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December 17th 2011
Published: June 16th 2017
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Geo: 26.9118, 70.9127

The train trip from Delhi to Jaisalmer is 921 km and took about 17 ½ hours. Sounds daunting but we slept a lot and the time seemed to go by without incident. We traveled in an AC2 sleeper car. This means there are 4 berths – 2 upper and 2 lower per sleeper area. India Rail provides clean sheets; pillows and very warm blankets. The toilets are ok, in that they only get used by the passengers in that car and therefore, stay relatively clean. 'Clean' is a very relative term in India. You have to just let it go.

Once in Jaisalmer we got settled in at the Shahi Palace. We had a yummy lunch on the rooftop restaurant – great view of the old fort. We then set out exploring. We first went looking for a bike shop because we thought we would rent bikes the next day to pedal out to an old fort about 15km out of town. We found the bike store and then wandered around the old city and then up into the fort. The fort is amazing although it is inhabited by about 4000 people/shop owners which has a significant negative impact on the structure itself as well as taking away from the majesty of the architecture. We stopped at a shop called Bellisima. It is a shop that sells crafts made by women in the rural areas and sold by a woman. This is very unusual as all the shop owners/keepers are men. In fact, you see very few women even shopping. We bought a lovely hand embroidered piece that is in the muslim style – very tight, fine embroidery, very intrique designs. Each piece is done individually and then they are sewn together to make the tapestry. We wandered around a bit more and then went back to the old city to Nachana Haveli, Sapphron restaurant for a beer.

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