Tuesday, 20 November 2012

camel fair, camel riding and a creepy guesthouse

Up in the morning to go camel riding.  Bear in mind this is the one thing Becci wanted to do most on our whole trip when I say and soon as she mounted her camel and it stood up she was shouting hysterically "I don't like it! I want to get off!".  Our guide took the reigns of Bec's camel and walked ahead reassuring her, I was given the reigns to mine and expected to know how to ride it,  I sat between it's humps flapping about cluelessly whilst Bec and the guide disappeared down the track.  This wouldn't be so bad but Pushkar camel fair is currently in full swing which means we're surrounded by thousands of camels and hundreds of camel owners many of whom are shouting out advice in Hindi to the dumb Englishman who can't get his camel to budge.  Eventually someone gave my camel a good shunt from behind, right then it's moving, so now what do I do?  Tried to think what horsey type people do, kick its sides and guide left and right with the ropes I think..... didn't really ever get the hang of it.  Toured around through the camel fair and across the desert tracks for a few hours, there's a real old world feel to this place, feels like we've travelled back in time.
Once dismounted from our trusty camels we wander around the camel fair, thousands of camels cover the hilly desert landscape with owners, buyers and festival goers buzzing about the place and many bizarre sideshows such as dancing horses and snake charmers.
Spent the afternoon eating, exploring and shopping in the markets.  Bec has suddenly become brilliant at haggling, her banter always gets about half the price they ask for so think I'll leave her to it from now on.
This morning we checked out of the guesthouse as we are getting an overnight bus to Agra tonight.  The lady at the guesthouse was offended that we didn't want to stay another night and claimed she had turned people away for our room tonight, I said I'd pay for two nights to keep the peace but she kept nagging on and on and on.  The Milkman Guesthouse is a faded and run down version of what probably used to be a pleasant guesthouse, the photos they have there show a freshly decorated, nicely furnished guesthouse with well kept gardens but it now has dirty walls, tatty furniture and dried up gardens.  Bec describes the place as 'creepy' and the strange family that run it certainly contribute to its weirdness.  There's the nagging women I already mentioned, the fella who looks slightly zombified and talks in an almost indecipherable gravely voice, the silent old women in the colourful sari  who potters about near the front door and the young lad who mimics all the guests behind their back.  I would liken the setting to a cheap horror movie, best to leave before things start to get sinister!

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