Happy New Years!

Trip Start Aug 26, 2012
Trip End Dec 22, 2013

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Monday, December 31, 2012

Leaving Jodhpur, it was a short day (7hrs) of driving arriving in Pushkar where we will be spending New Years Eve. Pushkar being an important pilgrimage site for Hindu's makes it one of the holiest cities in India.  Meat, eggs and alcohol are actually banned from the city.  Being New Year’s Eve, you can imagine the concern of nineteen people from Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden on where we were going to be able to purchase alcohol to celebrate New Year’s.  So we made a stop at a bottle shop in the town before to stock up, just in case with the premise that we will be wild camping a few days later so whatever wasn’t drunk tonight would certainly not go to waste.

Our hotel (Pushkar villa resort) was about as grim as our hotel on Christmas Day (funny how that happens) and so I don’t think any of us really wanted to spend too much time there.  Not having had lunch and it was about 3pm, a few us wandered a few hundred metres down to the Little Italy restaurant for a snack; pizza – really good pizza.  We asked if they served beer and they said no beer just cerveza.  Interesting?  We asked what kind and they said Kingfisher. Ordering a round they soon came out with cans wrapped in tinfoil and mugs! Laughing at that and crying at the price we enjoyed our snack of beer and pizza.  Others had decided to go further into town but I wasn’t feeling it and desperately needed a shower so headed back to clean up. 

With no common meeting place in the hotel (i.e. bar) we ended up having a pre-dinner drink in Josh (our truck) which was a fun way to get the evening started.  Then we headed to town to Om Baba restaurant that served cerveza (not wrapped in tinfoil) and was even accommodating in finding small bottles of vodka somewhere in town for those not into beer.  So Pushkar is not as holy of a town as we thought or as the guidebooks suggest.  And just because it is the number one place to get opium doesn’t make it any less holier either ;-)

Dinner was a bit of a gong show only because there was only one waiter for the entire restaurant and we were a party of nineteen.  He actually did a really good job; just things were slow to come out of the kitchen.  But hey we had nothing but time to kill; there were no bars or nightclubs to go to, just back to Josh or one of our hotel rooms.  I was able to get a bit of a view (albeit it was dark) of the lake and the surrounding ghats and temples.  It looked beautiful at night with the lights. Those who had gone during the day didn’t seem thrilled about anything in particular.  I think after Varanasi, a ghat is a ghat, and most of us are a little templed out to probably appreciate the temples here in Puskhar.  I’m a bit sad that I didn’t see town during daylight, but with this fast pace of travel I know that sometimes I just have to slow down and accept the consequences.  This was one of those times. Thus no pictures of Pushkar.

After dinner a few decided to bail on New Year’s and the rest grabbed some drinks from the truck and smuggled them to Zoe and I’s room.  With an iPhone for music we sat around our sad hotel room chatting and basically willing the time to pass so we could say Happy New Years and go to bed.  Amanda and Ben saved the evening by surprising us with what turned out to be dangerous sparklers (very short and sparks were flying and hot) and suggested we go up to the roof to ring in the New Year.  From the roof we could hear the music very clearly from a party that we could see out in the distance and did a bit of dancing before lighting our sparklers all at once on what we thought was the stroke of midnight; everyone had a different time.  Giving hugs and New Year’s wishes around we then started hearing and seeing fireworks being set off over the lake in front of us and as well behind us.  They were very random but still a nice way to cap of a quiet and different New Years; I was in bed by 12:24am.  Some of you are shocked I know!
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