March 5. – march 10.
Pushkar has changed a lot in the last 2 years – though I am happy some things here did not and will not change so quickly. Enigma Café has become a supermarket! After only a few days I have a pretty fixed daily routine which starts with chai at honey dew at around 8.30, getting fresh rose buds next to share them in the market with people who are about to open there shops or just passing by. Its an incredible pleasure just to see so many people smiling every morning. When most of the roses are given away (I always save some for my room) I would have another chai and a little breakfast a ghopals chaishop at the mainsquare before eventually going to Sonu fruit shop to get one of those amazing mueslis.
By then its lunch time most of the days because I spend a lot of time meeting beautiful people. Pushkar seems to be full of brothers, sisters and twins in mind. I become furniture at honey dew from afternoon until late evening, watching the people on the street and having wonderful times with fellow travelers. For sunset I am mostly at Chandra ghat which is the more peaceful alternative to sunset ghat.
Doing meditation and making some music in the sunset at Pushkar lake feels so familiar like I have never done something else at sunset time in my life. I meet unique and very color- and powerful people in every age and from around the world every day making me feel a lot of love and sharing their smiles and their happiness. I fall in love all the time over and over again with nearly every person I see. I don’t know why and how, if it’s the place, the beautiful smiles or just me… I am in love! Pushkar sunset, surrounded by colors and feeling the gentle warmth of the sun on my skin – Nagara drums and Brahmin chanting mantras, incense smell and a well known and beloved place.
Km counter: 35466
Km today: 350
I wake up early morning and get chai. After a little argument with the hotel owner close to my car park I leave quickly. The first 50km being no problem, the engine running very smooth and full power but then the light for the charging control lights up. I stop at a big TATA workshop and the guys say they don’t have the parts but they will do their best. I wait in the car while the temperature climbs up to 38°C – outside in the shadow. They removed the battery charger and I have to wait. The manager comes round and tells me to make myself comfortable – I am his guest! I get chai, food and everything I need. After food he offers me to take a shower. Hot water? I ask … YES! I take a shower in a nice hotel room and as the repairing takes longer (no power, coming after half hour) I also use the bed and take a little nap. 4 hours later the carbon inside the battery charger is replaced and they wake me up. Everybody wants to take a picture so I forget to take one myself… Never mind, I chalo.
10 km later the engine has no more power. I stop and call the guys again. Ten minutes later 2 of the mechanics arrive and fix the charger – it was loose and as the fan belt is connected to the cooler too the engine became hot. Done within 2 minutes so I can go on. A little later I stop at a petrol station and recognize that the tubeless tyre in which we put a tube in Pushkar doesn’t look good. Some of the stitching had broken, so the next thing I need is a tyre wallah. At sunset I stop in Nagaur to see the tyre wallah shaking his head: No possible! I could do it myself so I know it is possible. He asks me for tools to take down the tyre but they had disappeared – I hadn’t found them when cleaning the car in Pushkar. However what kind of tyre wallah is this who doesn’t have tools to do his work? I jump into the car and go 200m to the next tyre workshop. Guy there says no possible and brings me back to the first guy who is suddenly ready to help… 2 hours he says – No problem I reply and go to the chaishop to order chai. Suddenly the mechanic comes back and tells me to get a new tyre. I tell him this kind of tyre is not possible in inda as I had tried everything in Pushkar to get one. He insists so we have to go to a tyre shop where he finds out this kind of tyre is not possible in india… We buy an old tyre to use as a patch and go back to the car where I get my chai finally believing they will start to work now. When I come back to the car everything is like before and he again asks me for tools! I start getting a little pissed as he suggests to go to Bikaner where they have the right size nut to take down the tyre. I jump in the car and chalo. He was right this had taken exactly two hours! But I had expected the tyre to be fixed by then! What to do I will find a place where people can help and not only want to earn commission for selling me a new tyre. (And if I had bought a tyre there he still wouldn’t have been able to change the tyre).
