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Kim’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 29 Sep 2007

Location: Lalsot, India

MapI have decided not to write a full diary for the week as it continues in the same vein - school is hard and everything you do seems to be undone by someone. Wall charts made are torn up, toys are taken, pictures pulled off the walls. Camp does not get better either, the fridge is now broken and warm coke just does not hit the spot! We also have new neighbours, a tribe of travellers that have moved in and they are Snake Charmers - great - if a cobra comes anywhere near me, I am going!!!!!! No electricity during the day has also meant no water for washing.

The company running this project has arranged a camel safari just ouutside Puskar, so this morning we left camp at 7.00am, loaded into the 4 x 4 with the promise of a shower and hot water, a cold beer would have been better but beggers cannot be choosers. It is a 7 hour trip and by the time we arrive tempers are a little frayed but to say fried. We only stopped once and that was to eat lunch by the side of the road lurching from side to side as the lorries rumbled past. Puskar is the most holy city in India and so strict with its rules and laws, eggs cannot be taken in. Cars are often stopped and searched! We arrive and unpack the car at a small hotel that looks clean and appears to have water only to be told that the camels are waiting around the corner and it is a further 3 hours by camel to the camp!!!!!!! I have to confess that at this point I said no and climbed back into the car, fortunately Heike did the same. We drove to the camp in style - it was only 1 hours walk from the car to the tents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you that know me well, you can imagine my internal thoughts. I did however decide that I should sit under a tree well away from everyone until the temper had been reduced. Everyone eventually arrive along eith the cook, food and water and after what was a very rocky start, a good evening was had with mutton stew (meat!) and camp fire - bad part - no shower and we had to get up the next morning at 6.30am. Sleep came quickly and I am now beyond caring if I smell because everyone else must do as well.
Breakfast of cakes and pickle and then into Puskar. It is not much of a place to write about but to Indians it is the holy of the holies and they all come to pray and worship here at the various ghats on the riverside. A ghat is a landing stage on the edge of the water and in Puskar each of these is dedicated to a different god. The other thing that Puskar is infamous for is its priests, many of them nothing to do with the church but they still will offer to pray for you when the correct amount of maney is given or curse you and your family to hell and back if you do not pay them - sometimes it is an advantage not to speak a foreign language. A quick visit to the local bazzar and then the interminal journey back to camp! Maybe tomorrow will bring hot water and a cold coke.?