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  • Day49

    Scooter day from Udaipur

    February 23, 2020 in India ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    I woke up just after 8 and made our way up to the roof terrace for our breakfast. We were the only ones there again, just like our first morning, so naturally we were complete pigs and ate most of the food. Oops! (I was going to miss that jam). After brekkie we got all our stuff together, dumped our bags in the common area and checked out as we were leaving for Pushkar on a night train tonight. We then waited in the reception area for our scooter that we had arranged yesterday, of course it was still late despite the 16 hour notice...

    Eventually, the scooter turned up. It was an awful, grey bike that looked like it was falling apart and had been spray painted really badly to make it look newer than it was. When we started droving it actually felt worse than it looked...the bracket that was screwed onto the front of the bike made it sound like a clattery old van each time we went over a speed bump or hole in the road. The lights didn’t work, which was eventful through a dark tunnel on a motorway and the indicators made the loudest beep ever. The driving experience here was much more chaotic than it was in Goa, firstly two guys wanted to race us numerous times, then bikes would drive beside us wanting conversations with us....eventually we made it to Eklingji temple, a 24km drive from our hostel. It was hidden away in a busy town, which was weird considering we had hardly passed anybody on our way here. We queued up outside for quite some time, with no shoes or socks but eventually we got inside, following the queue all the way round, we were quite confused exactly to what the people were actually praying to. It was a really nice temple and was very detailed, but no pictures were allowed here. We made our way back to our bike, after being rushed to put our shoes back on by two girls...and then made our way to Sahastra Bahu temples, which was an awesome temple, incredibly intricate and well preserved. There were a group of local people chilling outside the temple playing western music, but in true Indian fashion would skip each song after about 20 seconds... we actually enjoyed the Western music for a little while whilst exploring the temple. Whilst in the temple we met a group of Aussies who were in India for their sons wedding in a dry state of India and were telling us of the festivities that followed their wedding.

    Back on our moped we made our way to a pin Tom had found on maps.me for a “mountain viewpoint”, having no clue what it actually looked like we thought we’d check it out anyway. On the journey we drove through the middle of nowhere, passing by really rural villages. It felt very Middle Eastern, with dry landscape and very square buildings, almost what I imagined Afghanistan to look like. When we got to the viewpoint we enjoyed the hazy view of the mountainous landscape and watched an older guy herding his goats and generally enjoyed the peace and quiet - as you don’t come across that in India too often. After enjoying the view we drove to Lake Badi, after a bumpy journey we got to a parking area where we left our bike for 20 rupee to go and check out a nice viewpoint overlooking the reservoir. On the walk back to our bike we of course had to have our picture taken with a few Indian guys and then we were going to make our way to The Monsoon palace which could be seen from our hostels roof terrace.

    However, on the drive the sound of the engine changed and increased in volume by about 100%, we stopped to check out what had happened...the exhaust had fallen off. We attempted to carry on but it was scraping on the floor, so instead of causing further damage to an already broken bike we thought we’d better come up with a solution. We ripped the string out from the seat cover and used this to hold up the exhaust so it wouldn’t scrape along the ground as we drove. It was however, still the loudest bike the whole of India but at least we could move however with not much power anymore. We thought we’d go straight back to the hostel and talk to the hostel to sort out getting some money back for this bike, as it really was rubbish. On the way back to Udaipur we couldn’t pick up much speed and the moped was absolutely screeching...to make things even worse there were lots of diversions around Udaipur meaning we had to meander through the backstreets, through the chaotic traffic to get back to our hostel. We got back to the hostel and we were both a little pissed off. We spoke firstly with the front of house at the hostel who called the man who’s bike it was... after about half hour he turned up. He was an absolute crook this guy, accusing us of breaking his bike... after a little while we managed to get the message across to both him and the guys at the hostel that it was nothing to do with us but instead how this guy had looked after his bike over the years and how it was unacceptable and to our surprise we managed to get a full refund...result! It did help that I had the key to the bike held ransom.

    After that drama we went to get Thali from “the food corner” our favourite local place in Udaipur. As we were sat down I suddenly announced that I needed an emergency toilet trip...up I got and ran out of the restaurant leaving Tom to order our Thali’s and an extra curry and rice to share. I had to go all the way to the rooftop of the hostel as we’d checked out already and returned after perhaps 5 minutes, with some shitty (literally) news, I had the shits. Finally, it had got to one of us. Thankfully, it didn’t affect my appetite though and the mountain of food arrived and we both devoured it, and it was delicious, we were going to miss this place! We said our goodbyes to the owner of the restaurant and went back to the hostel to chill out until in the common room, where Tom FaceTimed home and I just began to feel awful getting closer and closer to a foetal position on the floor. At about 9:45pm we left the hostel and got a TukTuk to the train station. We had been fighting to get it for 80 rupees but finally settled on 100...the journey was awful, he actually crashed into a moped (and sped off) and then almost skidded into a car so when we arrived at the train station and he expected 100 rupees. Is I felt like shit I explained pretty brutally that this was the worst tutkuk journey of my life and I only have him 80 rupees as he didn’t deserve the full fare...safe to say he was fuming!

    We found our platform and there was a train waiting there, we asked an official if this was our train to Ajmer, she said yes, good job we checked with two guys on the train as it was actually going to Jaipur... ours was the next train coming through. We waited on the platform and once again I got the sudden need to go to the toilet...oh no, in the train station!! But surprisingly the toilet was relatively clean and western I informed Tom upon my return, demanding the hand sanitiser still.

    At around 11pm the train pulled into the station, we got on our carriage in complete darkness and found our beds. Tom was 35, bottom and I was 36 top. We got straight into our bunks, tried to get comfy and get some sleep before arriving in Ajmer.
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