The banks gave people 50 days to exchange 4000R per day or to deposit unlimited amounts to their bank accounts.This has lead to huge ques at banks and ATMs running out of money as soon as it’s filled.
This all being said most Indians seem really to be in favour of the changes as it will help to eliminate the country’s “black money” money that is being used for nefarious purposes that can’t be traced or taxed. People I have spoken to seem keen for the country to become more reliant on card transactions.
Now for me travelling it has meant a full on ball ache.
Much of my cash I couldn’t now spend. It also became nearly impossible to get cash out at an atm.
It’s had days of walking for hours to find a restaurant that takes cards.
I’ve had to beg hostels to allow me to pay via the Internet. However stressful the past 10 days have been I’ve still done so much.
I had just got to Jaipur when I last posted. I spent a few days here, 2 of those days were spent relaxing and not spending any money (as I had none)
However on Josh and Marks last day in Jaipur we had a busy day.
We took a Tuk tuk down to see the water palace. The water palace is a beautiful building built in the middle of a lake.
It creates a stunning view. From afar. One you get close to the lake you can see all the pollution and rubbish in the water. The rats scurrying around the waters edge sum up the cleanliness of the place.
We took a walk from here towards the Jaighur fort. Jaipur has 3 big forts surrounding it.
I feel totally spoilt by the culture and buildings in India.
Our walk towards the fort took us past 2 Tuk tuk drivers who warned us that it was a really long walk to the fort.
We assumed they were just trying to get our business so we walked on we made it 15 minutes up the steep road before the smug driver came past asking if we wanted the drive now. We did!
The fort offered some great views of Jaipur and also housed the worlds largest cannon. Totally for ceremonial use as it had never been fired!
We went along to the Amber fort and got some nice photos but opted against going inside as we were a bit forted out. We instead went for a walk around to try and find a step well we had read about and were eager to see.
When we found the well we were crushed to realise it was closed for the day! An Indian boy must have seen our disapointment and showed us a nice wall to climb over to get into the well.
While this was probably highly illegal it did mean we got to see this beautiful well without the crowds I’ve come to associate Indias wonders with.
The well was stunning, it resembled an Escher painting.
I said goodbye to Mark and Josh and had a few days counting my penny’s.
I decided to head over to the Ranthambore national park to try a spot some tigers.
What a beautiful place it was. The terrain of the national park was just fantastic. Hills, mountains forest jungle.
My morning safari didn’t get me any tigers, although we found some fresh leopard prints and some bleached bones of a deer, a tigers meal from a month ago. It was still lovely as I met a nice Indian couple who were so friendly.
I decided to do a second safari to try and get my tiger. And it worked. Within 15 minutes we found our tiger. A sleeping tiger that could be seen through a break in the trees. I got some nice photos before India struck. Where initially there was the 1 car watching the tiger there was soon 9. Each with 20 people in them. All vying to get a look.
As wonderful as seeing a wild tiger was, and I know how lucky I was to see it, this totally took the shine off of it. Loud Indians shouting at each other, cars reving and trying to force into gaps to get a better view.
But I saw it.
People in 20 years may never get the chance to see this wild beauty.
My next stop was Jodhpur, the blue city.
I stayed at a really nice hostel called crashpad. This hostel is a diamond in the rough. Not the comfiest or the best rooms but the atmosphere created by the wonderful staff makes it a great place to be.
They took 5 fellow backpackers and I around the city for 3 hours in an attempt to find cash.
6 backpackers in 1 Tuk Tuk made for quite an adventure.
We got a bit of cash and went to the Fort. We didn’t go in but the viewpoint offered an amazing view of the blue city.
The following day was a really special day. We went out 65km from the city to a rural community. We went to a local temple famous for curing paralysis before going to a local school.
This was really amazing and I got quite emotional. The school had 160 pupils, all so smiley and happy to be there. Some walk 5km a day to get to school.
The resources were very basic, blackboards and chalk. There were some classes going on outside as they lacked the buildings for the kids.
But they were so welcoming and so friendly. The kids happy to show off their English singing songs and reciting poems. It really warmed the heart.
We went for food with a local family and had some amazing home cooked food. Our car managed to get stuck in the sand so joined by all the villages children we had to get out.
The evening ended with a trip to a sand dune to watch the sunset. It was such a great day and really helped ease the stress of the money!