The first bus we took, saw two men grab our bags and hurl them up on the roof for the one hour journey. I couldn’t help but think I would arrive in Ajmer with significantly luggage considering how bumpy the ride was. We had relatively decent seats where we chilled out and munched on our breakfast of crisps and cookies, the only thing handy and accessible in all places for trips such as these. Pulling over to the side of the road in Ajmer, we were told we had arrived at our destination, so we shuffled off the bus and caught our big backpacks as they were in turn, hurled off the roof to our weak arms below. The bus quickly set off leaving us wondering where to go, but in true Indian kindness, we had some help to find the bus depot. We then booked our bus at the station and went to take our seats and get sorted before we set off. This time, our bags were safely at our feet where we had just about enough room in between the seats in front, to store them and stretch our legs slightly. But still, It was better to know our bags were safe. It was a good few hours of extreme bumpiness along the mushy roads which seemed to be breaking up from all the rain set upon it. Passing other vehicles along the narrow unstable roads was at time, nerve wracking but having travelled South America; I was well used to this kind of recklessness. It was all part of the journey right?
Along the way, we took naps and experienced sore heads after being banged on and off the headrests. We listened to music, admired the scenery and I of course, continued to read a heap of my book Eat Pray Love. After pulling into a rest stop, we were told ‘5 minutes’…. Which kind of 5 minutes we did not know though. Until Bundi? If so, this was great, It was super close than we thought. Packing up our stuff and ready to set off for our last 5 minutes of the journey, a man on board then told us it was a 5 minute rest stop and if we needed snacks or the toilet then we could go. Out came my book once again and I prepared for an even longer journey ahead. In no time, we were the only people left on the bus with maybe two or three others, and when a local man told us we needed to change to the bus next to us for Bundi, we panicked and grabbed our belongings. After some confusion involving other locals as to whether we had to stay on board or change bus, we finally agreed that we needed to change. With unclear instructions, we boarded the packed bus beside us with no clue whether it was the right destination or not. With no leg room for bags I struggled to keep our luggage close to us and out of peoples way, but It worked for the short term journey. After showing our tickets we realized we were headed in the right direction which was a good start. We were sat next to a guy dressed in a white robe with a beehive full of dreadlocks who kept bending over and nearly taking Eliza’s eye out, which kept me entertained. At one point he struggled to open his bottle of water, which saw me offering my help and opening it for him, purely to end the difficulty he was facing. He continued to entertain me as we noticed him staring closely at Eliza- talk about personal space- continuously for no reason. Another funny incident was when he thought he had lost his phone, so he was up on the chair, bending down, swinging out of the luggage rack above in search, until a few minutes later when he laughed having discovered it had been down the side of his seat the whole time. This guy was a truly entertaining and he almost appeared to me as a biblical figure with is full beard and robe. One nice man behind us warned us when we were about to arrive in Bundi which was very helpful. We took a rickshaw to Haveli Uma Megh guest house, which we had read had a great lake view from the garden restaurant. We took a double room for 250 Rupees with a lake view and an old fashioned homely feel. The building was indeed ‘dilapidated’ as described in the L.P but I didn’t see the charm they boasted about. Starving, we dropped our bags in the room and headed down to the ‘garden restaurant’ which was merely a plastic table on the grass, wich was then covered with a table cloth when we got outside. It didn’t resemble a ‘garden restaurant’ to us at all and being surrounded by large unpredictable monkeys swinging from trees and buildings, we felt less than relaxed sitting here. I ordered a Pizza, having earlier read the ‘Italy’ section of my book which made me crave pizza, and Eliza ordered Rajasthan Thali. When my pizza came out, It was very deceiving, as It looked super tasty but actually tasted really disgusting. I had came to the conclusion that the tiny pizza was in fact a makeshift rip off and was actually a naan bread with what tasted like curry on top. I struggled to eat it even with the hunger in my belly which says it all. Eliza finished her Thali off but later told me she had really not enjoyed it at all. The two ‘waiters’ stood close by to see if we were enjoying it, which felt a tad uncomfortable, even offering us more food when we had finished.
At the end of the meal, when we were leaving he asked us what we would want for breakfast so that he could prepare it for us and have it ready for a specific time. It looks as though we will be having scrambled eggs at 10:30 am and as long as they don’t resemble curry or the toast isn’t naan bread then it should be okay. We headed out for some snacks from the local kiosk, partly because I was still starving and partly to enjoy while watching ‘Eat Pray Love’ which yes I am obsessed with. We had decided to spend our second day exploring Bundi and then taking an overnight bus to Jaisalmer.
We checked out this morning and after purchasing a sleeper bus ticket to Jodhpur, as Jaisalmer wasn't possible without a stop over, we headed out to the garden where we hoped to pay for dinner from last night but to avoid breakfast this morning. It didn't go to plan and we were almost guilted into taking a seat which was being set up for us as we entered the garden. We ordered scrambled eggs and toast which when it came out, was surprisingly nice. Felling awkward, having breakfast and being approached by the staff constantly about having more food, or ordering lunch/dinner for this evening, we abruptly asked for the bill just to get out of there.
It was an odd place which felt more like sitting in somebodies garden than in a restaurant, and made us feel like awkward celebrities being waited on hand and foot. Not our style! We told him we would not be eating in the restaurant as we were off to explore Bundi and wouldn't know when we'd be back. After paying off our room and food debts, we headed to see the fort in Bundi which apparently had a lot of bats and monkeys and slightly put us off. Having seen a lot of forts and temples here In India, we decided to give it a miss and instead took a stroll through town, where we got caught in the unpredictable monsoon rain, leading us to take shelter under a ledge. As it got heavier and heavier, and we saw the roads getting more and more flooded, we hoped a Rickshaw would drive past and rescue us, which lucky enough, did. The guy took Eliza, myself and another lady away from the floods and dropped us at Tom and Jerry's restaurant where we hoped to chill out in shelter and order some food To my excitement, the owner who told us the restaurant was only open 3 days since being off season, promised us that they had the best Italian food here, which I thought I really deserved after last night. We ordered a mushroom pizza between us and sat and chilled in the cool rooftop breeze, writing our blogs. Tonight we will head to Jodhpur on a 9hr overnight sleeper bus, which if previous experiences are anything to go by, will bring about some adventurous stories of Its own.
For now, I shall say Namaste! X