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it's a long way from whitley bay... Hi everyone and welcome to our journal where you can see and read what we've been up to and where we're going next. We hope you enjoy it, and would love you to keep in touch with your news, and send us your comments! Lots of love, Sarah and Phil x ;)

How not to get to Pushkar

INDIA | Thursday, 22 November 2007 | Views [4102] | Comments [4]

one more 'got the hump' joke and I'll really get cross...

one more 'got the hump' joke and I'll really get cross...

Somehow we've made it to Pushkar for the camel festival....after another "interesting" journey on this trip to add to our Russian experience (why can't everywhere be like Japan?)!

It took us 26 hours from Mumbai to Pushkar using a combination of taxi, train, tuk tuk, bus, another tuk tuk, another taxi and then on foot. It was about 800 miles but felt like 8000!

We managed to start off in dramatic fashion by completely under-estimating how long it would take in a taxi from our hotel to Mumbai Central station in rush hour. The hotel said 25 minutes but it was more like 50 and we arrived at the station 5 minutes before the train was due to leave.

Of course, it's not just a case of turning up, checking the platform number and getting on board. Oh no, this is India, which first of all means trying not to crash into the 100s of people milling around the station while you sprint through carrying full back packs and two smaller rucksacks/bags each. Then you have to look for your name on the list of all the passengers printed on a board at the head of platform to find out which carriage you're on (we'd booked the tickets the previous day).

Then, if you're us, you think your carriage is near the front of a 25 carriage train and sprint the length of the platform before getting two carriages from the front only to be told your carriage doesn't exist on this train! So you then run back down the train and find someone else who tells you your carriage is near the back of the train....we're you started from. You keep running that way, then notice the train is moving and people are shouting at you to jump on board before it's too late. So you jump on and then walk through 5 or 6 crowded carriages before finally finding yours!

We'd treated ourselves to a 1st class air conditioned carriage for the 18 hour overnight trip (30 quid each - bargain) in an effort to avoid any more mad Uzbeki's but it didn't feel like much of a treat at that moment.

Though once we got inside our compartment, we found we were sharing it with a lovely English couple called Mandy and David, who'd been there for half an hour and were sitting relaxing with a cup of tea, wondering if they'd be having the carriage to themselves that evening!

The rest of journey to Jaipur was great. We had a bit of a chat with Mandy and David and slept soundly, then arrived in Jaipur at 1.30pm, just half an hour behind schedule. The scenery outside was great too, with lots of picturesque Indian countryside.

From Jaipur, we'd planned to get a train to Ajmer and taxi to Pushkar from there but when we got off a fellow passenger said the bus was much quicker, so we negotiated a tuk tuk to the bus stand and bought tickets to Ajmer. The bus wasn't quicker. It was due to leave at 2.30pm but left at 3.15pm and then took over 3 hours to get to Ajmer and arrived at half 6 (about an hour after the train would have got in).

The bus dropped us on the outskirts of Ajmer but we managed to team up with another pair of backpackers and shared a tuk tuk to the bus stand. The buses were very crowded and although they were cheap (about 12p each) they wanted us to stow our luggage on the roof. We didn't fancy that so shared a taxi to Pushkar instead (still only about a quid each).

We phoned ahead and our wonderful hotel owner came to meet us where the taxi dropped us off on the edge of Pushkar to show us the way to our hotel. It was like meeting St Christopher himself after the trials and tribulations we'd gone through to get there.

The hotel is lovely with a great roof top terrace and we sat up there for a well-earned curry before crashing out to bed. After we'd managed to ignore the noise of abluting camels from the street below that is.

We've just started looking round Pushkar this morning and are shortly off to the fair. There's the rural sports heats this afternoon (including camel racing, water pot carrying and other assorted madness) followed by the "third milking" of the day at 6.30pm. So we're looking forward to that, by jove.

Pushkar itself is just a small town based around a holy lake, where Hindu pilgrims bathe in the lake for purification. It gets much busier at this time of year, with lots of people attending the fair, but it's still not as mad and busy as Mumbai.

Hope you're all well. We've just about got over our travel exhaustion and plan to stay in Pushkar for about 5 days to chill out. After that, we might see how much it costs to hire a helipcopter for the rest of the trip or see if we can invent teleportation or something before we head off to Agra.

This travelling lark is turning out to be great fun, except for the actual travelling bit........!

Love Sarah and Phil xxxx

P.S. we've read the England football reports online and are glad we didn't have to watch it! Looks like we won't be scurrying round South America this summer looking for bars that show the football in the early hours of the morning.....

Tags: On the Road



Well it probably wasn't hilariouos at the time but this is so funny to read (as are many of your other comments) You must have been boiling hot too, hairing around in the heat with your luggage. Pushkar sounds as if it will be some experience!
Yes, the footie was awful to watch. A sad night.
Lots of love Mum xxx

  Mum B Nov 22, 2007 10:32 PM



Tokyo photos look good- don't think I would have tried to cross any roads if all of the zebra crossings looked like that! Yikes about the train- close one.

Well I must say I had a terrible journey to the trafford centre this morning walked (to the car) drove, Walked (out of the car, escalator, hundreds of shoppers everywhere!.... not quite the same as your story is it?! There is definately more news more end at the moment.

Wilson is sat by me again in our little cupboard under the stairs purring away. Well french is getting rather tricky- I felt like dunce of the class this week so am going to ring mum and put on a silly accent to practice!

Simon and I have just been shopping (both basically got a day off and fancied being lazy!) we bought more bits for xmas (realised we didn't have more than 4 matching bowls for example- funny the things you think about..). Then went for some lunch and by the time we got home it was nearly dark so time for a glass of wine and a game of scrabble i think! We also looked at travel bags for our trip to India as I think we are mutually buying each other a bag for christmas- any tips? We saw a berghaus Jalan (sp?) which looked good and strong and big...

I'm in the last stages of getting Claudia's hen do sorted out which is fun but surprisingly hard work. Down to the allotment first thing tomorrow hopefully if it's not raining to do some more digging and get rid of some brambles (i'll try and take some photos and put them on facebook!).

Have a fabulous time at the market and I hope you don't get abused by too many airbourne camel fluids- yuck. It is all sounding very wonderful and as everybody else has said it's really good fun checking out where you are and what you are up to! Lots of love XX

  anna Nov 23, 2007 3:29 AM


You are certainly a long way from Whitley Bay - 6 degrees and raining today. We think you should write a book on your return as your experiences sound extremely funny but exhausting to say the least. We eagerly await your next instalment.
Lots of love Mum and Dad S
PS: Dad is still in shock following the England game

  Mum and Dad S Nov 23, 2007 4:34 AM


Well hello you two,

Can't tell you how glad I am that we finally pulled our fingers out and got a computer - wouldn't have missed these updates for the world! Speaking of which, after only three weeks on the road, you've got about a bit haven't you? A few days in one place sounds like a good plan, bit of R&R required. News from Kent.... it's cold, we've been Christmas shopping in earnest, I defrosted the freezer yesterday (little tip for when you get back - don't leave it 4 years between cleans) and most unfortunately we have to go back to work tomorrow. BOO! James is more than happy with the football result as he didn't believe we deserved to qualify anyway, but apparently just because England are out doesn't mean I have a footie free Summer. BOO again! The countdown has begun (for me at least) to Take That in Manchester, Christmas and then New York in February, and thanks to my wonderful husband the Foo Fighters at Wembley in June. Sold out in 8 minutes - not bad eh? Glad to hear you're having such a good time, must go as the hoovering won't wait any longer..
Love you both
V&J xx

  veronica and james Nov 26, 2007 8:37 AM

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