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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 ;)

Sarah wins 3rd prize at the camel fair!

INDIA | Tuesday, 27 November 2007 | Views [995] | Comments [5]

Sarah coming third in the ladies musical chairs at the Pushkar camel fair - the grandchildren will be proud!

Sarah coming third in the ladies musical chairs at the Pushkar camel fair - the grandchildren will be proud!

It's true! We're not joking - we have the pictures to prove it!

OK then, she wasn't up against any camels - or even racing one (hahaha) but came third in the Ladies Musical Chairs Race no less! 

We were ambling our way up to the Mela ground - the main arena for the camel fair and all it's sundry madbess. And in the middle of the stadium they were setting up the chairs for the next event of the day - the musical chairs race. They were looking for foreign volunteers (read - victims) and Sarah was press-ganged by a friendly Indian judge into taking part.

As the competitors fell one by one, and via increasingly violent collisions, Sarah managed to hold her ground for the (by now rather rosy-looking) tourists, and came a respectable third - 'allowing' gold and silver to go to the locals. A popular result with the local press and spectators alike, much to Sarah's relief!

There was apparently a prize-giving ceremony that evening, which we managed to miss 'cos we couldn't find the stage amidst the hundreds of thousands of people that had descended on this tiny town by then. A shame since it would have been a bit of a first to share a stage with so many talented horses and camels (since Sarah's Bristol panto efforts at least...), but small compensation came the next day when we gave our names to the travel agent arranging our onwards bus journey - and he had read about Sarah's 3rd place fame in that morning's papers!

It was just a pity that there wasn't an equivalent race for Phil to get involved in... strangely he wasn't that tempted by the slightly terrifying Wall of Death motorcycle antics that we saw at the fairground that evening (clearly this is what happens when all of the world's most efficient Health and Safety officers have emigrated to the London Borough of Harrow...).

Apart from these slightly madcap events, we did also see some more traditional festivities in Pushkar. The festival itself is timed to coincide with the week leading up to the full moon - and built rapidly into a fairly frenetic Hindu celebration with praying and bathing in the holy waters of the lake to the sounds of music and singing being the main focus.

The Rajasthani women dress in full traditional dress with really beautiful saris, jewellery etc. - making everything look incredibly colourful against the desert background - and the men make an effort too with some pretty gravity defying turbans and moustaches (also the subject of a competition at the fairground you won't be surprised to hear!)

So we had a lot of fun and games in our five nights here, and overall will leave with memories of Pushkar being a really unique and quite timeless place - perhaps the closest we'll get to going back in time a couple of thousand years.

There were also some sadder sights to go with all of this though - the crippled beggars, orphans and un-cared for animals that are all too commonplace everwhere we've been so far in India - it's not a particularly easy place to be a tourist.

Anyhow, onwards and upwards we go - next to Agra, where we'll hopefully see the inevitable numero uno on the India checklist - the Taj Mahal - then we plan to visit Delhi to stock up on mosquito repellent before spending a week or so on safari in the Corbett national park - a tiger resrve in the foothills of the Himalayas - eek!

All for now, lots of love,

Sarah and Phil x x

p.s. apologies once again for the slim pickings in the photo galleries at the moment - the Indian Internet seems to be powered by the smouldering camel poo of those Pushkar camels and it is an incredibly laborious process trying to upload anything. Maybe we'll have more luck in Delhi...

Tags: On the Road

Comments

1

Really great reading all your postings!!! The best way to be of use in India is to put your money into the economy. The toot toot of the horns is probably my most lasting memory and when I got back here how quiet everything was - one fo the guys I met in India has just done a tiger safari and loved it. not many of them left now. Have a great time x x x

  alison francis Nov 28, 2007 2:20 AM

2

Jealous! Do you still feel like you are on holiday or does it feel any different yet? you have been away nearly a month already- amazing! Did you get a text message from me prob day you went to the taj mahal? just want to check they are getting through cos i don't think you got the one i sent to you when you were in Japan... Thank you for the russian postcard- it arrived after the japan one- no surprise there then! Did you know that all postal language is in french i.e wherever you send a postcard from it will always say par avion- amazing fact my french teacher told us tonight! (did a bit better tonight but there were only two of us compared to the usual 8 so had to work four times as hard- noodles for brains now!).

Take care and careful your celebratory status doesn't escalate too much (although you might get upgraded on the trains a bit if it does...?!). XX

  Anna Nov 28, 2007 9:38 AM

3

Hello you two, I was about to write to you but I had two pussycat eyes boring into me (din dins time). So now I'm back and can concentrate on writing to you. After all that gadding about you must be pretty fit, so I hope you're "eating your greens". Like everyone else, U. Cliff and I are really enjoying hearing about your journey and lovely anecdotes. Yes, like Mum & Dad said, you ought to write a book when you return.
Life is much as usual in the run up to Christmas ie. busy shops, lists, up in loft to find any Christmas cards left from last year, is there space in the freezer for all the treats? etc etc. At work we're getting very busy with the first batch of Christmas trees in and deciding whether or not to re-order stock and will it arrive in time? The "Management" breathing down our necks if figures not good enough (although I have to say we in the Plant Centre have been top for 6 weeks!). What fun - Christmas in the UK.
But - having read everyones messages to you I now have an "excellent" (specially for Anna) idea for Anna & Simon's Crimbo pressie! Well I'm blowed. Just think of all that aggro you're missing - the train, taxi, bus, plane journey trials are nothing!!
Uncle Cliff & I had a lovely walk at Mount Edgecumbe at the weekend. It's on the Cornwall side of Plymouth Sound and was the ancestral home of Richard Edgecumbe in 15something. Wonderful spot with superb views. We must take you there when you all come down next. Anyway I'd better not take up too much room here. So that's all for now.
Lots of Love Uncle Cliff & Michele (and Chops - purr purr) xx

  Michele Jacqueline Munro Nov 29, 2007 5:30 AM

4

I've just noticed how my name appears - I've been using the autofill! Ha, ha.

Michele xx

  Michele Munro Nov 29, 2007 6:28 AM

5

I think it's probably time for you to come home now. How on earth can you top third prize at the camel fair? All else will pale into insignificance....surely x

  veronica and james Dec 7, 2007 8:40 AM

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