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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: 26.2816, 73.0232
After an amazing few days in Delhi with Vidur, i had to leave, i was on a tight schedule and i knew i would regret not going to Rajasthan. My train left from Delhi station at 6 am, i was staying at Vidurs Uncle and Aunties place, so i got up at 5 and took a taxi into the station. At Delhi station there are a few people that try and convince you that the places, trains and tickets are wrong. This is because if they convince you to follow their instructions they end up getting commission, so the best option is to ignore anyone that comes up to you, unless the person is dressed officially, don't listen to them.
This happened to me. As i was walking on to the platform, i saw a guy get up and pretend to let people through, when it was my turn he told me that the travel agent booking e-ticket was not a ticket and to go to a travel shop across the street from the station, i was a bit confused and really tired, but i hesitantly followed him, we were in the shop when the guy asked me for some
money, but i didn't give him anything, so i read the booking properly and promptly left the shop being convinced that they were scamming me.
So i was waiting at the station when i stood up and subconsciously checked my luggage when i noticed that my day pack was missing, my heart sunk and i started freaking out, it had most of my stuff in it, not the important stuff though, so i raced back to the travel agent and my bag thankfully was still there on the seat, i was so relieved. Being pursued again by the agent, i promptly left and boarded the train.
it was about a 5 1/2 hour trip and i arrived around 11.30, i took a rickshaw to the Pearl palace accommodation where i had some food and settled in, the rickshaw driver had offered to take me around for half the day for 300Rs which is about 8 dollars. So i thought it might be nice, the driver was only 17 and spoke good English and was a student so we got along OK, he was fairly knowledgeable and knew some good places away from where most tourists would go, but we did drive through
the touristy places. he picked me up at around 2.30 where the first stop was a travel agent to book my ticket to Jodhpur, after that we drove to the Pink City, Jaipur has many different sections throughout the city and the Pink City is probably the most famous, you enter it through gates, you can drive in, it's really just one big pink, busy town center i guess, there are places to see all throughout the Pink City and is a major tourist draw card, it is pretty big though.
the first stop was an Astrological observatory called Jantar Mantar which has a broad array of sculptures, some small, some big, and one Massive one. With most touristy places the entry fee is a lot higer for foreigners, so i think it cost me about $2.50 instead of $1 for Indians.
The observatory was fairly fascinating and probably worth a look at.
The driver (Can't remember name) then took me to a palace at the back of the town right at the base of the mountains where the Nargarth Fort sits. The price to enter was only 75 cents and it was amazing, not many tourists know about this one i was
told but unfortunately i don't remember the name of it. Its all made from marble and is sculptured to perfection accompanied by amazing views of the looming mountains and bustling city of Jaipur.
After about 30 minutes trolling the palace we then drove to the Water temple which again is in the back suburbs of Jaipur, and away from the tourists. The temple was primarily built for enertaiment purposes and sits in the middle of a lake with mountains in the background, no one is aloud to enter the palace so you have to view it from a distance, but it was really stunning and i was glad to be taken to some of these places.
Afterward he took me to a textile factory where i saw the process of how some fabrics are made, they also sell all sorts of things from bed sheets, rugs, tailor made suits, scarfs, blankets...you name it...but i think they do these tours often because they try get you to buy things. I understand that it's good for them and the products are meant to be at cost price but i didn't need to buy anything and they kept trying to show me things, i bought
a scarf at about $8 and that was enough for me. So i felt i was being bought to places to spend money, this continued to the next place where he took me to a silver shop that sells all sorts of silver, but being tired and hungry i wasn't taking any of it and promptly asked if he could take me back to the hotel.
The next day i had a train booked to Jodhpur leaving at 11.30......it was 5 hours late!!!!!!
I sat and waited for 5 hours before the train showed up, this was due to the train leaving from Varanasi which is a long way form Jaipur, so had it left straight from Japur it would have left on time, at this point i had to call the hotel to ask if he could wait for me to come, in which he agreed. Even with a 5 hour delay i still had another 5 hr trip, i think i got in to Jodhpur around 10.30 - 11pm so needless to say it was a long day and i felt a bit cheated by wasting a day but that's the thing about India, the distances are vast, trips to
major cities usually take 12hr by train, so over night trains seem the way to go.
I was only in Jodhpur for a total of half a day as i had a flight booked to Mumbai at 2pm, so i rose early, packed my stuff, got breakfast and walked about 10 minutes to Meherangarh fort, which in my view is the center piece of the city, although it's on the outskirts of the town.
The fort sticks out like a sore thumb, so trying to locate it is no problem, built on the top of a hill, the fort almost commands respect. I paid 300Rs about $7.50 for entry including a audio tour stopping through 33 different places throughout the fort. It's a big fort too, i think it took about 2 and a half hours to see all and hear all, which was perfect timing to head back to the hotel to catch a rickshaw to the airport.
From the fort you are able to see the whole city of Jodhpur to one side and desert on the other.
You can see the trademark blue houses scattered along the bottom of the fort. These houses are painted blue because it signifies the Brahmin.
the second day in a row i had delayed transportation, this time my flight was delayed by 2 hours while we waited for the plane to arrive. We finally left for Mumbai where i sat next to a guy called Seth from Tasmania who was over in India for work purposes, so we had a good chat on the plane which made the trip go a lot quicker.
So i caught a prepaid taxi with a Chinese backpacker who was only in India for 12 days! i couldn't believe that. She only spent one night in Goa....crazy. At this point i had no place booked so after dropping the Chinese backpacker off at Fort, i continued into Colaba which is not far...i totally got ripped off, what should have cost me 30Rs cost me 150Rs but i couldn't be bothered disputing the cost at that point.
So i finally made it to Mumbai in time to meet with Carole who was due to fly in the next day.
my next blog will be about my time in Mumbai which was random but amazing.
Trying to upload photos at this point is very slow and frustrating so you may have to wait for the
photos unfortunately, im trying my best to get them up, but instead you will have to just read.
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