Jaisalmer and Jodhpur

            There’s so much to write that I might just have to skimp out on some, if not most of the details. Last we left off we were leaving the desert in Jaisalmer. The camel ride back was not necessarily necessary, but it was fun nonetheless. Ganpat and I spoke a bit more while Gayatri (and one other tourists –there were 3 older Austrian women with us as well) were at the front speaking with Harish and Bhati. Gayatri has the ability to strike up conversation with any and everyone. It’s always interesting. Our half was separated by our slower camels and towards the middle we did a little trot to catch up. I loved it but one of the Austrian women, who was having difficulty in the wilderness, was not a fan. The gap grew and grew and at one point, handing me the reins, Ganpat said go fast, so I did. It was awesome! Everyone should try trotting on a camel.

            As soon as we cleaned up at the hotel we were off again through the city to the fort. Jaisalmer fort is awesome. There are still 3000 residents living in the fort and they maintain the Brahmin/Rajput boundaries. There is a side for each; Brahmins maintain pure veg on their side. At the entrance we were haggled again by tour guides, but this time submitted and got a guide for Rs50. Little did we know, we were in for a whole day and loads of information, and of course shopping, from our guide. Sadly, we don’t remember his name. He was awesome. There are five things that Rajasthan is famous for: stone, embroidery, jewelry, miniature paintings, and sweets. The coolest thing about the forts were the stone balcony/windows. They’re amazing! See below for pictures.ImageImage

            The guide took us through smaller streets, gave us information on some havelis without actually entering them to pay a fee. Of course he took us to some shops where he got some sort of commission. He knew our names after a few minutes and made it a very personal trip. He enjoyed speaking with Gayatri and I very much and was very sweet. Gayatri and Aaron stopped a few times, but then so did I, especially to buy a saree. We went to a jeweler who was his friend and Gayatri and I had a ball until they definitely tried to more than triple the price. We went to all the view points and could see the beautiful city with the havelis interspersed with smaller buildings.

            During lunch we tried to teach Aaron how to eat with his hands. More than anything else he did a lot of research on etiquette. We took his research and made him a proper Indian hand eater. He did in an hour what it took me a few months to learn. After a stop at the textile store, teaching Aaron how to bargain a little better, we ended up with wall hangings and going back to the jeweler to purchase one item each. At the end of the day we were exhausted and plopped down for a few minutes before going to the train station to get to a train that would take us to Jodhpur.ImageImageImage

            I love overnight trains. It didn’t take us long to start passing out though. Overnight trains are like a big cradle rocking you to sleep. Jhodpur isn’t very touristy and it was definitely a nice break from the haggling – or so we thought. We stayed at a guest house a little outside of the city. After a nap and shower we headed to the Mehanghar Fort. We hired a rickshaw for the day. We take time, as in, we looked at everything and absorbed the fort completely. I didn’t believe that it would take us around 4 hours to complete the fort, but it did. It was the most informative and well laid out museum I’ve been to in India so far.  We each had an audio guide. In its 500 year history, the fort was never breached, it was built in 1459. It explained the jalis, windows for women. It enabled them to look out of the window without anyone looking in at them. They had something called chicks too, which were cane screens and they put them in the window and wet them so that when a hot breeze came in it was cooled down and moist while coming in. There are so many other cool things that I want to share, but I’m so in love with Kerala right now that I want to finish all this so I can write about here.

            Our rickshaw wala was angry, as in really angry, and shouted at us for a long time saying how long we took. Everyone told us it would take that long in the fort. We were helpless to say anything but refute his anger. Quickly he took us to the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which is the last of India’s palaces and one of the largest in the world. The guard had fun with Aaron, looking over his shoulder at his ipad. It was a small museum.

            Our angry rickshaw driver took us back to the hotel and caused a big scene which included throwing our money back at Gayatri’s back. She’s an amazing person who stands up for how she thinks things should be. It was not our fault and we told him we’d take the day. It was just a bad scene. Immediately we walked down the road to find some food and sat in that restaurant for a good two hours. We hadn’t eaten yet. We spent the rest of the night in the restaurant with a very cute pubescent boy whose voice kept cracking. Then ordered takeout for later in the evening, showered, ate, and slept. Early the next morning we were off to Jaipur on a 6:00 train.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: