After a good night sleep and a rooftop restaurant breakfast, we set off in an auto rickshaw and then on foot, to see the inside of the fort and to learn about the "Meherangath" (the Magestic Fort) which is still run by the current Maharajah
. A audio tour in English was on offer quite cheaply and we were excitedly advised by the operators that the audio hand pieces were Australian made! Jodhpur, on the edge of the Thar Desert, gave its name to the horse riding trousers and was a vital part of the trade route in the 1400's for opium, dates, sandalwood and copper. The fort gave a fascinating view into what life was like for the Maharajahs and their families and staff.
The City of Jodhpur, below the fort, was suffocating us with dust, smells and humanity and so we moved on the next day at 5.30am on a strange type of bus called a sleeper bus, where above the seats are curtained cubicles with beds. Luckily we had seats, because if you have the sleeper bed you have to stay lying down the whole trip!.
Six and a half hours on a bus and we arrived in Jodhpur. We took an auto rickshaw straight to the train station to see about booking our final journey the following week, back to Delhi from Udaipur, and then set off on foot to find accommodation near the train station recommended by Lonely Planet. Two hours later, after asking numerous times for directions and checking and re-checking our map, our backs and legs were aching and we had to give in and have an auto rickshaw take us to another choice, the family run Shivam guest house, where we could get a room for $15A. It turned out to have a wonderful rooftop restaurant looking out over the Jodhpur fort and congenial company of other backpackers. Our plans had been to only stay the night and head off by bus the next day, but our plans rapidly changed as we talked to fellow travellers who said we MUST see the Jodhpur Fort, as it is extraordinary.