A little later I relax and enjoy the street. 50km before Bikaner after overtaking a few trucks the engine has a sudden loss of power again. I stop, switch off, switch on again and no problem… My guess would be either petrol filter blocked or carburetor dirty. I have a spare petrol filter with me so I call a friend at home who is mechanic. He confirms my guess so I go on and decide to change the petrol filter tomorrow – no problem. I pass Bikaner and about an hour later I reach my daily target which is 4% of the way home. Finally at a chaishop I can take out my guitar and play one or two songs for the guys who roam the place. When I start writing the blog its well past 1 o clock. No problem I got a shady place so I can sleep a little longer tomorrow. Happy that only minor problems occurred on the first day driving after suryananda was standing in the dessert for a year I fall asleep soon.
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After the goodbye party at honey dew last night I left Pushkar early this morning heading north to Wagah Border! km counter at 35116 when leaving..
700 km to Pakistan
6800 km to Europe
8500 km to Grafenwoerth
I leave Hampi at saturday morning having no ideas about the day of the week. The train ride is joyful as the train is nearly empty. Unfortunately my phone does not get any connection even after leaving hampi so I believe the sim was switched of – would not be the first time. The train is late in Belgaum and before I arrive there I recognize its Saturday so I will have to stay one day before I get the bike. What to do. Sunday I move to another hotel closer at the enfield showroom and get a mobile device so I will have internet everywhere. I find out there will be a train to Delhi at Monday evening. As I am in a hurry to get my spare parts for the car from the custom in jaipur I take the train up to Gwalior.
Before getting on the train I have the occasional fight about the price with the chai wallah at the station – “One chai fifteen rupees!” – “ You know that’s why I like Pakistan so much – In Pakistan people are welcome and in india only money”. People are suddenly silent around me and looking at me – I pay five rupee and leave. I have a general ticket and the train is overcrowded. The first night I manage to get a bed but then I spend 20 hours without even really a place to sit… At this day a guy who has been at the chaishop in Belgaum invites me for chai to prove not all Indians are greedy. A few hours before arriving I meet some Russian girls I had already seen in Hampi. I join them and the last hours on the train go by fast while chatting with them. I arrive in Gwalior which is about 300km from Jaipur at 1 in the morning and its freezing cold 1800 km further in the north. There is no way to get on the bike before sunrise. I do 10km and then I spend hours at a chaishop with the biggest rats I have ever seen in india. I got internet so no problem.
Sunrise I spend at the next chaishop already – I have a lot of fun with the very nice chai guy there. Then I take a short cut and the landscape becomes amazingly beautiful again. Somewhere out in the dessert suddenly I recognize a loss of power. My diagnosis is ignition which probably needs to be adjusted which needs a mechanic who knows enfields. I stop in the next village and soon a mechanic is found. Within minutes I am surrounded by people who ask me to play my guitar and make music. I order chai but before the chai is finished the bike is. My diagnosis in general was right but lucky enough only the spark plug needed to be changed. I sing a song for the people and in exchange I get chai and spark plug for free.
Well there are places with nice open hearted people in india still. But you will need to visit the countryside – like places where people have hardly ever seen foreigners before. I didn’t sleep last night so I stop a little later at a chaishop to take a nap. Waking up very late I don’t manage to reach Jaipur and sleep again in the same filthy guesthouse where I was a few weeks before on my way to Agra. Next day morning I go to my guesthouse in Jaipur and to the post office then. They need the receipt which was sent to Pushkar so I can prove to be the owner of the parcel. Takes another two days but Sunday evening a bus driver takes the paper for me from Pushkar. So I wait a few days in Jaipur and get the parts Monday afternoon. Nighttime I arrive in Pushkar. I sleep inside suryananda. The repairing takes a few days but after it is finished I am still kind of stuck in Pushkar. “Leaving day after tomorrow” I tell everyone until people are only laughing about it. When the car is repaired I take a room to clean her completely and after I take a place at sunset ghat – which is probably the most beautiful place to park in Pushkar.
