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Published: October 28th 2017
Time to play catchup...
Yesterday we left Amritsar and had a relatively uneventful pair of flights to get to Delhi and then Jodhpur. Flying in and out of Delhi reinforced how hideously polluted India is. The visibility at the airport, watching the planes in front of us take off, was no more than 3km.
Fortunately Jodhpur is somewhat better and we have had a delightful time here. Yesterday afternoon we checked into our room at the haveli. This apparently used to be the town house of one of the rural landlords. However taxes and hard times have meant they, like many others, have turned their palatial homes into hotels. It is fantastic, all red sandstone, plaster, paintings, steep stairs and arches.
We went by tuk tuk to spend the afternoon with Ishtar Dewan, a local tie die expert. What we didn't realise is that we were going to his home and were actually getting our hands dirty doing some tying and dying. He is a wonderful engaging character as you can tell by his photo and we came away with out own little pieces of art and, of course, several of his masterpieces. Definitely a highlight of the
trip to date.
After dinner we went for a walk in the market and heard someone calling out 'hello, hello' and who should it be but Isha again! So we hung out at his shop - and bought more stuff. He is wonderfully eccentric and would fit in to Ponsonby very well!
This morning we were out and about for a walk around the ancient blue part of the city. We had about 2.5 hours of walking around the homes and alleyways admiring the view, avoiding the rubbish and drinking some of the best chai in India. Although the blue building are stunning, perhaps one of the most poignant sights was the red hand prints on the city gates of the suttee - wives who were cremated on their husbands' funeral pyres.
It is a beautiful city and people here were friendly, school kids all said hello, no slightly sullen looks from locals that we have seen in other areas. Being in the middle of the desert, access to water has always been an issue. But did you know that Jodhpur now gets its water piped in from the Himalayas?
After a quick recharge of our
and the camera batteries, we headed up to the fort which we had admired from the roof top restaurant the night before. It was a fairly steep and hot stroll but it was well worth it. The fort is large and well kept. We were guided through the various living quarters, many of which had displays of weapons, embroidery, children's beds, art and so forth. It was impossible to get a photo which shows the scale of it however there were many intricate little nooks and crannies.
We had an unsuccessful foray into some of the 'craft' shops in the afternoon. We didn't love anything madly enough to have to buy, and none of the locals were prepared to bargain so it was a lose-lose outcome.
Dinner again at the rooftop restaurant overlooking the market, clock tower, mosque and looking up at the fort. Some discussion ensued after the first gin as to where the monument on the hill was a horse and rider or a giant rabbit. Apparently I was wrong.., it is not a giant rabbit - looked like a Monty Python special to me.
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