Thursday, 22 November 2012

Pushkar Camel Fair and Beer in Teapots!

Thursday 22nd Nov

Me, Laura, Paul and Ali all decided an 8am wake up call was too early, so we decided to do our own thing and head to the Camel Fair at around half 10 instead. Boy were we glad we did as it was so nice to lie in instead of wake up to an alarm! The Pushkar Camel Fair happens once a year, so we were so lucky we were here at the right time for it! It's a week long festival where traders from all over India and the middle east come to trade their camels, horses, cows etc and Pilgrims come too to worship the place where Brahma lived/created. There's also a fair and lots of activities like how many people can you balance on a camel, camel races, best dressed camel competitions etc. Unfortunately a lot of the events are on towards the end of the week but we still got to check out the spectacle of it!

We took a tuk tuk down to the stadium where the main fair was taking place. Ali really wanted a go at driving it and the tuk tuk driver was luckily up for it too so Ali took the reins and drove us all to the stadium! It was pretty well driven actually. We got there and there was a best dressed camel competition going on so we watched that for a bit and then we met Julie and went to check out the camels and horses in the desert/field whatever you call it. It went on for miles - thousands and thousands of animals were everywhere! Camels, horses, cows, snakes - you name it they were probably there somewhere! We even saw women picking up the camel poo as apparently they farm it/dry it out to use for fires and growing crops etc. There was also a camel stampede which we managed to get away from as that was pretty scary!

We then spent about an hour or so up on the hill/sand dune, just chatting, cooling down and admiring the sea of camels before us. Then we went down and did some more shopping - the market here is amazing! I got some more bangles and clothes - as u do! I also randomly met Ethan in the middle of the fair, who I'd met in Rishikesh, which was really strange!

Laura and the guys went off for something to eat and me and Julie went back to the hotel for a spot of palmistry, however he wasn't that great! Then I went down to the lake on my own to see the Puja's (prayers) with an added firework display at sunset which was beautiful and very atmospheric. While walking back I met Lucy and some of the others who'd said that Laura and the guys had found the only place that sold alcohol in Pushkar, as it's banned in holy cities (of course, it would be them! haha) and so we all decided to freshen up and head back there for food and of course BEER!

The evening involved 23 pots of 'tea' between 7 of us (Josie, Julie and a random french guy joined us), a nutella pancake which was given to Laura with banana in which she refused to eat as she hates banana, so she was branded a princess for the night! Lots of sarky comments from Paul. At the end of the evening he wanted to buy something random from the news agent stall so he got 'Itch Guard' an anti itch cream, which all of us in a drunken state thought was hilarious. We woke just about every homeless person and saddu along the walk back - I reckon they are used to tourists finding the alcohol as they didn't batter an eyelid! There were piggy backs, (girls picking up guys), and Paul and Laura tried to steal a camel! Me and Julie woke up all the hotel guests with our banging on the gates shouting, as we'd been locked out. Yash had obviously been waiting up for us too as the hotel guy said he was pretty angry - woops! So yea, it was quite a good evening! Ali and Josie stayed up with the french guy until 4am but we went to bed - which was the sensible thing to do considering we had another bus journey to Jaipur the next morning - at least this time though we weren't leaving til 9am! YAY!

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