After a very gnarly over night bus to Udaipur (we got the sleeper AC bus, but the roads in this country are just not meant to be driven) we awoke at sunrise on the rooftop terrace of the Dream Heaven Guesthouse. The top photo is taken from the restaurant on top of the guest house. The city is in hills surrounding a lake (unfortunately unswimmable as all water here in India is) with narrow walkable roads throughout. We really enjoyed this town.
There was a large hill on which a monsoon temple stood and Ville and I spent a few hours walking outside the city and to the top. It was the first time in India that we got away from the city chaos for a while and worked up a sweat. Since the roads are such chaos in India, it really is not possible to do much walking anywhere we have been yet. Sadly, we found they charged a decent amount at the base of the hill to walk up the road because it was an animal preserve, which actually wasn't the sad part, but that even the animal preserve is littered everywhere with garbage. It's really sad to see the littered and burning of garbage everywhere in India.
When on the train, they just throw the garbage outside. Streets, littered and heaped with garbage. Most guesthouses we stay in do not provide garbage bins, and you are hard pressed to find garbage bins when walking around cities. Everyone just throws there trash on the ground. Guess it gives someone a job to sweep it into a pile and burn it. I think this amounts for part of the reason there is a haze always laying over towns and cities. We still haven't taken to being able to throw garbage on the streets and instead bag it and leave it in guesthouses for them to probably throw on the street. Oh well.
We hiked also a gondola hill while here and even went to a very disappointing old car museum. We read how the car from James Bond: Octopussy was there (and Ville needed to see it with his own eyes) but most of the cars were not well preserved and there was only a few for to see for the hefty ticket price. But nonetheless Ville got to see his car and we had such a fantastic meal at Natraj Thali that we hit it up twice! Thali is a set meal of 3 different dishes, naan bread, and a couple sides that they continue to load your plate with as you eat until you physically explode. All who know Ville know that a place like this is his kind of place. The first sitting at this place was a new one for me, the place was packed full of middle aged Indian men and I was the only woman in the place. Our second time we got to sit with an Indian family we didn't know and they just stared at us while we ate together and the man finished his meal with a nice big belch. Oh, another cool tidbit. Burping and farting are totally ok here and no one seems to notice when they just let them rip! Ville has really taken to this and feels the need to burp and fart louder than the Indians (Finnish pride I think) so it's been pretty cool. And staring is not rude. So that has taken a little getting use to as well. And we get stared at a lot! I mean, we are pretty good looking I guess.
Somehow after our last miserable bus experience we got talked into another bus to Ajmer (the promise of a 5 1/2 hour trip turned into over 7) and we just made the last bus to Pushkar, our final destination. Pushkar was also pretty cool. Only 15000 people and another town with a holy lake in the middle. We arrived on a holy day for Hindus to come bath in the lake and was pretty cool to see. Again we found a temple on a hill that took over an hour and large stairs to climb to the top and then another smaller temple at the top of a hill. We stayed in a guesthouse just off the main street and therefore was actually quiet and we slept a whole 2 uninterrupted nights of sleep! The first since arriving in India.
Caught the local bus back to Ajmer (met 2 of the cutest kids on the bus we played with) and caught the 2 hour train to Jaipur, capitol of Rajasthan. Just checked into the Moustache Hostel in Jaipur (sister hostel to the one we stayed at in Delhi) and will see some sights tomorrow before our train to Varanasi.
Ta Ta for now!
K.G. & Ville
On a cruise ship, heading north up the west coast to Los Angeles.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson
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