Leaving for Jaipur I felt like I had a new lease of life after reading that we had fallen for a scam of the mafia in Delhi I was determined to not leave India with a sour taste in my mouth. We drove through Agra whilst looking at the tuk tuks crammed with 7-8people, huge cows and dogs poverty was still very visible.
An hour after leaving we reached Fetehpur Sikri an ancient settlement. The guide left us to have a look around on entering we were told to remove our shoes and leave them in a huge pile by the side. It was never happeneing. I had one pair of trainers for the trip. A “worker” told us it was ok and we could carry them. So I removed my shoes and socks and walked into the fort which also contained a mosque. For a while the worker followed us trying to explain some history we told him that we wanted to be left to our own devices and he left us alone. A few small children came to us asking for money we politely declined. It was strange still being the only white Europeans around. We returned to the car after an hour and were about to continue our journey to Jaipur.
Before leaving the driver informed us that his wife was ill and in hospital and that he wanted half his tip in Jaipur and the rest at the airport. I sat in silence knowing that once again we were under his control and that money was a huge factor in this journey and after being scammed in Delhi I had no trust for anyone in India. I always felt like there was another motive. However we agreed as we knew we still had 3 hours ahead of us to reach Jaipur. I was angry inside but we made banter between us and I felt like we were not going to be made a fool of again.
Arriving into Jaipur, the city was built up the most westernised we had seen since leaving the uk. There were hotels and tall buildings, hardly any children about. Our hotel looked amazing. A huge gold door, palace like. Our driver asked for his half a tip we reluctantly handed over £20 he didn’t look impressed but I was done caring. Walking into the hotel the attention to detail was out of this world and we are greeted with big smiles and a warm welcome. We had dinner on the roof top restaurant, an Indian selection followed by an Indian thali it was amazing the flavours were sensational, washed down with a kingfisher extra strong it cost £25 for the 3 of us.
Next morning we had breakfast and left for hawa Mahal on arrival it was probably 1/6 of the size in photos online we briefly jumped out of the car and took a photo. We moved onto city palace paying 500rupees to go round the museum and courtyards. To enter the palace it was 2500 rupees!! We decided against it. We left there and headed towards Amber fort getting stuck in the bottleneck of the gate. On the way we stopped at the water palace briefly a cool looking building in the middle of the lake. I spotted the first elephant walking down the road. One of the most surreal feelings with it plodding down the road with its trunk painted in bright colours.
Amber palace was huge!! Surrounded by a 12km wall on the hills it was probably the most impressive building I’ve seen. With the entrance costing 500 rupees we scaled the hundreds of stairs leading up to it. It felt like something you see in a film set with goats chilling on the side of the path.
Leaving Amber fort we told the driver we wanted to visit Galti Ji (monkey temple) he wasn’t that keen and wanted to take us there the next morning but we persisted as we were keen to get some time in Delhi tomorrow.
Finally we reached Galti Ji at 430pm the sun was going down and we started the climb to the sun temple. It was a vivid journey many monkeys, pigs, cows and dogs. Street vendors trying to sell local products. We walked past 2 bathing pools resembling a green pond. There were many steps, as we got to the top we had a clear view of Jaipur through a bit of smog it was an unreal site with the poverty still clear and vibrant colours. We reached the temple and removed our shoes to go inside. We allowed the lady to apply a bindi spot to us and she explained the temple we then made a donation and left. On the way back down there were many monkeys so many babies too, I was a bit apprehensive waiting for one to pounce on me. Once we reached the car park we headed back to our hotel through the beeping horns of Jaipur.
Dinner consisted of vegetable jalfrezi and chicken curry with chapatis. We chilled around the hotel for the evening and got ready for our journey back to Delhi.