The journey to Jaisalmer was long and bumpy.
A seventeen hour ride on an air conditioned sleeper bus with our own double bed sounded totally do-able. Sounds quite snug actually, I had my movies at the ready and lots of snacks and was quite looking forward to it.
So when the bus arrived looking as though it had just been dug up, our hopes of a good nights sleep were no more. The AC was apparently broken so the driver quite hilariously offered to give us back 100 rupees/£1.20 (the tickets were 2,300 rupees/£28 rupees for both of us). A quick chat with the manager on the phone and we were given back half of the ticket price in cash. Its worth noting that bus companies will say that they have AC when in fact they don’t so be aware and make sure you have cold water with you.
We climbed up in to our cabin which was full of crumbs from travellers gone by, swept what we could out of the window and made our bed for the night. Rather than your generic ‘beep-beep’ horn sounds, buses and wagons in India play melodies. Long, loud, ear drum splitting melodies every twenty seconds, perfect for keeping you awake.
Knowing all of this, I will now take the train where I can. Anything from class 3AC and upwards is far more comfortable than the bus.
Jaisalmer is a World Heritage site and sits amid the vast expanse of the Thar Desert, bordering with Pakistan. It’s also known as the Golden City because of the honey golden sandstone that its most ancient establishments are built from.
The most striking of them, the Fort. Built in 1156AD as a way station for travellers along the Silk Road, it is now a commerical hub for sellers an tourists alike.
Appearing almost like a huge sand castle on the horizon.
Inside it bustles with businesses offering their colourful tapestries, spices and places to stay.
And resident cows, obviously.
Our hotel was inside the fort and was a welcome relief after travelling through the night. Spotlessly clean, the bed was super comfy and we had a great view of the city outside of the fort. The staff were very accomodating with us and let us leave our bigger backpacks with them while we travelled to the Desert for a couple of days. Very handy for travellers!
The main things to see in Jaisalmer other than the fort are the Desert and the Haveli’s.
Places I would recommend to eat would be The 1st Gate just outside of the fort, we were craving comfort food again and sought pizza. They have a huge woodfire oven and even make pizza with french fries on it! if that’s your thing… I’m saying nothing. The pasta was good too, surprisingly good Italian food for somewhere so far away.
Also, Pleasant Haveli. The view of the fort from here is insane and the curry was good too. We took a tuk tuk across, the journey took fifteen minutes and cost 70 rupees.
We escaped the city and disappeared in to the desert for a bit of adventure.
I’ll tell you about that tomorrow…