Trip Start Jan 08, 2007
14Trip End Mar 03, 2007
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Upon arrival, touts (vultures) await the tourists. There's a cop trying to hold them back to no avail. "MissMiss myhotel" and they will grab you and try to pull you to their place. I had booked ahead at Suraj, but the people from "Suraja" fooled me ("oh they changed the name"), took me to their place, and showed me rooms. It was decent, but when I asked what their phone # was, they said they didn't have one, so I knew they had lied. I left quickly.
When I got to my place, I couldn't believe it. It' a haveli, which is a mansion with a central courtyard, made out of yellow sandstone, with ornate carvings and high ceilings or rooms with no ceiling. A climb up steep stone steps leads to my room which has a ceilingless area with a couch and then a bedroom. The place is amazing and within the fort of Jaisalmer.
No cars (motorcycles and auto rickshaws tho') go in the fort. it is great to be away from them. Anyone coming here will be told by touts to not stay in the fort. If you want to get away from the chaos and instead enjoy amazing views, I'd go for the fort.
After spending half an hour walking around my hotel going "wow wow wow" and basically feeling like I was in a museum, I headed out for some food. I found a rooftop restaurant called, "Sunset" which had a view of....the sunset and the town below. There were pillows in front of low tables, and I settled in for about 4 hrs eating, drinking tea, talking to various tourists and Indians, and feeling relaxed and calm for the first time.
The windy narrow streets, fort and Jain temples are definitely worth a visit. Just know that the entry fee is the horrible vulture touts trying to get your business. Book ahead or get a recommendation from another traveller ahead of time.
Camel trekking is the big activity here. I'll take a pass. I did that exotic animal ride in Tunesia.
I've found a place with a cooking school, so I may take a day long class.
Hope you're all well. I'll write more individual email when I get somewhere with a better connection and a keyboard that works better.