Today is December 15th and it’s 5:20pm here (and 6:50am U.S. east coast time). I would guess that many people in the U.S. are probably gearing up for the holidays. In India, Christmas is celebrated by very few people since most Indians are Hindu so we actually never think about the fact that it’s approaching.
Here in India, the weather has been perfect. No rain, 65 degrees during the day and cool at night.
The last blog mentioned our one day in Agra. We left Agra the next morning on Sunday, December 11th and drove on a hair raising road for 5 hours. The driving in India is absolutely crazy and driving on this 2 lane road (one lane each way) was the most insane car ride we’ve ever experienced. People routinely pass when they shouldn’t because traffic is oncoming. Oncoming traffic, as we now understand, is not a reason not to pass. This means there were many times we had to pull off the road into the dirt because a big bus or truck was coming head on towards us. On the one hand, it was exciting and fun but on the other hand, it was down right scary. I decided I just wouldn’t look out the window. Mike decided to take a nap.
We got into Jaipur in the evening and ate at our very nice hotel. Our friend, also traveling around the world, recommended it to us. It was a step up from the places we’ve been staying but it was sort of on the outskirts of town. After our dinner, we went to the hotel garden area and saw that there was a puppet show that was about to begin. Rajastan, the state in India that we are currently in, is well-known for its puppetry. We enjoyed a short but cute show with different types of puppets and of course baksheeshed (tipped) the puppet master at the end.
Since we only had one full day in Jaipur, the capital of Rajastan, we met our driver at 9:00am the next day. We went to a wide variety of places – all of them were excellent. I have posted too many pictures below as it is, and I didn’t even include everything we saw. At night we stepped out of our hotel and were immediately approached by a young bicycle rickshaw man. We talked to him about where we might go to dinner. He said that for 25 rupees (50 cents), he would bicycle us around to 3 places and we could choose which place we wanted to go. The night ride on the bicycle rickshaw was another little adventure. The streets are filled with cars and most of them don’t use their headlights. There are also obstacles in the road that need to be avoided such as the cows, which are all sacred. We were told that if you are Hindi and you kill a cow (regardless of how it happened) you have to go to your house and call a priest to come over. Together, the two of you will engage in a series of prayers over the course of several days where you must ask the Gods for forgiveness. Anyway, we had a nice exciting ride on the bicycle rickshaw and he came back and picked us up after dinner. He was very excited when we gave him double his usual fare (= $1) for the ride home.
Below are a few pictures from our non-stop sight seeing journey in and around Jaipur: