This morning, as uausal, I was up before the sun. After a couple of chai stops I made my way down to the lake for sunrise. It was a beautiful way to start the day and so peaceful with only a few cows and monkeys for company. After an hour or so of perfect peace I was accosted by ‘holy’ men adamant about showing me how best to pray. Having been granted my ‘Pushkar Passport’ I set off into town in search of nourishment. I had a long breakfast on a rooftop overlooking a small fruit and vegetable market. It proved to be a perfect spot for people watching and only after hours and half a dozen chais did I manage to tear myself away.
The vast majority of my morning was lost to shopping. Pushkar is every girls dream with the road surrounding the lake being lined with shops selling all kinds of sparkling wonders.
I had a lunch of dosa (on the side of the street) before going back to the guesthouse to dump the plethora of shopping bags I had acquired. There, I had a few chais with the owner’s wife. Having only one child of her own she set up and now spends much of her time running, a charity supporting local children. Every morning she cooks lunch for over 30 children. She delivers the lunches to a ‘pavement school’ before spending a few hours collecting donations of used clothes which she then mends and redistributes to those children most in need. After numerous chais she took me, via a random stop in a bangle shop, to meet some of ‘her’ children. It was lovely to see the way she interacted with them and the way they looked at her with such fondness in their eyes.
Feeling quite brave, I rented a bike for a few hours during the afternoon. I drove up some of the hills overlooking Pushkar. On my return journey into town I was in, what may have been, India’s most farcical bike crash! Driving along what was essentially a straight road I could see another bike approaching. I slowed down and (being in India) beeped the horn plentifully. The man on the other bike was heading straight towards me. I continued beeping and slowed down further. The other bike drove straight into me. The driver then proceeded to apologise by copping a squeeze of my breasts! Lovely. A quick slap later and I continued my drive back to Pushkar unhurt but somewhat blown away by the whole debacle.
I had a simple dinner (dhal and chapatti) with my guesthouse owner’s wife and some of her street kids before heading back to the guesthouse to pack up my things and get organised for the night’s journey.
Pushkar has again treated me kindly. I hope I’ll manage to return again one day.