The Eastern state of Rajasthan in India beckoned...and we answered it's call. We wanted to hit up a couple of cities and sites along the way before making it to the desert that borders Pakistan. Along the way we stopped in the cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.
Jaipur is known as the "Pink City", famous for it's many pink sandstone buildings. It also boasts an excellent city centre palace, current home of the Maharaja of the state. As with most Indian cities, the traffic was fierce, the car horns were relentless, and almost everyone you meet was trying to get an extra buck out of you.
Jodhpur had an amazing fort built up above the city that has been the home of the Maharajas for many centuries. It has fallen under attack many times over the years, with proof in the form of canonball holes in the side of the fort. The fort housed an impressive collection of weapons and armour, persian rugs, jewelery, and even unigue items such as elephant riding harnesses for going into battle. It was highly impressive, and one of my favorite sights in all of India.
Jaisalmer is famous for two major attractions: The golden sand fort, which actually has a large percentage of the city's population living inside the walls, and for it's famous camel safaris. Tanya and I booked a 2 day/1 night safari with our hotel operator and hit the road early in the morning the next day by jeep. We paid a little extra for our safari, in the hopes that we may get a little further from the tourist crowds that flock out to see the sunsets in the sand dunes. Riding a camel is certainly not the most pleasant transportation system in the world but it is effective. We travelled for several hours, had lunch and set up camp. It was only us two and our 2 guides, on a lovely set of rolling sand dunes. The sunset that fell on us was one of the most extraordinary I have ever seen. We slept that night on top of the dunes, underneath a full moon and blanket of stars. Beats the hell out of working any day!!
Tanya signed up to do a 10 day meditation course up in Dharamsala, current home of the Dalai Lama. I was more keen on hitting the beach, so I opted for a plane ticket to the Andaman islands. We will meet up in Singapore at the end of our little side detours.
Till next time...