Monday, 26 September 2011


No dinner, no breakfast: a night in the blue city

No food since yesterday lunch time and needing sleep.

Maybe that's a TQ7 swallow.

After an 8 hour journey through arid scrubland, with the odd Jain temple snaking up the hillside (Bear summed them up: "Don't kill that ant, he's my uncle"!), we arrived in Jodpur. The hotel resturant had closed and its sandwich toaster had gone down. Forget it - we'll wait until breakfast. We forced the kids to get up for an 8am breakfast and unbelievably again there was no resturant. I let Digs have the heated debate with the staff and the manager of the Marawar hotel and then we left for the Mehrangarh Fort that looks down on the blue - British Gas van blue - painted city.

We were all captivated by the Sati handprints; the last royal Sati here was in the 1830s. Like the framed plaster of paris baby's hand and foot prints we do, these were grouped together in dark red relief at the main gateway to the fort. Inside the palace rooms at the top of the fort, was a huge display of Howdah, the seat for riding on an elephant: from the plain sofa type to the tented canopy with whistles and bells. The thing that we raced around the exhibition to see though was, the Jodhpur scissors. Basically a dagger that contained blades within blades, so as the weapon was pulled out of the victim, more damage was inflicted.

The kids were desperate to get into the car for the drive to Jaisalmer: to get out of the heat and into the aircon. Another long drive; this time the type of road and desert that takes you all the way to Pakistan. Free-range camels chilled out under the trees near Pokhoran; the site of nuclear testing in the late 90s. The road was particuarly pot-holed around here - and it's got nothing to do with the bombs - and since there wasn't a lot of traffic, our driver just weaved in and out of the holes, holy cows and dogs which you could peel off the tarmac.

Amusing place name: LORDI
Funny shop name: NIIT

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