Like all travellers, we have occasionally experienced sickness while on the road and the truth is that it’s most frequently happened on our trips to India. It’s frustrating when you know that you only have a limited amount of time somewhere and you are feeling under the weather. Here we share our experiences of being off colour in colourful Rajasthan!
Fatal Fried Eggs
We had enjoyed a couple of wonderful days in Ranthambore. On the first day we had been tiger spotting and on the second, we’d taken a trip to Ranthambore Fort. When we arrived back from fort, we had fried eggs on toast for breakfast, a decision that would cost us dearly. By midnight, we had both been sick several times and were suffering from diarrhoea. We hadn’t felt so ill since the last time we had been in India!
The next day we were supposed to be taking a bus to Bundi, but there was no way we would have been physically capable of it. We had to call ahead and let the haveli in Bundi know that we wouldn’t be arriving until the next day.
We spent the whole day in bed and managed some toast and honey at around 4.00 pm. Just to top things off, our air conditioning wasn’t working and we didn’t even have the strength to complain about it.
Bedridden in Bundi
We left the next morning, and somehow made it to Bundi, an ancient Rajasthani city with a palace and fort. The local bus stopped everywhere and was hot, dirty, and crowded. The haveli, however, was beautiful, and there was a spectacular view of the city and palace from the rooftop restaurant. We thought that we were feeling better and took our laptops up to the rooftop to attempt some work, but waves of nausea came rushing over us again.
A Short Trip to the Palace
The following day, we walked to the palace, which was just a few minutes away. Ku had to keep sitting down every few steps as she felt so weak. The energy-sapping heat did not help. After that little expedition, we had a relapse and spent the next couple of days in bed still feeling sick, just emerging to order honey with toast and drinks every now and again. Even making it up the stairs to the restaurant was a huge effort.
The Holy Lakeside Town of Pushkar
Our intention was to head to Pushkar, but we had to postpone for another day as we still did not feel well enough to make the journey. We stayed put in Bundi. We finally made it to the holy lakeside town via a tuk-tuk, two buses followed by another tuk-tuk. It was a tough journey and Ku was looking forward to having an ice-cold coke.
The view from our room looked out across the ghats and the lake. We went straight up to the roof top restaurant and ordered some tomatoes on toast and drinks. Unfortunately, much to Ku’s disappointment, the ice cold coke didn’t materialise as there had been a power cut and the fridge wasn’t working. We were weary and still felt nauseous. The attitude of the staff didn’t help our mood – the guy who showed us to our room had barely grunted, and it had been the same in the restaurant. Although we always stayed in budget accommodation, the hospitability elsewhere had been exceptional, so we were a little taken aback.
A Hippie Vibe
Pushkar was fascinating. Every morning and evening, aarti (fire) ceremonies were held by the lake, offering prayers to the deities. A drummer would play outside our window nightly, as the sun went down. Cows wandered through the narrow streets and sadhus collected alms. The vibe was hippie-ish and there was a good choice of cafes and restaurants. We had a mountain of nutritious fruit and granola at Funky Monkey and delicious gouda and wholemeal toast at Honey and Spice.
On the negative side, Pushkar felt very dirty. There was trash and cow-shit everywhere and the unpleasant smells didn’t help when we still weren’t feeling well. We had noticed a bad odour in our room and discovered that there was a dead pigeon on our balcony! It must have been there for days! 😨We told the hotel staff and they eventually took it away. It took a while to get rid of the stench, but opening the windows to let the breeze blow through and lighting some incense helped.
Still feeling poorly, we couldn’t face another long bus journey and decided to splash out on a taxi to take us back to Delhi. It was worth every rupee! From there we would take an overnight bus to Dharamsala in the Indian Himalayas.