8th July - 9.30am our driver was waiting to continue our journey on to Jodhpur. Better roads with dual carriage ways but these were still shared with cows (who seemed to have priority) and the occasional car driving the wrong way i.e. against the flow of traffic on the dual carriageway. Our driver stopped at a popular roadside "café" - lots of cars just stopping on the side of the dual carriageway to buy tea flavoured with cinnamon served in a small pottery cup which you kept, together with a kachouri (very fried) which was about 40p each in total - our first nervous encounter with street-food (forever polite) - It is good to report that we are still alive and our digestive systems more or less in-tact.
We arrived in the city of Jodhpur (aka as the Blue City as lots of buildings are painted blue) and then had to decant in to a tuk-tuk as our Haveli was within the city walls and no cars allowed. It was extremely hot and humid so when we got in to our room we put on the aircon and stayed put for the afternoon. Ventured out about 5.30 and walked through the streets to the market and clock tower - this is the dirtiest city we have seen so far and some interesting smells.
The streets were very narrow (hardly wider than the span of your arms) and designed in a complex labyrinth that is supposed to be based on the human body - I think a Picasso representation. This confusing layout is shared by pedestrians, bikes, tuk-tuks, cows and they all keep moving at a rapid pace (except for the cows which don't move at all) within the same congested space, remarkably without ever seeming to collide. We ended up at a roof top restaurant called Indique with a fab view of the Mehrangarh Fort where we had the obligatory curry with a couple of Kingfishers, the beer rather than the bird (but you never know). Walked back home and was still hot and humid so we were very quick to put on the aircon which stayed on all night.
9th July - Breakfast on the roof top and then a tuk-tuk to the Mehrangarh Fort and did an audio tour. Walked through numerous defense gates with sharp spikes to stop the charging of enemy elephants. Beautiful fort and very interesting tour. However, we were now flagging with the heat and decided we couldn't do any more sight-seeing so took a tuk-tuk back and relaxed in our airconditioned room. After a cold shower we ventured out for dinner to another rooftop café called OM and had our favourite curry so far - Kaju curry made with cashew nuts in a creamy sauce. So interesting sitting on these roof tops looking over the city (where everyone has a cubic space on top of their house) and watched the kids fly their kites and the fort slowly light up.
10th July - out last day in Jodhpur and we paid £10 to keep the room for the day as we weren't leaving until late afternoon. Oh boy was it hot at 40+ degrees and so humid. We got a tuk-tuk to Jaswant Thada, a marble memorial to a popular ruler, and then back, stocked up with water, cold shower and with aircon at full blast packed and drank tea. We decided to eat at our accommodation and they also had Kaju curry on their menu - we ordered and asked if they could deliver to the room as it was far too hot to sit on the roof. We then made our way to the station for our first rail journey in India to Jaisalmer. We got there early, the train was delayed so we sat on the platform for a couple of hours which was the biggest sauna we have ever been in - just dying for that train to arrive so we could get in to our airconditioned carriage. The booking system for trains and the different classes is another story which we won't bore you with, but we had two lower bunks for the 5-hour trip and were supplied with pristine white, very clean sheets and a pillow. Strangely no other people shared the bunk bed arrangement (upper bunks) so we had the space to ourselves - a relaxing and cool journey.