India - Day #3-4 - Jodhpur
28.09.2007 - 28.09.2007 33 °C
Here's a lesson. Don't believe anything written or foretold, cause it will change.
Our train out of Delhi to Jodhpur had its platform changed. The only way we managed to get on it was by finally finding some local Indian dude who spoke a bit of English. Also once getting on it our pre-booked seats had been changed. You had to check a scrap of A4 sticky taped to the cabin door for that. Which we didn't see and almost got beaten up by a over-protective mother of 3 and their ailing grandmother.
It was our first train journey in India, needless to say, and we had a nice comfy air conditioned sleeper. The other people that shared our inward facing chairs were pretty obnoxious, but hey that transcends creed. I spent most of my time sitting in the open doorway watching the country go by and catching bugs with my teeth. I think I set a new record ! Garbage is strewn all over the trainline, anywhere people frequent. If in doubt toss it about, seems to be the go.
Even one of the locals chained their gear to the seat, so Scotto and I decided to stow our backpacks on our fold out bunks. So we were contorted around our backpacks all night and got about 1 hours sleep through the night. We woke up at 5:30am for a 6am arrival, but 2 hours later and we still hadn't arrived. We finally got to Jodhpur and got ferried by rickshaw through a sea of rickshaws to the hotel which is a very nice place. Almost fully western facilities (flushing toilet and shower) and just below the Mehrangarh fort, which is quite breathtaking. The hotel has got the look, the nice patterned walls, little grassy courtyard with white fountain - all very mood enhancing stuff
We had some breaky and then an unavoidable nap, cause that train sleeper was more work than rest, then legged it up the fort. The Lonely Planet recommends the audio tours and we did it. I can testify its a top way of seeing the place. Highly recommend it. We went mega touristy and took a tonne of photos. I took some video with my camera - loved the eagles just swirling in a hypnotic dance above the fort. The royal rooms and collections are cool. From the purest swords to baby carriers. The city views are amazing. You meet such friendly locals on the hike up. Often they want to show you their foreign currency note collection (no, its not a euphemism).
On the way down, we stopped at the first place below the fort (a blue restaurant/bar/accom) and had a beer overlooking the city as it slipped into darkness. Very cool. Then we headed into town near the train station to a very nice restaurant called Kalinga. Food was great and service outstanding. Then we shuffled back to the hotel (well to this internet cafe across the road) through the markets and the usual crazy traffic.
Jodhpur is a beautiful and friendly city. Though the main market and train station area can get a bit crazy, its way more laid back than Delhi and cleaner too. I think its definitely someplace to languish around for a few days or longer. Because we locked ourselves in to a fixed itinerary (grumble) we are off to Udaipur on a 1:30 pm bus tomorrow. Mmmmm a comfy 6.5 hour bus ride, looking forward to that !!
Might try and hit this park 10km out of town that is luxious, green and full of monkeys - how are you supposed to resist that !! (well it depends how early I get up
Before I leave you, a few humorous/bizarre things I recall seeing the last few days:
In Delhi station there were lots of soldiers all dressed in fatigues going off to some military training I guess. But many of them had hard case suitcases with wheels. The ones most travellers have, except they were coloured in camouflage too. Riddle me this batman, why does their luggage need camouflaged ? Are they planning to drag their roller suitecases through combat
Also on the train, Scotto asked what we do with the plastic food containers that our dinner came in and the guy just grabbed them, strolled to the back of the train, opened the door and tossed them out. Silly us.
Well thats about all I can think of at the moment. Will try and get some photos up soon. Cya all - thanks for the emails and comments