Published: March 27th 2006March 10th 2006
I took a spin around Pushkar today and was not impressed by it at all. As mentioned before, there is a level of hassle here more usually associated with larger towns that is very wearing. Plus, unlike in most other places, there's really not a great deal to see to offset the hassle (granted, many of the visitors here are pilgrims rather than mere tourists like myself). Plus there seems to be a selection of fellow travellers who think that roaring Royal Enfields are the most ideal mode of transport for somewhere barely larger than a village. In addition, I am officially fed up with making donations to people and organisations that neither appear to be particularly needy nor provide anything in return for your rupees. A circuit of the lake later, and I felt that I had "done" Pushkar.
Early evening, I headed for the bus station. There were many other foreigners there, most of whom were heading to Delhi, with only 1 other guy Agra-bound. The Delhi travellers were all herded onto a bus and, 20 minutes later, we Agra boys were told to sit inside the same bus with our luggage. When I asked why we were
going on the Delhi bus, I was told that we would need to change buses in Ajmer. I pointed out that the bus was supposed to be a direct one, but this was brushed aside. When I got on board, there were no seats left so I had to stand for the trip into Ajmer.
In Ajmer, we joined a group of other Agra travellers and were told to wait until a certain number bus was announced. When we were finally told it had arrived, mysteriously the luggage hold was already full up so we had to take our luggage into the bus with us. As expected, the "sleeper berth only" bus had plenty of seats too, but fortunately my sleeper berth was rather larger than ones I'd seen previously so I was able to fit both myself and my rucksack into it without too much discomfort.
The journey possessed all the usual attributes of a Rajasthan bus trip - people's luggage filling up the aisle, a draughty window resisting all attempts to block it up, a solitary smoker further polluting the fetid air, multiple chai stops (we had 3 20-minute stops in the first 4 hours -
bear in mind that this was a night bus), a choir of snorers, an Englishman promising himself he'll never travel by bus again, etc. However in spite of all expectations, I managed to drop off to sleep at about midnight.
There are more photos below