05.00 Hours Friday 16 March 17, 2012
Up at 05.00 to get ready for the rick driver to pick me up and take me to the state bus stand.
He arrives at 05.30 as booked. 50 rups to the bus stand which is half way to the railway station , which when I came it only cost 25 rups but I suppose all is good as the poor man has got out of bed for 70p at this ungodly hour.
It’s a cool ride to the bus stand and it’s pitch dark
I go over to where everyone is standing and see a man who looks like he might be in charge. I show him my piece of paper with my 2 bus options. I am after the 06.10 nonstop to Jaipur some 170 miles north.
He says “Wrong time wrong time - 05.45, 05.45 - coming coming - Jaipur Jaipur”. Indians say everything twice when they are excited and most of the time when not... He points to were the bus will be. I wait with the others.
The less spotted bald scouser is rare in the bus stand at any hour
and I command a crowd, so some photos are called for.
The bus arrives, it has come from Kota some 50 miles down the road and will already have passengers on board and as usual there is a scramble for the door. I have to get a bus this morning or a day will be lost so it’s everyman for himself and I use my ruckie to fend people off and block the doorway. I am on and find a seat.
I settle down as the bus heads out of Bundi and into the early morning twilight. I have some cold pizza and mango juice for breakfast. The pizza I saved from last night, I knew that would come in handy.
Might sound a bit of rough breakfast to you but think I am living like a lottery winner – are you brushing your teeth in mineral water every morning?
The bus driver switches off all the lights and we do the usual swerving to overtake the many lorries on the road.
The bus conductor comes and I say Jaipur, he prints a ticket and I see
146 rups. I give him 200 and he shakes his and signals that he has no change. I wave my hand as if to say ok.
He wants the ticket back and writes 54 on the back and signs it. He returns later gives me my change and signs the ticket again .
This state bus is not so bad, we have windows and although my backside leaves the seat on many occasions at 146 rups (1.90) for 170 miles that’s ok. I once got a bus from Raichur in Karnataka to Hospet with my mate Mike and that was a lot worse than this. Still lives with me that ride.
We stop for a break and I get some chai and then on we go. I talk to some lads on the bus and they tell me about Jaipur. We pull into Jaipur at 10.30 and the usual rick driver game begins.
Where to sir, where to sir. I tell them the guesthouse. 120 rups good price they say.
The lads on the bus had told that there is a government stand and set charges for ricks. I
say that’s good to the rick driver he pleased. thinks hes on a winner and as we walk to the rick I peel off towards the prepay stand, 70 rups I pay and the same 120 rick driver takes me.
I arrive at the Snehdeep Guesthouse and I am given chai and my room upgraded.
I have an English type mattress as Indian ones are very thin. it feels like I am on air. I have a shower and a few hours sleep.
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