers, but it’s looks to me almost tradition at this stage to have a chai with some tuktuk driver in every city and talk about stuff with more or less importance and share stories.
The third guy does have a name and his own story: Samir. Samir took me to his shop to have chai, never tried to sell me anything or even show me anything to buy and have been a really good friend during my stay in Jaipur. My heart opened (I must recognised that not fully, as a Spaniard I always keep suspecting of the bad intentions of everybody) and he invited me to visit the monkey temple with him in his motorbike. Cool, I thought, another monkey temple where being attacked! But going with a local was the safe move, I reckon. So two of us went in his motorbike all the way up to stop in the middle of the monkey temple and get back because it was getting really dark and apparently monkeys get violent then. And I needed no more words to convince me that there was anything to do over there for me. No more monkeys for me, please! At the way back, the little road was empty and he offered me to drive his bike. In spite of warning him I have never done it before, he offered again and then…I didn’t say no! Well, I’ve never seen an Indian person so scared in the traffic! The second try he thought it was enough and that I was a horrible driver, but because I wasn’t happy I had to give it another go and the third one was much better. After 5 intense minutes, especially for Samir, I let him drive. He showed me around a bit and the night ended up with a couple of beers.
I met him in the morning for breakfast again and then went to explore the city. I can’t say it impressed me much. Unfortunately for the city I was having such good experiences that maybe I wasn’t interested enough. But I did walk it. The big Pink City. I met Samir again in the afternoon as he suggested to go to an elephant refugee. I thought it was such a cool plan…Elephants!!!! It was going to be for free since one of his friends works there, but he had to go a bit later than tourist and any extra activity would cost money. Fair enough, there we go! However, everything turned out wrong when Samir’s friend rode the motorbike with us, as here they are stricter and the police stopped us and took Samir’s bike. Shit. In front of the Water Palace, I will never forget that. The three of us came back by tuktuk and Samir was a bit upset because he would need to get some papers and pay 6000 rupies to get it back. I can’t say how sorry I was for everything.
In the mean time, in the hostel, I got to meet two Italian guys that seemed to me super friendly and cool and in 5 min we decided we would be travelling buddies for the state! Cool travelling buddies: Nicolo and Elia!!! The Spanish girls I briefly met in Agra, Marta and Adriana, arrived the next day and after disrupting a bit their plans…. they are joining too! The fantastic five!
The fantastic five visited Jantar Mantar, the astronomic observatory in Jaipur and biggest and oldest observatory in India in the morning of our last day in Jaipur. The girls and me went later to visit Amber Fort and that was Jaipur! A bit of sightseeing had to be done, instead of being all day chatting to strangers and drinking chai, no?
Next day, I woke up with an unsettled stomach but didn’t give it much importance and continued my journey in bus to Pushkar with the Italians. Too bad I got sick. Finding the hotel was a nightmare for me and I was becoming more and more dehydrated.
Unfortunately I haven’t enjoy anything in Pushkar. I slept almost a whole day, woke up with a very high fever, freaked out, went to the hospital, got lots of medicines, go back to sleep… Wake up to get a blood test done to find out I was negative in dengue (Such a relief), I celebrated that getting some silver that I don’t even know if it’s silver… Visited a temple and got very very sick again. So sick that a stranger offered to get me to my guesthouse in his motorbike and I didn’t even think about it, yes!
My bright social days in Jaipur, followed by my dark days in Pushkar make me wonder what my next destinations are going to bring me. Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, ready or not, here I go!