Rajastan Desert Towns
20.09.2009 - 23.09.2009 42 °C
Since the last blog I have been doing a lot of traveling. I bought took a sleeper berth on a bus travelling from Amritsar to Bikaner. Sleeper berth is really a misnomer, because how can anyone sleep on a bus that is dogging pot holes and crazy on coming traffic and it is so hot that when you put your hand out the window of the train or bus its like putting it into a warm oven, such is the heat of Rajastan. I always end up knackered after these journeys.
I hopped off the bus in Bikaner and straight on to a train bound for Jodhpur. After 20 hrs of travel, the "Cosy Guest House" situated in the old city of Jodhpur looked very inviting and so it proved. Most of the houses in this part of town are painted blue and the hotel was even bluer than most. It had a great roof top view of Meherangarh Fort, which towers over the whole city. I had something to eat and crashed out. I awoke early next morning so I could walk around the Fort and get some great views of the city. Then it was onto another train early in the afternoon bound for the desert town of Jaisalmer, which sits very close to the Indian / Pakistani border. On arrival in town I had a lovely, ice cold beer and some food and crashed out once again.
Like in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer has a fort that overlooks the whole city but it differs from the one in Jodhpur, in that, it still houses a portion of the city’s inhabitants. Most towns in Rajasthan usually have a fort of some description, which is a remnant of a bygone age, when raping and pillaging were a way of life. The history of the Jaisalmer Fort is no exception, it endured a seven year siege back in 1298, which only ended when the men of the beseiged town rode out of the fort to their certain deaths and most of the women committing “johar”, the practice of wives throwing themselves on the burning pyre of their recently deceased husbands.
In the afternoon of the next day I joined a camel trek, for an overnight stay in the desert.I went out there with 2 women from Shanghai, Ashley a 26 year old financial analyst and her mother. They were good fun and even when it got cold and wet at night, from the desert’s heavy dew, they still managed to have a good giggle about it. I really enjoyed jogging around on my camel and by the end of the trek, we were quite relaxed in each others company. The only really off putting thing out there, was the odd sonic boom, indicating another Indian jet racing overhead, protecting the border.
We all ended up with sore backsides, but overall enjoyed the experience of roughing it in the desert. Then it was back in town and on a bus, bound for Udaipur.