Day 154

Got up to try to get to the famous Amer fort at a reasonable time (before it got sweltering), and hailed a passing tuk tuk who agreed to take us there for 200 rupees. He was driving the opposite direction but we figured he’d do a U-ey and the fort was only about 10 minutes away. But no, he carried on in the opposite direction and when we questioned this he smiled and nodded, and upon further questioning he said ‘one minute’. Now we noticed the large bags of produce in the back, and realised we were now out on his morning delivery instead. After 20 minutes he pulled up outside a temple, carried the big bags (of orange marigolds) inside and then we set off again, getting us to Amer fort a good hour after we left but with a cheery smile and a donation of leftover marigold flowers all was forgiven! 

Now we are quite wary of Indian touts harassing us for this, that and the other, so when some fellows asked if we wanted a guide around the fort for 200 rupees our guard was up and we politely declined… so we walked around the fort, admiring the architecture and sweating profusely not really grasping the history or significance. However we did recognise the ancient latrines in the fort, very similar to those in the Incan temples we saw in Mexico (both holes in the ground!). The fort was pretty amazing, the detail in the building was astonishing and I’m sure if we had a guide he would have said it took a blumin long time to build. There were also some friendly goats and chipmunks around the grounds, which I’m not too sure hold much significance in the fort but we’ll never know!

We then rejoined our tuk tuk man (well, we had a history now) who took us back into the Pink City to the Palace, which was beautiful and ornate, again we declined a tour but this was a bit more self explanatory - Palace, home of the Royals, with a bloody big armoury which we weren’t allowed to take photos of. It also had plenty of insta-ready doorways to pose in! Yes we even got involved in that. After we mooched around the bustling Bazaars, found a shop selling DIET coke (so exciting!), bought some snacks and retreated to our terrible guest house to cool down.

In the evening we went out to a cooking class in an Indian couple’s home organised through Airbnb - our hosts were Monty and Harshita, and they were so sweet and taught us some amazing home-cooking (vegetarian of course) - we learned two curries and a daal, and two types of bread (chapati and paratha, of which we’ve eaten loads of on our trip!), and loads of little tricks and tips that made us realise we’d got it all wrong before (Jess has done it wrong before, Chris, by virtue of never cooking a curry, has never faulted) … we also learned loads about their backgrounds and culture, and even watched their wedding video - it was a seven day event! (The wedding, not the video! We got the shortened version). Overall a very nice evening and the end of our short but sweet stop in Jaipur!

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