Tuesday, January 23, 2018
We started our morning with a long drive from Udaipur to the Hindu pilgrimage town of Pushkar. Jeremy learned along the way that the entire town is vegetarian and the restaurants and stores are not allowed to sell meat. Given that he and the kids had mostly been subsisting on butter chicken, it was going to be interesting to see what they would pick for dinner.
On arrival, we checked into the Seventh Heaven Inn. This was a hotel that we had prebooked online. We saw good reviews accompanied by a low price (about $30/night, really), had thought about cancelling and letting our driver find us a place, but then decided to keep it. In retrospect, I’m not sure what we should have done. The lobby was beautiful, the two rooms we were given were quite large, the sheets were clean, but the blankets and walls were quite dirty. To be fair, it was mostly dusty dirty, not nastiness dirty. Even so, I was still really put off by the blankets, particularly since the kids often kick off the sheets and use the blanket instead. But we decided to go with it. If nothing else, it would be a good learning experience for the kids – not everybody in the world uses pristine-looking sheets.
After dropping off our bags, we spent a lot of time wandering the market. We were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed our relaxing wander by the various booths. There were still a lot of cows and dogs, but there were far fewer cars, motorcycles, and tuk- tuks. The quality was also a bit better than some of the other markets we had visited, probably since it is a pilgrimage town and geared towards tourists.
Towards the beginning of the walk, we decided to stop for tea and snacks, which were quite good.
I tried on a few skirts, but they were either too small or the pattern wasn’t quite right. If you are tall, not super slender, or both, finding clothes can be a bit of a challenge in most Asian countries. I still remember the trip to China where I forgot to pack Jeremy’s pants. At almost six and a half feet, finding replacement pants off the rack was impossible.
I did find a purple scarf that I liked a lot. Too bad we live in California where it doesn’t get cold enough to use it very often. James found a journal with a beautiful cover and handmade paper.
The town houses more than 500 temples. The Gurudwara Singh Sabha Sikh temple (below) was one of the more beautiful ones that we spotted.
Since the Brahma temple was supposed to be the highlight of the town, we decided to go into that one (not the one pictured above). That said, we were underwhelmed – I suspect that the reason people go is probably more related to the history/stories about the site, rather than the actual site itself. So we left fairly quickly, decided we were templed out, and spent the rest of the time focusing on the market area.
We rested for a bit at the hotel, then decided to try a rooftop restaurant. I really enjoyed my paneer korma, but everyone else decided they had had enough Indian food. Jeremy was pleased with his falafel (apparently this city gets an above-average number of Israeli tourists), James got a veggie burger, and John had some hash browns, which turned out to be roasted potatoes and veggies.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sleeping was much better than expected. Even though the blankets were a bit dirty, the beds were really comfortable.
We decided to get breakfast at the market area. A three legged dog decided to come over and say hi, but after the dog with the foaming mouth in Udaipur, we were a bit panicky about having any dog near us, so we moved to an inside table. The nutella crepes were fairly good, and John got “cheese toast” again, which is really just a grilled cheese sandwich.
After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to pack up, then were on to Jaipur!