Later, I went to a jewellery shop and spent the money that Mum and Dad gave me for my birthday on some turquoise and lapis lazuli. I am genuinely worried about how I’m going to get all this stuff home! Cant believe there’s only two weeks to go! After my crazy shopping spree, we went out for dinner at this really cool, outdoor, illuminated restaurant where we ate as we watched Bollywood dancers. It was really unique and following a manic tuktuk ride home, we went to bed but I couldn’t sleep. The feeling of insects crawling all around you isn’t one I could shake off easily, especially when you stay up watching the mosquitoes! The lack of fibre in this diet isn’t helping things either.
05/07/09: Yesterday morning, our second day in Jaipur, we went to Agra Fort (it was actually a palace next to the original fort). The views during the jeep-ride there were stunning. When we got to the fort, the group walked uphill to the fort, but my roommate and I took an elephant! As we climbed aboard, the elephant started plodding off and we were just clinging on, bouncing around but it was great fun. The elephant was spraying us, but not to worry, the driver assured us that it was only ‘elephant perfume’! We were being sold stuff as we ascended the hill; vendors don’t let go when they see tourists, even the driver was trying to negotiate his tip. When we jumped off, we gave him twenty rupees and he asked for more. It’s sad but also really frustrating when you have an enjoyable time and then it’s ruined by money.
Anyway, the palace was absolutely, jaw-droppingly gorgeous. The Maharaja had twelve legal wives and they had their own apartments. One, his favourite, had to be transported by wheelchair as she was made to wear a fifty kilo dress! The walls were covered with mirror mosaics and the views from the watchtower were beautiful. It was kind of awe-inspiring and made me feel really small. On the way back, we stopped at the palace on the lake to take pictures. We got accosted and some guy even asked me if I was married, which was quite scary!