Outside Meherangarh Fort with Jodhpur in the background
Today we were travelling to Jodhpur by public bus. The bus met us outside our hotel and wasnâ€™t to dissimilar to the others we had been travelling on except this one had bunks ! rows of two seats one side of the bus with bunks above and a row of single seats the other side of the bus with bunks above. I guess its Indiaâ€™s answer to a sleeper bus, Iâ€™ve never seen anything like it anywhere else in the world. The journey to Jodhpur was around 5.5 hours and I reckon the driver was on a suicide mission ! I was so tired it wasnâ€™t long before I was asleep, I was lucky enough that my seat allocation was next to the window near the front and I had the tour leader next to me.
View of Jodhpur from Meherangarh Fort
All the time I was asleep I could hear the horn blowing continuously in my head and felt my stomach go up as the bus flew over the bumps in the road !
after a couple of hours I woke up to find the bus packed, locals had been getting on while I was out for the count and there were jammed in the aisle so I hate to think how many people were packed on this bus !
the truth came out when we had a short toilet and chai stop at some village, locals were getting off the bus and we thought there was no end to the line it was like pulling rabbits out of a hat !!
there must of been 500 people on this bus!
Eventually we got off and I needed the bathroom, the tour leader warned me it was very basic but no time for toilet prejudices I had to go and I just shut my eyes and held my breath!
We got back on the bus and off we went again and this time I stayed awake and realised just how mad the driver was! He over took on blind corners narrowly missing whatever was coming the over way, I was wondering whether we were going to get to Jodhpur in one piece! Then I turned around to see how my other group mates were doing and found Leonie very distressed, her hair blowing all over the place from her window being wide open and shouting at someone on the floor.
Outside walls of Meherangarh Fort
Turned out that a local lady nursing a baby, sitting on the floor next to Leonie wasnâ€™t well and had lent over Leonie while she was asleep, opened her
window and chundered out of it! Leonie was not amused but at the same time sympathised with the young Indian woman and offered her seat to her.
Our tour leader intervened and said to Leonie sit in his seat and he would stand so Leonie with much struggle as the Indianâ€™s would not move out the way for her came sat by me.
So finally to the blue city of Jodhpur, we made it in once piece! The bus dropped us off in town and private cars took us to our hotel Bev Villas on the outskirts of the city. The hotel was very nice and we spent an hour or so resting and freshening up.
Outside walls of Meherangarh Fort
I was fascinated by the building site next door, the women dressed in Sariâ€™s carrying bags of cement on their heads! its amazing how strong the women are because the loads you see them carry look so heavy. After freshening up we headed down the road to Pizza hut for lunch!
Very nice pizzas too, it made a change from curry. On the way back I saw something pass me that caught my eye, a bicycle that was a real odd looking contraption.
The bike looked a bit like a rickshaw with the man sitting on a bench looking seat. Instead of foot pedals it had hand cranks to make it go, the chains came up the side of the bike and the man wound the handles to operate it! You see all sorts of means and ways of getting from A to B in India!
In the afternoon we had our organised visit to Meherangarh Fort.
The 'Blue City' of Jodhpur taken from Meherangarh Fort
The fort sat up on top of a steep
hill overlooking the blue city so we had private taxis take us up there.
The outside of the fort was impressive with its imposing walls, windows and turrets. Inside the entrance we expected to get a tour guide but this time we had audio guides!
And the old man who explained how to use them was very entertaining, he put on this gentry accent and very comically gave us a verbal user guide.
The audio guide was excellent, it meant we could walk the Fort at our own pace and sound effects made you feel you were walking through history.
Through the gate a steep cobbled road took you up to the main buildings inside the fort, on the way up you got good views over Jodhpur.
A view of some palace from Meherangarh Fort
We spent about two hours wondering through the museum buildings and courtyards.
At the end of the tour we came out at a courtyard which had a dance troop so we watched that for a while.
Myself and Kim stood outside waiting for the others until we could wait no more as we were thirsty so we headed back down towards the entrance and found a cafe, the others joined us half an hour later.
Outside the fort we headed back to our cars but not before taking a photo of a rather brightly coloured dressed camel!
Our next stop was Jodhpur city centre where we were dropped off in the market place then told to meet at the restaurant Pal Haveli
half an hour later.
Kim,myself and Adriana made a beeline for a craft shop where I bought some nice silk cushion covers.
The winding cobbled road inside Meherangarh Fort
We then made our way to the restaurant
through the busy market place which was pretty non descript and catered more for the locals so we didnâ€™t spend any more money!
The restaurant itself was very nice,the building very old with lots of character, we were on the roof top and had a good view over the city and the clock tower that was forever changing colours!
The food wasnâ€™t the best though and as a consequence ended up with frequent visits to the bathroom for the rest of the evening!