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Published: September 21st 2018
We were on the train until 2pm today so there isn’t a lot to report.
Given it was such a long journey we were lucky to have our 4 berthed cabin to ourselves. Unfortunately we didn’t discover this until the next morning. The door of the cabin wouldn’t stay shut without locking it. The ticket man thought other people were getting on at Jodhpur (approx 6am), so we couldn’t lock it. This meant that at 2am Stephen was desperately trying to make a paper device to hold the door shut (and thus block out the light and noise) whilst still enabling other passengers to get in. We were then rudely awoken by cleaners coming in and turning on all the lights at 7am. Fortunately by this point we realised the other passengers weren’t coming so we locked the door and got a little more rest before eating dry cereal out of the box for breakfast!
On arrival at Jaipur we were immediately greeted by tuk tuk drivers. Ignoring all of them (after saying no lots) we walked over to a local restaurant for some lunch. Whilst the Thali was good, and cheap, our meal was interrupted by a particularly
Old city - cycle rickshaw
persistent tuk tuk driver who joined us at the table! Fare from station to hotel negotiated down from 150 to 80 rupees we agreed to use him after eating.
Our hotel is just inside the old city, surrounded by pharmacists and medical shops (of dubious nature - they sell ‘cancer cures’). It’s clean and tidy and in a good location.
Bags dumped we went for our usual wonder. We attempted to follow the lonely planets suggested walking tour of the ‘pink city’.
Jaipur was built in 1727 as a planned city to relocate the ever growing population from nearby Amber. It was painted pink in 1876 to welcome the prince of Wales (later king Edward VII). By law residents of the old city have to keep it pink (although this doesn’t appear to be very successful).
Unfortunately the government is currently repainting the area a rather odd terracotta colour...
The walk took us through some of the huge city gates (designed to fit elephants) and many of its bazaars. Being a planned city the main roads are very wide and it looks fairly modern. Part of the road is currently dug up as they’re building a new metro system (which appears to be unpopular). The bazaars we saw are for clothes, shoes and jewellery. Unfortunately the main streets are very much geared towards tourists and most of the shops seemed to stock identical tourist tat. There are, however, lots of tiny side streets which look much more interesting to explore.
Jaipur is the first place we’ve seen cycle rickshaws since arriving in India. It’s also the first city we’ve seen very skinny horses pulling impossibly heavy looking loads. I found that quite upsetting, but then you see skinny men trying to cycle with similar loads on the back of their bikes and it makes you think they have little choice.
Over tired our first impressions of Jaipur haven’t been great. Hopefully after a good nights sleep and an explore into different parts we will discover it’s charm.
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