Friday, November 23, 2007
Day 6 -- Jaipur, Ajmer, and Pushkar
Today allowed us just enough time to see The Palace Of the Winds in the Pink City portion of Jaipur before heading to the train station. This train, which originated in Jaipur was only about an hour late and was nearly empty. Jon and I enjoyed the air-conditioned comfort on our way to the edge of the desert. Then, things got crazy!
The Ajmer rickshaw drivers are known for being quite aggressive, and the only way to escape them was to dart into the nearby market with streets too narrow for them to come down! After boarding a packed bus to cross the mountains, we arrived in Pushkar. The town is quite small, but the population swells to about 200,000 during the camel festival. Our first order of business was getting to our hotel (about 3.5km from town). We went to check in, but they had no record of our reservation! They did have a room available, but the rate was about twice what Travelocity had quoted us. I'm hoping Travelocity's guarantee will help us recoup some of the loss, but even at the higher price, it was a lovely setting, and the value of staying far away from the craziness of the festival was worth every rupee!
That night, we hung out at the hotel. Somebody from the corporate office in Delhi was visiting to shoot some promotional photos, and so Jon and I took some time out of our vacation to model for some pictures! It was certainly a bizarre experience, to say the least. Despite his promise that he'd drive us across the dunes to see the camel festival at night, he had to cancel. There was a large group of guests having a banquet at the hotel, so we checked out their festivities which included quite a few decorated camels.