A look into your eyes
For a small part of a second
I lost control
I lost the floor beneath my feet
I was falling
To realize I am flying
Floor became illusion (and)
The look in your eyes reality
Your eyes became the sky
Your smile the wind below my wings
When your eyes closed
sky became dark
stars began to shine
air became clear
I already felt the warmth of the dawning day
when they opened again
I was blinded by the sun
two days and one night of bliss
within a part of a second
within a look into your eyes
Thank you for this inspiring moment!
HariOm (Pushkar Dec. 3 2012)
Diwali night in Pushkar! I am just so happy to spend all the most intimate family moments with my family at enigma cafe and miss my small family at home.
November 3. – November 6.
First days in Pushkar it is hard to calm down my restless european mind. It takes two days to get a new sim for the phone and the key for ravis farm where Suryananda (the caravan) and Omtatsat (motorbike) are. I don’t even have a padlock for the room these days because they all are inside Suryananda. Monday morning Ansu and me borrow chillies bike to get Omtatsat and some things from Suryananda from Ravis Farm. Omtatsat had been outside in the rainy season – the bike is in a condition that nearly makes me cry. I don’t even try to start. I quickly get the most necessary things from suryananda and we head to Bablu, my mechanic. Shop is still closed and when we call him he promises to be at enigma in an hour. In the meanwhile I organize my new sim and as Bablu isn’t at enigma three hours later I go to the market and ask Max to bring me to his workshop again. When we arrive there Bablu is sitting in the shadow drinking chai being surprised to see me before he remembers the phonecall.
Five minutes later we are sitting on his bike heading back to Ravis farmhouse. I quickly search some more stuff in the caravan but before I can even start I hear the engine running. Carefully, with half flat tires and nearly no brakes I ride Omtatsat back to Bablus workshop. He promises to cure her within 24 hours and even gives me his personal bullet so I don’t need to wait visiting friends who are a little out of Pushkar.
The first of whom is Rajendra. He owns an amazing Hotel near the goamuk temple (the baba in this temple would have been the second one to visit if I hadn’t surprisingly met him at the market in the morning) and we are friends for several years by now. We are both very happy to see each other and soon disappear in a room for peacefully drinking chai together. Suddenly Raju tells me he needs somebody to help him managing the hotel – if I want the job…? Listening to the details the conditions sound more than interesting. Still I don’t have any plans so I ask for one day to think about it.
On the way back to Pushkar I make a stop at Bablus workshop. My Bullet is nearly finished, I am happy not to be able to recognize her since last seen. I remember my first ride on this bike a few years ago. Compared to the 100cc bike I had been riding before she was so strong and so heavy. Nowadays my comparison is the KTM Adventure and Omtatsat feels rather small than strong and heavy. Still she is a beautiful Oldtimer and no bike ever will match her sound!
In the morning Ansu invited me to make a concert at enigma tonight as we had a lot of fun making music the night before at UTurn. I manage to get my instruments which are stored at a different place in the farmhouse and arrive at enigma at 8 o clock carrying the guitar and the didgeridoo. My voice is already suffering from singing too much so I am quite happy to have the didgeridoo for tonight. Soon the rooftop is full and everybody enjoys a lot. After we had finished an old guy comes up the roof. Asking if there was still somebody playing I reply joking we still take donations but at the same moment take the guitar to sing one more song.
After exchanging a few words he leaves again promising to bring his guitar in five minutes. My voice is already more than finished at that moment so I switch to the didgeridoo which is much easier to handle as I play it for more than 15 years compared to the guitar which I play for maybe half a year now…
When I make a break Loyd is back with his guitar clapping his hands telling me in his eyes the didgeridoo is the hardest instrument to learn. I disagree just to be happy all the more only seconds after he starts to play. Shortly after I have tears in my eyes. He is a master of singing and guitar and I am not able to get that stupid smile out of my face. I just sit and absorb the music that is touching and tickling my soul, sometimes singing with him sometimes just listening but being one with the sound every second. In between the songs we talk a few words and immediately start liking each other. He is a 72 year old british whos secret it is “never to have friends older than me!”. I want to learn from him and when I ask him how long he will be in Pushkar he replies: 6 months. A friend of his owns a first class hotel in Pushkar and he will be manager in the 6 months to come….