Took an early morning rickshaw just 11km out of Jaipur to see Amber Fort which looked quite impressive perched on top of a rocky hill but it did feel like walking around a building site at times. I resisted the temptation to ascend the climb to the fort on elephant as it was raining and I thought I may as well wait for a more glamorous setting for such a thing.
I was dropped off in Pink City after that when the regular downpour occurred as I made my way to the City Palace. I walked fairly aimlessly after that ignoring the many offers of rides and shop visits before I stumbled eventually upon Iswari Minar Swarga Sal, a tower offering 360 degree panoramic views of the old city.
Back on the street I met a British couple, Dan and Michelle and went to a Lonely Planet recommended restaurant with them which looked a right sh*thole from the outside but once inside ‘Steam’ it was ok and I indulged myself with another curry set. We then wandered through a couple of shopping bazaars before parting and meeting up again later for dinner on their hotel rooftop at Atithi Guest House.
On leaving a few hours later I met a fairly Westernized Indian guy who wanted to chat to me (or rather at me while he got his views on the world off his chest) and offered me a lift home to which I enquired “how much?” out of habit which he seemed quite offended by but its very difficult to trust anyone in the tourist areas. I guess there are some good people in these areas but most tourists never really meet any.
The next day I was at a bit of a loose end before my train back to Delhi at 4:35 pm. My expectations had been built up about Jaipur through word of mouth but the place didn’t really meet up to these so much. I’d had it with the tourist traps so I ambled round the neighbourhood near my hotel where I got involved in a bit of street cricket with the locals which attracted attention from all quarters whether it be street level or looking down from the upper floors of their apartments. My ability hadn’t changed as I bowled about three wides out of six and was bowled out first ball and a further two times in a solitary over!!
The only other thing of note was shaking hands with a dirty looking man (probably no dirtier in appearance than me at that time though!) who held a tight grip on my hand and then with his other hand pulled a live snake out of his bag waving it in my face. More strange than scary to be honest.