It was by chance that we met Hari & Ali, we were simply walking up a road when all of a sudden a lad about 20 appeared (Ali) and started to ask the usual questions, which country are you from? How long you in India for? etc. etc. HE explained that he was a student who wanted to become a guide one day and was trying to improve his English and German, I thought I'm sure I've read about you in the Lonely Planet under scams, but we gave him the benifit of the doubt and agreed to let him show us an old temple which is normally overlooked by us tourists. He spoke goodish English and took us to a little temple that was up a dirt track, it was really quiet and interesting and then we met Hari. Hari was just sitting on the steps of the temple and decided to join in our conversation with Ali. They didn't know each other - well that's what they said.
Anyways, so some how Tracey and myself ended up going on a walk into the countryside with our two new friends, they showed us some more temples and some local villages. It was good but I still thought something was amiss?
First he took us to his home to meet his family which was a little hut made up of just one room with one bed where him, his wife and two children lived, slept, cooked and ate. He had bought the land and built his house and garden where he grew fruit and veg. After meeting his family we went with him to his friends house where they were celebrating a wedding (wedding season has just started and theres celebrations in every street) they made us feel very welcome and sat us dawn with a traditional Indian meal- probably one of the nicest meals we've had. After we went back to Harrys house and sat with his wife for a while, she explained to us that there families had both disowned them because they had a Love marriage rather than an Arranged one. Later as promised Harry walked us back to the main road and invited us to his restaurant the following evening.
The next day we went to the Western temples which are pretty similar to all the others except these are surrounded by gardens, we walked around for a few hours with Ali who had latched on again (we couldn't get rid of him) even later when we went to Harry's place for tea he followed us. Harry's "restaurant" is a small hut just off the main road with no electricity just a plank of wood on bricks for a table and an area out side where he'd made a fire to cook, we couldn't see what we were eating but it was spicey, Chris braved it and had fish well thats what Harry said it was, Ali was still lurking around and seemed to get quite offended when we asked him to leave us alone to have dinner together but he still didn't get the picture and sat with us anyway. Finally we got rid of Ali when we got back to our room and the next day left for Agra.
Jaipur is like anyother Indian city, big, noisey, busy and hot. However there seemed to be something different about Jaipur, it wasn't so intense, well not so much. We decided to stay there for 3 days and had a full list of things to see whilst there. We visited the City Palace which was good, the armoury was the best bit, went to some ruins, a white temple and attempted to go to the Monkey Temple - but Chris has developed a serious fear of the little bastards and we both felt a bit too uneasy about walking trough a large crowd of them to get to it....anyway it's just another temple! We also visited Tiger Fort, a hill top fortress which had stunning views of Jaipur. We did a little bit of shopping and got a shirt each - tailoured, very cheap oh and a big cotton sheet with block printing on it, we'll find a use for it? Well it's Pushkar next and we have decided to get a local bus there, it's only 3-4hrs, we have already booked our room at the Pink Floyd Cafe & Hotel. So hope everyone's ok and we're missing you all x