The last post was when we were in Delhi, people scamming us non stop. Now a week in our India trip, I sit in a car heading to Jaisalmer. We’ve been still getting hustled since Delhi but not as much. India would be a very tough place to go if it was your first time traveling, I’ve encountered many scams in countries I’ve been to but none as bad as this. The only place I’d say that was somewhat close to India in terms of scams would be Thailand but even there they aren’t as persistent and aggressive as they are here.
Before arriving in India Sara and I looked at trains around Rajasthan and even booked most of them, it’s high season here so the trains book up very fast especially in Rajasthan. We thought trains would be the best thing for us but we decided to scrap our whole plan of taking trains and at the last minute we ended up hiring a driver to take us around Rajasthan. I’ve spent hours and hours debating and calculating if this was a good choice and I still don’t know if was but I’m done thinking about it because it’s exhausting so I’m just going to go ahead and say BEST DECISION EVER.
The last day spent in Delhi was good, we walked a lot… I would say around 10 km. We checked out the India gate and the city center and also did some shopping. When our driver came to pick us up, Sara and I were both pretty happy to be getting out of Delhi. Our drive to Agra was around 3 hours, it was nice to hit the open road and not have to worry about hitting people, cars, rickshaws, cows and dogs. The ride was incident free and when we arrived in Agra we checked into our hotel and we were out for the night as we needed to wake up early to see the Taj Mahal. We woke up just before 6 to ensure we were able to get in at sunrise. The ticket purchasing and organization of the Taj was a nightmare, extremely inefficient and confusing. After standing in line for what seemed to be a hour, they finally opened up the gates and let us all in. The Taj Mahal didn’t disappoint and would recommend it to anyone who is coming to the area. One thing I don’t understand is why Agra is such a shit hole… The Taj Mahal itself brings in 30 million dollars a year just in admission let alone all the other benefits it has on the city but still they are not putting anything into the city which is a shame.
After Agra we went to Jaipur, the pink city. I really liked our time there, we did a lot of shopping and also checked out the Amber Fort which was super cool. Jaipur was more relaxing then Delhi and Agra but little did we know it just gets better. After two days in Jaipur we hit the road again and got to the small town of Pushkar, home to the famous annual camel fair. (Which just finished 2 days prior to us arriving there) Pushkar was awesome and I wish we had more time there. It is situated around a holy lake where pilgrims take daily dips. It was extremely laid back and had a very hippy vibe to it. We checked out the camel fair grounds which is less then a kilometer from the main road. It was still busy, most of the merchants stalls were still set up and most of the carnival type rides were still up. Everyone that we talked to in Delhi said you must go to Pushkar during the camel fair but I’m glad we didn’t because I’m sure it would’ve been too overwhelming for us. Basically there is one main road in Pushkar where all the shopping is, we enjoyed lunch on a patio overlooking the lake and dinner on a rooftop restaurant overlooking the whole town. After dinner the cold desert air got the better of us and we needed to head back to our hotel.
This morning we left at 830 on route to Jaisalmer. This is our longest journey in the car, it should take us about 8 hours. We have two nights in Jaisalmer, our first night in a hotel and the second in the middle of the desert on a mattress. Our camel safari starts tomorrow afternoon! I’m very excited to finally ride Saras second favorite animal and see what all the hype is about. If all goes well and we don’t die in the desert of starvation or dehydration there will be an update in the next few days. If there is no update, I’m dead.