On the road from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur

Trip Start Jan 18, 2008
1
7
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Trip End Feb 02, 2008


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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Thursday, April 24, 2008

28/1/2008

On the road again...to arrive at Jodhpur
From Jaisalmer to Jodhpur is approx. 305 kms. The road is bitumen and 2 laned, and most of the time, not too busy.  Everything that can travel will travel on these roads (and throughout India) from pedestrians, bicycles, carts, motor bikes, tuk-tuks, tractors, cars, trucks, and animals, so horns are often blaring for overtaking/passing. Sanjeev seemed to love his, beeping most of the time! There were a few moments where other drivers/riders would take stupid and risky chances to pass or wander on the opposite side of the road, where we'd have to put on the breaks or swerve to avoid a collision (this happened on a couple of other roads as well), but all in all, with all the traveling and miles we did, we had an enjoyable, safe journey and Sanjeev is a safe and good driver.
The country side is mostly arid and dry with some 'Kikker' native trees and desert plants (some in flower) dotting the scenery and the sand dunes, and the occasional rocky outcrops. We also passed wild camels and further towards Jodhpur we saw a few deer (Nilgai) frolicking amongst the bushes and grasses.
We saw several villages (farming) with mud and thatched roofed huts, and visited 2 of them, to meet the local families and hand out pens to the smiling children. One of the villagers happily gave us a 'guided tour' of his village and Sanjeev translated for us as many of these folk don't speak English. The children were fascinated with our digital cameras and even more when they saw themselves in the view finder (particularly the second village) and wanted to be 'starring' in our photos, so they posed for us with big smiles. 
Also, we visited Madla Village School, a community school (government funded) built of natural materials and simply designed, which accepts children from surrounding villages, even 10 or so kms away. The Principal didn't mind us interrupting their classes (the teachers were teaching various English subjects at the time) and when we told them we were from Australia, some giggled, some smiled shyly, and we talked of kangaroos and the cricket (most popular sport in India) and handed out nearly all our supply of pens, as there were over 120 kids (all in uniform) who were the right age to accept the pens! 
We continued on, stopping at a little township en-route to have a cuppa, a lunch snack and to have a look at the road side markets and shops, (no hassles here) and allot of the locals gave us curious looks and big smiles.
We also passed and stopped to meet local (non English speaking) women workers, balancing large metal bowls on their heads to collect dirt, rocks and twigs for building with (or twigs for firewood). Most of the women villagers will collect water in large pots on their heads and well as building materials, and some families will collect long branches as tall as themselves balanced on their heads.
We continued on to Jodhpur, arriving around 4:30 pm.
Before arriving back at the Krishna Prakesh Hotel, Sanjeev took us to the magnificent, Jaswant Thada - a centuries old, Maharajahs' marble residence/memorial and garden estate (complete with a Cenotaph or cemetery) next to the Mehrangarh Fort.
Just before dinner, Janice and I caught up and had a Chai tea with Oosha (from MV Spices) and had another quick browse at the markets.
Dinner (Sanjeev's treat) was a social occasion, shared with other friendly drivers and friends who were also staying at the Krishna Prakash and at the Omelette Shop (just inside the Sardar Markets' entry gate), which specalises in a variety of large omelettes (accompanied by toasted 'English' bread) cooked with eggs stacked high on layers of moulded card atop of each other.  I ordered a masala, cheese and mushroom filled omelette and was tasty too!, with a bottle of mango juice (my favorite drink in India) from a nearby stall.
We had a different room choice at Krishna Prakash, and chose the twin elephant beds room (up 1 flight of stairs), which was again clean, painted decoratively, elegantly furnished and with a large en-suite.

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Price Guide:
* Jaswant Thada Entry - 20 INR or  65c!
* Omelette Shop - 2 omelettes and tea for less than $2. AUD
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