The Golden City
Trip Start Sep 19, 2002
129Trip End Sep 22, 2003
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25th - This was only our second bus journey in India and we were not looking forward to it but it was actually okay. Both our seats reclined and it wasn't too bad a road so the 5 hours went fairly quickly. We passed various landscapes along the way including some sandy types and scrubby types and knew we were getting nearer to the dessert. Along the whole distance we saw hundreds, if not thousands of pilgrims walking to Jaisalmer to worship a particular god at a particular temple. This pilgrimage happens every year with people walking from all over Rajasthan with their belongings and children. They do a bit of worship when they get there and then walk back. Some got a bit tired and got on our bus and there were even people on the roof. We were mildly hassled by touts on the bus as the hotels want your camel safari business so they are desperate for you to stay with them
Since arriving in Rajasthan it has been really hot and humid but the clouds started to gather as we made our way up to the famous fort and we suspected that our sunset was about to be spoiled. The fort is where 25% of the city's inhabitants live so it is a living museum (the only one in the world) and looks like something out of the Arabian Nights with it's narrow alleys and tall buildings. We chose an Italian restaurant which came highly recommended and the views were stunning. We were virtually on top of one of the many ramparts and we could see the edge of the city and beyond was the Great Shar Dessert where we were thinking about a visit. We could see the black storm coming towards us and we headed for cover just in time. The food was quite nice but the setting was amazing and it was fun trying to find our way back through the maze of alleyways in the dark without treading in something or getting lost!
26th - Had a bit of a wander around a couple of private museums but it looked like no-one had been there since the British left. We went down to the lake and looked at all the golden buildings and cenotaphs with their intricate carvings and sat on the steps taking in the atmosphere. Jaisalmer is soooo quiet compared to everywhere else, even Jodhpur, so you can really absorb the scenery and history of the area. There was a group of men in a minaret by the lake singing and clapping and we felt the calmest and most relaxed we have felt since arriving in India. Rajasthan has certainly been more enjoyable and traditional than elsewhere and we are finding ourselves having a really good time.
Our faith in travelling was partially restored but then in the afternoon we ended up doing a short camel safari.
The next log tells the story of our dessert adventures ..............