05.09.2007 - 19.09.2007 31 °C
When we arrived in Pushkar we thought, 'yeah we'll stay a couple of days and then keep moving.' We soon found out that Pushkar is a trap and it is hard to do anything quickly or much at all here!
We were taken by taxi from Ajmer to our hotel, Hotel Lotus, which is right on the Pushkar lake. It was bliss! Unlike Udaipur's view of the lake, this was RIGHT on the lake! The Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and we arrived for Krishna's birthday celebrations, so there were many pilgrims from out of town coming to the holy place. There are something like 500 temples surrounding the lake and in Pushkar, so at all times of the day we could hear music; some of which was pleasant! There are two mountains either side of Pushkar with temples on top, but it was an hours walk uphill to get there, and we were too busy being 'shanti shanti' (ie. peaceful and chilled, shanti meaning peace).
So we did a lot of not much, which was fantastic actually, unlike anywhere in India we have been so far. We were able to sit back and relax with some other very nice travellers that we met. Hotel Lotus was the first hotel we have stayed in that had a communal area and because of this everyone talks to each other more and we ended up practically having breakfast, lunch and dinner (and Bhang) with them! We have swapped emails and will hopefully be meeting a Brazilian couple, Duda and Drica, up North near Manali and an Israeli guy, Daniel, in Goa.
Other days were spent browsing the Pushkar markets, which are a lot more chilled than other places we have been to. If you say 'no' or you are not interested they generally leave u alone! Wow! it became very obvious as we walked down the market that the Hippies of the 60's and 70's had a big gathering here, and still do. There are heaps of Trance Art Painting shops with psychadelic U.V. paintings of pixies and mushrooms and Bob Marley smoking a chillum! And there was the odd old white guy dressed in a lunghi looking like he was left behind!
We couldn't help but notice the amount of Israeli guys on Royal Enfield motorbikes, and then one day we bumped into a guy who was selling his to a bike shop owner, Niru....... it got us thinking...? SO we made a few enquiries.... and 3 days later we owned it! We had spoken to a few mechanics and other travellers who have done it before and weighed up all the pros and cons. Pushkar changed our travel plans dramatically, and from here onwards we will be on the back of an Enfield seeing India from a different perspective! We named the bike 'Shanti' and had the name painted on the front numberplate. We also had a Brahmin priest perform a Puja over the bike and ourselves, blessing our journey and ridding ourselves of any bad karma. We are so excited - no more smelly cramped buses or trains. We are going to be able to see so much more and stop whenever we like - what an adventure!
Stay tuned for more pics, we are heading up in the mountains tomorrow, so we expect the scenery to change dramatically (and the temperature). First stop we think will be Bikaner and we are heading towards Amritsar with its famous Golden Temple.
Lots of Love,
Sarah and Josiah xoxo