Unlike yesterday, we had a lie in and breakfast at the hotel before we went out. There was something a little different about this breakfast. I’m not sure how many of you are aware – there is the ultimate Indian snack food called besan bread – which has a literal translation of Western-style white bread coated with a batter made of besan (gram flour). Served with tomato ketchup, my Mum has made this countless times for my friends and I over the years and they generally leave with a takeaway!
In Jaipur, we went to visit the Amber Fort. We’ve now seen a few forts in India and we felt that it might just be like all the others. However, this one did not disappoint as the view was outstanding. We opted for the short but steep 5-minute walk up the hillside rather than the elephant ride (we understand that ‘elephant tourism’ still has a long way to go in terms of welfare for the elephants- we’re hoping to partake in some ethical elephant tourism later in our trip).
We went back to the tailor to pick up my two shirts- from taking my measurements to the finished shirts being in my hands took 16 hours. I’ve taken a business card and will be having some suits made and shipped over when we return to the UK. Their price for the highest quality tailor-made merino wool suit was only £250!
It took 3 hours to get to Pushkar which allowed for some reading and blog updating. One of the best parts about hiring is a driver is being able to relax whilst travelling and set your own schedule.
After setting down our bags we went for a wander by ourselves, leaving our driver at the hotel for some much-needed down-time! For such a small town there is a vast market and many places to sample the local food. You’ll be able to pick up a pair of ‘hareem’ trousers for about 100 INR and I purchased some sunglasses for 180 INR. Rather than haggle on the £2 sunglasses I decided just to pay what was asked; one soon becomes able to differentiate between those looking to make a living and those out to hustle tourists, and I felt that this was a fair price to pay for what was being sold.
Pushkar is an odd place, it is a ‘Holy Town’ which to devout Indian Hindus means no meat or alcohol. However, the market is chockfull of leather goods (!) and if you go to the right place to eat dinner of an evening, a 650ml bottle of Tuborg (it’s no Peroni!) will only set you back 200 INR.
There is a beautiful, albeit manmade lake which looks exceptionally magical in the evening. We looked out over this whilst we had dinner at a rooftop restaurant. As Pushkar seems to attract the more *ahem* spiritual tourists, prices reflect that- two meals, two soft drinks and two *ahem* Tuborg beers, plus two large glasses of masala chai cost us 700 INR which is approximately £9. Without the beer, it would have been £4.20 for our evening meal, an absolute bargain.