Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - DESERT

Jodhpur. We arrived on camels from beautiful holy Pushkar. Jodhpur was incredible. We stayed at Discovery guesthouse in a room with a Fort View surrounded by great blue houses and bizarre electrical work. There were two power cuts daily.

We visited the Merengarth Fort and did the amazing audio tour and trawled the markets for trinkets for Bella, it took forever to buy what ever, i ended up with a pink turban and an antique sikkim dagger. I got up early in the morning to take photos of the sun rise and met an excellent pakora walla who made me a mix batch of potato, onion and paneer pakoras slathered in green jalapeno chuttney scrunched up in some old news paper. I was his first customer and i was very proud. That day for lunch we went to the EGG MAN. A man famous for dealing only in eggs and egg omelette we found that he sneakily runs a small supermarket and a travel agencey out of the same hole in the wall. Hardly only an eggs income but the figures were still impressive, he told us he sells between 2 and 4 thousand egg omelette per deim and has owned his store since the 70s. We moved onto Jaisalmer after some excellent Kashmiri curries at the hotel restaurant which was situated 5 feet from our hotel room. We also shared a300 rupee garlic naan at a fancy rooftop bar and drank some fancy King Fisher out of beer glasses in Jodhpur. The bar was stunning, overlooking the city and lit up romantically in the shadow of the looming Merengarth, we nibbled our naan bread and complementary pappad.

Jaisalmer was ages away and we reached it by bus with a weirdo guide named Mr Love (Prem) early in the morning and crashed out in a hotel room at Padam Niwas Guest House. All the while prem who naturally turned out to be the hotel manager sat in the parking lot revving his 500CC Enfield and shouting out for us to come for a ride with his crazy ass. Goldie went once or twice over the few days we were in Jaisalmer.

The main point of Jaisalmer was to see sand dunes and do awesome stunts off them. This was semi easily done. For 3000 rupee we hired a camel team for a night and two days. Quite expensive, to take us into the great Tsar Dessert surrounding Jaisalmer and make camp in the dunes under the stars. Our camel guides were terribly young but so good. We shared three camels one for gold ( Lucky) one for me ( camel Robert) and one for the two young guides( I forget the name of the last camel. awful) . The dunes are so amazing and massive and ridiculous and being on camels again was very good. Ali at Fort View hotel, who sold us on a second camel safari is a real bro and we took him out for dinner the night after our trek to thank him. We ate at a famous unlimited talhi house just outside the old city walls, his choice, it was cheap, it was boss.

We explored the Golden city's old sand stone buildings and ate momos on a gorgeous rooftop overlooking all of Jaisalmer from the very top of the Fort walls. It was an insane place to be, the entrance was small and bare except for a sign that said something like 'tibet momos cooking', it was difficult to find any service as the way to the rooftop was speckled with small apartments where all the staff had retired for rest as it was dead quiet at 4pm, but we made it up the dark steps to the beautiful rooftop and patted our own backs as the Goan waiter, who looked Tibetan, wrote down something like 'momos, momos, more momos'. The food was good, the view was breathtaking.

Jaisalmer is a beautiful, small city. The buildings are all made out of the same yellow sandstone from out in the desert which we went to see still being excavated in masses of uneven bricks. There is mental stone work and carving everywhere just on ordinary houses that have become ancient. Stone jalis both here and in Jodhpur at the Merengath Fort were mind blowing but here in Jaisalmer they're just everywhere in the Fort, which is by the way still totally occupied and alive, and outside the Fort in the old walled city.

Jaisalmer Fort + Goldie Foot

and then we caught the crazy Jaipur train.

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