Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jodhpur and Jaisalmer

From Udaipur, I reached Jodhpur and jostled with the touts, finding one to take me to my hotel. You really have to argue and tell them you have a reservation otherwise they'll try to take you somewhere else to get a commission, or take you to your own hotel and tell the manager they brought you there. My hotel was really lovely, although the narrow street outside stank, giving my queasy stomach a test. I had a late dinner and collapsed, but not before glancing upwards as I headed through the courtyard to my room and being startled by the massive fort rising up over the hotel like a craz gothic Frankenstein-style castle.
Andy had been trying to reach me while I was sick and apparently his texts weren't getting through. He emailed me and before I left Udaipur, I crawled to the internet place to check in. He immediately was ready to come rescue me, and I was very grateful for that, but due to his own series of ridiculousness, he wasn't able to get there. We agreed to meet in Jodhpur -- he tried to catch a plane (which got cancelled) and then make a train (halfway to the station, the rickshaw driver pulled over and announced, "ten minute lunch break" -- seriously). He didn't arrive until 6 a.m.
The next day was sort of a loss for both of us. I was still exhausted from being sick and he was exhausted from hustling across Rajasthan on a night train. Eventually we roused ourselves for some lunch, some internet, and when the heat subsided - a trek to the fort. Andy was also coming down with a cold so I gave him an Advil Cold and Sinus. I neglected to tell him though that he'd probably dry out a little from the pill. Anti-histimine plus desert? Not a good idea. By the time we got up to the fort (which was closing), Andy was so thirsty he was out of his mind. He raced around trying to find somewhere with bottled water and by the time he did and came back, most of the bottle was gone. We relaxed outside of the fort (where a group of young men all wanted to have their picture taken with me) before heading back down again.

Meandered around the marketplace before ending up really haggling with a shop owner (in an MTV shirt) over some scarves. I think I did pretty well. At one point I even staged a mini-tantrum -- walking out of the shop, "Ugh. I don't even care. I don't even want them anymore," I said dramatically... and at last got them for the price I wanted.
The owner then took Andy and I took us to his father's spice shop (which was AMAZING) for some tea (and also to persuade Andy that he needed to buy some other tea that was apparently good for one's...um.. sexual prowess -- because he was under the impression that we were married. Yeah. Andy declined the tea.)
IMG_2864 (apparently didn't want Andy to take a picture of the shop?)


Dinner and early bedtime as we decided to head farther west the next morning to Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer - March 28, 29th
Early morning bus, tummy still unhappy - more immodium. It was a very hot trip.
IMG_2902 (boys trying to sell us goods through the window)

We reached the hotel which was running the camel trips and waited for them to get everything together before loading us into an a/c'd car (ahhhh) to head out into the desert. There were two other girls with us -- one from Amsterdam and the other from Norway. The Norwegian girl seemed to be dating one of the young guides with us and understood some hindi. The young men were in the back, laughing over a story when the Norwegian girl turned around and said something to them. They said, "You understand us?" She said yes, "You should probably not tell that story." "Why not." "It's just not a good story to tell right now." Of course now Andy and I were dying to know what story. So they told us. Apparently on the last trip out into the desert, the Norwegian girl had wandered about the campsite without shoes... and stepped on a scorpion. Only one cure for that, the guides had told her -- they held her down and stuck a burning stick on her foot and poured a bottle of whiskey down her throat. It worked. Only, the first time the stuck the glowing stick on her, they jammed it in the wrong area.
We arrived finally where camels were waiting for us. I was under the impression that we were going to be taking the camels to whatever camping site we were staying at, however we were just going to be lead around by two new guides for about an hour and a half while the others set up camp. Not bad, but I was a little disappointed. But then, the camel ride was so uncomfortable, more than 90 minutes is unnecessary.

My camel kept crying and my guide said it was because "he misses his friend" -- who had gone off with the Dutch girl. Sure enough, when we got back to the camp, my camel stopped the crying and went to hang out with his buddy.
Andy and I set up our blankets on a dune (after watching yet another half-sunset) and food was brought to us. I still felt terrible but Andy made me eat some rice. The sky was amazing and I saw one of the brightest meteors I've ever seen - almost looked like lightning.
Up at dawn and I was furious. I had maybe slept an hour, been awoken by my tummy and hadn't slept since. I was seriously grouchy. By this time, Andy has learned to keep his distance. We packed up and headed for the waiting car which took us first to a village home for chai and then we drove to another village so one of the guides could give a wedding present to a local couple. There were hundreds of people milling about. "Notice anything missing?" Andy said. Yes, women. Several goats were hanging upside down having their skin and innards removed. Ugh. Apparently they would be going through about 40 goats for this 3 day event. Yum.
We got back to the hotel and I was a wreck. Andy persuaded the hotel guys to let me sleep for awhile -- our bus wasn't until 2. I really needed it -- Andy is such a good husband. I tried calling Jess for her birthday -- I was getting lots of texts from everyone about what a great party it was and I was sad to miss it.
Bus back to Jodphur -- Andy watched Layer Cake on my iPod and I listened to Bill Hicks on his MP3 player. Back to the same hotel. A train the next day to Jaipur. Met another American on the train whom Andy had actually originally met up in Dehli a week earlier. He sat with us. I tried eating. Still terrible. We reached Jaipur and checked into the hotel. Well... I did, as Andy had a flight out to Mumbai that night. It was raining so we went to have a last drink together. I said goodbye to Andy as he sped off to the airport and flopped into bed (at about 9 p.m.). It was a sad divorce.

1 comment:

Praveen T said...


Do you still remember the name of the hotel? The view castle is really awesome.

I am planning to explore rajasthan in near future so, it would be helpful to me.