Jodhpur - Monday 16th April to Thursday 19th April 2007
We left Udaipur for a long drive to Jodhpur; the scenery was incredible as we drove off into the arid, rocky desert. The clothes of the Rajasthanian people are in complete contrast to their surrounds, vivid pink, red, saffron fluttering Saris against the dessert never cease to amaze you. The Men's enormous turbans (Pagris) are multi coloured red or vivid pink. We saw camels, goats, horses and buffalos with their shepherds. Our first stop was at the beautiful remote fort; Kumbalgarh set in the middle of the dessert. We walked some of the fort but the blistering heat and our long trip didn't really allow us time to do it justice, definitely a place to return to in cooler months! The heat increased as we headed towards Jodhpur. Our final stop was the stunning Jain temple of Ranakpur, made out of milky white marble, it has 1444 pillars all with individual carvings, this was an amazing and cool place for a stop
. Much to our delight large monkeys also inhabit the surrounding area. Our drive to Jodhpur carried on into the night; as we saw yet another sunset drop into the desert. The fun then began! A terrifying two hour drive at night on a straight road with all the mad Indian truck drivers. Our driver was experienced and almost as mad in his driving, many times we seemed to be heading into the lights of an oncoming vehicle. Amazingly and somewhat relieved we arrived safe and sound into the madness of Jodhpur. Our accommodation was in a Haveli in the old town, through cramped streets filled with life even though it was 9.30 pm. We could only go so far in the narrow streets, so we walked the last bit, through tiny streets with big stray cows to our delightful Singhvi's Haveli. Our room was at the top! We walked up through the haveli to a flat roof and a beautiful room for us with 9 windows overlooking the fort and the old town. We have the highest room in Jodhpur! We couldn't wait to see our view the following morning. We woke up to the most amazing view, beautiful cobalt blue flat roof buildings all around us , a stunning fort towering above us and blistering blue sky. We had a lazy breakfast reclining on floor cushions at small tables. Our lovely walk through the old town weaving amongst the cows and chatting children took us through all kinds of shops and sites. We had some purchases to remind us of our stay. The Fort was fantastic and their brilliant audio tour that came with the ticket, as the temperature soared to 45°C, was a blissful distraction to all of us. We all loved this city and two days definitely wasn't enough, but we plan to return! We are now conscious that the end of India and our amazing trip is near! We want every moment to last forever now!