Published: March 8th 2009March 4th 2009
The night train from Jaisalmer was uneventful enough, just an hour late in departing and yet it only arrived in Jodhpur 20 minutes late!!
I stayed at the Shivam paying guest house, the proprieter is a nice Indian lady who wasn't that perturbed at me waking her up at 06:00 in the morning. She even let me have a room until mine was available. So after my second awakening of the day I walked up the windy hill to Mehrangarth fort. It was built in the 16th century and unlike the Amber fort is in very good condition and has been restored. You get an audio guide which was included in the price and one gem that I did remember from it was that I was following in the footsteps of one of my favourite authors - Aldous Huxley who wrote that From the bastions of Jodhpur fort one hears as the Gods must hear from Olympus...
After the fort I had a fantastic meal and a beer at Kalinga restaurant, the food here is every bit as good as I was expecting and such a huge choice for me - veggie heaven!!
After lunch I got a
rickshaw which was abbreviated by the usual arguments with the driver and went to Umaid Bhawan Palace & museum which was hardly worth the visit, it was a fully functioning hotel and the residency of the Maharajah so riffraff like me were not allowed in.
Its interesting the way the Indian people deal with waste, there are open drains everywhere and the water runs down little channels at the side of the road. Cows seem to have replaced pigs here in dealing with vegetable waste. some people have put clay troughs outside their houses into which they empty all their food waste and then a cow comes along and mops it up. The rest of the household waste is just dumped in piles in the street for the animals, there is a hierarchy though, if the monkeys don't nick it first, the cows get first pick, then the pigs and then lastly the poor dogs who are in a terrible state, I've even seen some of the dogs resorting to eating cow shit - poor things.
The cows seem to eat anything in Jaisalmer a rickshaw was travelling round with a megaphone advertising the merits of some local
politician. They were dropping leaflets on the street as they went along, behind the rickshaw followed a cow eating the leaflets as they were dropped.
There are more photos below