Sunday, February 1, 2015

Well, that was unexpected.....

I just got high with an old Croation, his daughter, and two Indian guys, in India, on a roof top patio.

With this view of Pushkar.
Pushkar at sunset. 

More about that later.

I've been a bit amiss with this blog for two reasons:

1. Crappy, inconsistent internet at the guesthouse I was staying at in Jaipur. Although it was a very nice place and the family that ran the house were wonderful, the internet was just not cutting it. I would write a blog, get it all ready and try to publish it just to have the connection  cut out or for the signal to be too weak. I was able to do it from my phone but....and maybe I'm a little old school just doesn't feel that same as typing on a keyboard. ( and 15 years ago, the same would have been said about typing on a keyboard compared to writing on paper. )

2. I was TIRED! As mentioned, the place I stayed at was lovely but there were a few things, things that are somewhat common to India, that made sleeping a challenge.

  • The mattress was almost as hard as the wooden frame it rested on, and I am not exaggerating much.  
  • The house was cold. If you want to build a house that stays cold during the summer, build it with a lot of marble and lots of openness. The entrance to the house itself was more of a gate then a door. There was no seal. Windows that didn't close. So, if it was cool outside, say 13 degrees, it was at least 13 degrees inside. Even during the day when the temperature was around 22 degrees, it was still about 13 degrees in the house. Made for a coupe very cold nights.
  • Noisey. So, so noisey. Whether it was the family who stayed up late ( went to bend around 11 or 12 at earliest ), or just general noise from the outside ( you know, dogs barking, cars honking, monkeys screeching....the usual stuff. ), the openness of the house made it quite difficult to sleep.

Between those two things and the 430 am wake up. ( Didn't I mention that? Ooops ) it made for a very tired Victoria. I would usually come home from my time with the elephants ( which were so wonderful, by the way! ) and nap for half the day. Then get up and take a bit of a walk. I was also sick for a day or two in there. Tummy sick. Lots of time in the bathroom sick. You get the picture.

However, elephants!!! I met six elephants in total.

Gulab ( I was calling her Glad because I heard wrong. ), Chan Chal, Rupa, Rani, Sawtri, and Champa. Gulab lived out at the Elephant Village and was the first elephant I met. She was also the smallest. She's a 37 year old, 1800 kg beauty. : )

Gulab posing for me.
Rupa's hungry. Rupa's always hungry.
I then met the big girls, Rupa being the biggest and Champa being the oldes. ( 41 years old. She gets to retire in 7 years. Lucky girl. ) By far the friendliest and most entertaining was Rupa. She was the trunk in your face, trying to drink your tea and constantly opening her mouth for you to put more food into.

She also snorted the chapati flour off the ground. I think she's got a problem.

These girls were at least 2300 kg and stood much taller then Gulab. They were all sweet, wonderful beings. Completely different personalities. Chan Chal actually kept hiding behind a post every time I tried to take a photo of her.

She may have also just been itchy, but I choose to believe she was just being shy.
Sawtri is sleeping, still.

And Sawtri was a asleep almost everyday when I came in. The quiet mixed with the soft breathing of the elephants and punctuated by the occasional snore ( yes, elephants snore. ), combined with the 530 in the morning situation, made me just want to curl up, wrap a trunk around me and go to sleep.
Rupa and I!

Napping, being sick and elephants took up most of my time in Jaipur, but I did manage a bit of sight seeing, namely Amer Fort. And if you see one thing in Jaipur, make it Amer Fort. In my mind it rivals The Taj itself.

* GASP * I know!!!!!!!

How could something rival one of the seven wonders of the world? That can't be!

Oh, my friend, yes It can be.

Photos, as usual, cannot do justice to truly remarkable things. Well, some photos and some photographers can do justice, but not me with my Samsung Galaxy S4 for a phone. But, I'll post a few shots anyway, so you can get the idea.
Amer Fort/Palace from the road

Plaster work on the walls.

" Mirror Palace"

I could post a ton of pictures, but I won't.

Then, I left my elephants and Jaipur for the wonder that is Pushkar.

I took the public transit. It was dirty, long and hot.

It was also crowded an the whole time I was thinking " This better be worth it, "

And it is! It so much is!

Pushkar is nestled in the mountains of Rajasthan. And it's the Indian version of Nelson, B,C. If Nelson also had a lot of churches. It is the holy place and I believe that is why this place makes me feel instantly relaxed.

I'm an atheist, plain and simple, but I have always found religious structures ( even churches ) to provide a sense of peace within me and I marvel at the work that goes into creating these structures and monuments. Religions are fascinating.

I strolled the market, bought some pants, met a sweet old lady who loved my tattoos and visited the Brahma temple. Photos are not allowed, but I can tell you, it was beautiful.

All the colours, sights and sounds of a market.

Above mentioned sweet old lady.
And yet again, for the fourth time on this trip, I was swarmed!!!! First, by a group of about 20 teenage girls, all wanting pictures with me ( and so did their chaperones ). If I ever want to feel like a celebrity, I will just come back to India.

At least I think this must be what being a celebrity feels like, except with a lot more money and a private chef. My face actually began to get sore from smiling, that's how many photos these girls wanted to take.

I made my way back to the hotel and that is where the first sentence in this post comes in to play,

The people here are very relaxed, the energy is laid back and I think I will spend a few extra days here beyond the three I had initially planned. It's a wonderful break from the crowds and noise from the much larger cities.

Pineapple juice and a roof top patio!

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