I arrived in Jodhpur after the
sunset. We took a rickshaw to the Clock tower, a great central location,
and essential to thwarting commission scams from taxi and rickshaw
drivers. As we stood there, bags in tow, Lucy, our friend from Pushkar,
appeared just leaving to go to Jaisalmer. We exchanged hugs and told her
about our camel experiences. We parted and settled into Sunrise
Guesthouse, a clean, simple room with no frills. Dan spotted a 24 hour
internet and we hit it up till about
There was a lack of decent Internets in Jaisalmer, and this was my first chance
to connect with anyone, though it was short.
After a late start in the
morning, I set off to arrange travel to Agra
to see the Taj Mahal. Dan was internetting. The train station was a
20 minute walk away, but I wanted to set off on my own. To some extent
Dan and I have traveled inseparably and this was my first solo excursion into
Indian craziness. The train station was a ways away, few spoke English,
but I finally found it. The station sent me to another location for
reservations, so I trekked there. As it worked out the train that day to Agra
was totally booked. I returned to the hotel, where I started, and booked
the sleeper bus, 1 person per double bunk ~ a huge luxury especially on a 14
hour bus ride.
in India seems
to return you to where you began ~ almost always leaving you exactly where you
started, but with more information.
Inside the brilliantly decorated fort.
met up with Dan and we walked to the Fort together. So much in India
is aggravating and frustrating. The shopkeepers calling out, the
rickshaws stopping and asking where you want to go, people begging, cow-shit
and garbage everywhere, the incessant horns and traffic. But as we walked
up the steep stone walkway to the Fort, the back alleys and maze of modest
sparsely stocked shops, we came upon hoard of 10 or so children; ages
4-12. They ran up to us with smiles and eyes alight. I subtly
reached to cover my wallet pocket. Lifting up her arms, one girl said
"pick me up." Obliging, I lifter her into the air as she
giggled. Suddenly we were surrounded, "Me next." For
several minutes, we lifted each child, twirling them, listening to laughter and
calls for more. I was touched by the simple pleasure and laughter.
I walked away with a warm heart as the children laughed and waved
goodbye. And sometimes India
can be so warm, wonderful, loving, and accepting.
The Jodhpur Fort is beautifully well preserved. For Rs 250 we took a
headset and did the self tour. It is one of the few times a tour involved
any real historical information. Unfortunately, time was limited and we
finished with just enough time to return to Sunrise,
grab our bags, and race to the bus depot.
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