Kathmandu to Pushkar
06.03.2009 - 20.03.2009 34 °C
I am now back in India in a place in Rajathan called Pushkar, its a bit of a hippy haven and not as peaceful as the guidebook makes out however it is nice, it is famous for having one of the only temples dedicated to Brahma in the world and has hundreds of temples surrounding a lake in the middle of the town. It is small enough so every where you go you can walk which is great!
My journey from Kathmandu to Jaipur was quite eventful, we got the night bus from kathmandu at 7pm, I don't think I got a wink of sleep, the seats were small and then people sat on little stools all down the middle of the aisle aswell so you had people resting their heads and arms on your knees. The bus took the long route via Pokhara in order to try and miss the road blocks that are currently beig staged in kathmandu but it got to about 7am in the morning and every one had to get off the bus and where told we could go no further as the bus could not get through. We were about 30Km from the border at Sonauli where we need to pick up another bus to take us to the nearst train station on the Indian side to catch our train. Luckily there were some cycle rickshaws and we paid one to take cycle us and all our bags to the border...it took about 2.5 hours and I felt really bad for the poor guys legs! We came accorss a few road blocks on the way mainly young guys lined up accross the road sometimes with sticks and fires that weren't letting anything past except us as we were tourists they agreed that it ws not something we needed to be involved in. We ended up getting a taxi to the train station at Gorakpur as we were running short of time and experienced out first ride on a train in India..17 hours all the way to Dehli in sleeper class. I really enjoyed it, it was nice to have open windows and see the countryside flying by although for the first 8 hours we had about 10 extra young guys in our carriage all sitting on our seats and I did start to wonder whether I would get any sleep! We arrived into Dehli at 5am and got a hostel so we could catch up on some sleep before the next train ride from Dehli to Jaipur. Feeling confident about how the the trains now worked we turned up at New dehli train station 40 mins before our train left only to find out our train went from Old Dehli train station!! We bombed accross town in an auto rickshaw and ran to get the train about 5 mins before it left!! After so much travelling and not a lot of sleeping it was great to arrive in Jaipur and sleep at a comfy hotel.
I spent the next week with Beaks and her family in Jaipur which was really relaxing and I learnt alot about the Indian culture, went to the local mandir with them to pray, and ate some amazing food. Every meal was a feast of all different types of Indian food. Whilst I was there the Hindu festival of Holi took place, this covered two days. the first day we went to the mandir in the evening and all the married women gave a puja in front of a bonfire which was then lit and burned through the rest of the evening. We made some gujia sweets from pastry, coconut and sultana's ready for the next day and to eat through the Holi festival. The second day was the most fun. Everyone buys coloured powders and paints and goes round to other peoples houses and covers each other in colour for good luck...it was crazy!!! Beaks and I went to her aunties house for the afternoon where they had the whole family round, covered each other in powders and paints and then had a big water fight...even now I am still finding red paint in my ears and my clothes have had to be washed several times and still have bluey greeny tinges to them! In the streets everyone who went passed was covered in paint and colour even the cows and Beaks little dogs Silky and Sandu got covered aswell. On my last day with Beaks a special Puja was performed for her pregnancy, I got to dress up in one of Beaks Lhenga's, with a bindi and bracelets and feel the full part.
Leaving Beaks was sad but I am now in Pushkar and mid way through a yoga and meditation course with a guy called Yogesh Yogi who used to me a Saddhu in the mountains in Nepal and now runs a yoga and meditation school with his wife. I am staying at their house which is really lovely and peaceful in the middle of the fields outside the main Pushkar market every day I am doing 8-9.30 Hatha Yoga, then 9.30 - 10.30 philosophy of yoga then 4.00 - 5.00 meditation and auyrvedic practices then 5.00 - 6.30 hatha Yoga so I am getting nice and fit. Yesterday I did a cleansing practice with them where you clear the body of all toxins...it was quite an experience and one that I don't think I will repeat! First using salt water we had to pour water into one nostril and then out the other to clean the mind and sinuses, then we had to drink 250ml of warm salt water and perform 5 yoga moves 8 times to swill the water round the body. The aim is to keep going drinking water and performing the moves until when you go to the toilet only water comes out. It was gross and every mouthful of water I thought I was going to be sick...luckily for me it only took 17 glasses for the other guy who was having it done it took him an extra 1.5 hours and 33 glasses in total. After the practice your body is very sensitive so we were only allowed to eat baby food and not even any water. For the next 7 days I am only allowed to eat boiled vegetables and rice, brown bread, papaya, banana and drink water...it better be worth it! Aparantely within the next 40 days all the toxins will be out by body I will be glowing, look younger, loose weight, have perfect complexion etc etc etc.....I will keep you posted! Before I had the cleansing I treated myself to lots of Humous, falafel, palek paneer, and banoffee pie...there are lots of Israeli tourists in Pushkar so lots of places to eat Israeli foods including one dessert called Hello to the Queen which is chocolate cookies nd brownie with banana hot then covered in ice cream and chocolate sauce...its probably a good thing that i can't eat that for the next 7 days otherwise it would become my staple diet!
After Pushkar I plan to head to Udaipur and then down to Mumbai, Goa, and Kerala. Still only a few photo's posted as my camera is a bit hit and miss where I can download them but I will keep trying!!