India Trip 2018 - Day 8, Saturday August 11, Jodhpur

Fine and Hot, 36°

50R = NZ$1

We got up at 8am and went up for breakfast at 8:30am.  Pancakes this morning.  Just like yesterday we were the only ones up for breakfast, in fact we think we are the only people staying in the building.

We grabbed our stuff and headed out at 9:30am, with our only plan today to explore some of the streets of old Jodhpur and see where they lead.  We headed west from our hotel and then turned north up the main street which lead up into the Blue part of the city.  It wasn't too busy a street and there were the obligatory cows and dogs, people selling flowers, sugar cane juice vendors, and kerbside motorbike repair shops.  We turned off the main street and wandered through some of the quieter alleys and lanes and eventually found ourselves at the rear entrance to Merangarh Fort.  Once upon a time this would probably have been the main entrance as it leads from the old city of Jodhpur up to the Fort.  

So we followed our noses and walked up the winding road that went in through the outer Fort walls.  We stopped a couple of times for the view over the old city and then at a flat area of garden about 1/2 way up to the Fort.  There were a few people sitting around in the shade, and a lesson being taught by a soldier to a group of men sitting under a tree.  The garden and lawns were immaculate; a reminder that with enough effort India could be a very different looking place.

We carried on up the hill and eventually found ourselves back where we had been the day before at the ticket area inside the current main entrance.  We stopped for a cold drink at the cafe there, had a chat to a couple of other tourists, and had our photos taken by some of the locals.  

Having people want to take your photo ( normally with them in it ) is something that you need to get used to when you visit India ( we had it in SE Asia as well ) as often the other Indians at the tourist locations are from places that do not see white faces, and it is as much of a novelty for them to see us as it was to see the tourist attraction itself. And it was a reminder to us that most Indians are very friendly and happy people, and are very polite when asking for a photo.  And we normally wound up talking cricket once they found out where we were from ( they love Brendon McCullum  and Martin Guptill ( although I think most of them thought his name was Martin Gupta )).

We stopped by the Fort gift shop again so that Liz could buy some more bangles ( 5 for 400R ) and then we walked out of the Fort by the front gate and down the steep path that led back down to our Hotel, and rested in the cool inside the room, and caught up on some photo processing and blog writing.

We resurfaced at about 1pm and walked to the Toor ji ki Baori stepwell which was not far from our hotel.  Unfortunately, unlike the stepwell we visited in Delhi, this well was almost full of water so there were not many levels of the steps visible ( I have seen photos of this stepwell when it is empty and there were proabably another 7 levels of steps visible ) .  This stepwell and the surrounding area had recently been refurbished, and there was a very expensive shopping area across the road ( 63,000R waistcoat anyone? ) and a new 5 star hotel.  We grabbed lunch at the Stepwell Cafe, which was very nice, and watched people jumping into the well.  It looked very refreshing in the heat of the day, but I think you would need to be a local to come out of the green water without any of the local bugs.

After lunch we wandered back to the Clock Tower Market and then back to the hotel at 2:30pm for some more downtime.

At 7pm we headed to the Market again, this time for some photography of the sunset and the hustle / bustle.  I kind of had a shot in my head so walked around a bit looking for the right spot to set up a tripod ( or 2 ) and camera, and then stayed there through sunset taking photos.  We created a bit of a crowd, both of locals wondering what we were doing in the middle of a busy market with tripods, and of tourists who decided to join our 'tripod group' because they thought there must be a shot to be had.

After the light had gone we walked around some of the stalls and Liz bought a brass Ganesh statue for 200R, then walked to Jhankar Restaurant for tea at 8pm, again we sat on the roof ( after climbing 4 flights of narrow stairs ) and looked at the view in all directions.  The food was good ( as we had generally been finding everywhere that that we had eaten so far ) and a bit cheaper than the last couple of nights tea at 1200R for beer and curries, and then back to the hotel at 9pm.

As we were leaving early in the morning we had to settle up our account at the Hotel and pick up the Rabies vaccine from the fridge.  We had to pay 4500R for the 3 nights at the Hotel, and 640R for our 2 days breakfasts.  We arranged for an AR to pick us up at the Hotel at 5am to take us to the train station, set the alarm and went to bed.