We woke feeling a little jaded having slept through our check out time and groggily grabbed an Uber (Jaipur has uber!!) to our home stay on the outskirts of the city. The house was beautiful on a super quiet suburban street with surrounding mix of resident cows, maths tuition centres, Ayurvedic supermarkets and health centres for every possible ailment. We were introduced to Mayank, our host, his mum and his sister Sorbie and the other home stay guest Needi and quickly sat down to a homecooked feast of the most wonderfully soft parathas and a great chai. At this point Sara and I are definitely chai snobs! Following Needi’s recommendation Sara and I grabbed an Uber back into the city passing camels and elephants amongst the traffic onto a great market street in the central ‘Pink City’. The city had already become one of my favourite places in India, so dusty and colourful and alive with activity, such a change from sleepy fishing villages and spiritual cities, Jaipur was exciting!! Whilst we were intent on simply having a browse and hunting for the best price, an immediate offer of a great Rajasthani embroidered bag for 200 rupees quickly led Sara and I into the self proclaimed business guru ‘Jacky’s’ packed out shop where we ate biscuits and drank chai, chatting with him about his possibly fictitous life in Portabello market, Dubai and China. Clearly enthralled by Sara who he seemed to have mistaken for Kate Middleton, Jacky insisted that we tried on saris which made for some hilarious footage (Stay tuned for the film). However as marriage proposals began we decided to finalise our payments and left as quickly as we could with plenty of freebies “from Jacky to the future Queen of England”.
After a very dry week and under the cover of needing more quinine to ward off mosquitos, we went on a hunt for a gin and tonic. This was however more difficult than anticipated with no wifi to find addresses, tuk tuk drivers that didn’t know the names of any bars and a strict licensing policy in Rajasthan so that there are very few bars in the city. Eventually we made it to the BEAUTIFUL peacock rooftop bar decorated with incredible paintings, filled with plants and with a lovely view over the city. Contrary to our Lonely planet guide the bar had had it’s licence revoked so we sipped banana lassies as the sun set. Then following another rather confused driver we were taken to Henry’s, a supposed quaint English pub but in reality a Wetherspoons style car park… Finally however we found 100% Rock, despite its trashy sounding name it was a lovely bamboo walled garden serving hot and sweet pad Thai, plump dim sum and cold beers.
Follwing our track record of failing to find our homes in every new place we have visited our taxi driver later that evening managed to make our 15 minute journey take close to an hour! Defeated and lost we sneaked out of the car to grab some delish praline magnums while the driver asked yet another passer by for directions. Eventually we called Mayank our host who came to our rescue and picked us up!