MOTORBIKE TOURS RAJASTHAN DAY FOUR
Oh, so, I’m still in my red polo shirt and you can guess why so there’s no reason to explain.
We awoke to the wonderful setting on the desert camp, had a shower in the make-believe bathroom area (bloody bush indeed!) and I place the spare soaps into my rucksack, just as a souvenir you understand (not the first place to gift me soaps either hee hee)
I had a great breakfast of CURD (a gorgeous very basic yoghurt type product that I wish I could get in England), along with toast and some scrambled egg.
The reason I’m not riding today is the last 2 days had really taken it out of me so I was feeling a bit weak (wimp…..I know).
Our aim today was to get down to Jodhpur and explore this fort ‘thingy’ and surrounding town, as there wasn’t a great deal to do on the way plus it was only 109km away.
The support vehicle was packed with me inside and off we went. We stopped a couple of times along the way for drinks but to all purposes, we reached the outskirts of Jodhpur and the traffic began.
It is quite apparent that whilst there are rules on how to drive in India, nobody takes a blind bit of notice as there are 1.4 BILLION people and I guess around 7 policemen, so if you get caught then the gods have wished it upon you.
We started to drive down the back streets of Jodhpur, that was barely wider than the car, with traffic coming both ways. I’m sat in the back thinking we have definitely gone the wrong way WHEN – in the middle of all the mayhem and madness appears this hotel like a mirage – absolute stunning hotel right outside the gate was pure squalor (this wasn’t the first time I would feel this way either).
We had arrived at Raas Haveli and, what I was about to experience simply took my breath away, with its pure beauty, location, staff and the view from my room was out of a book of fairy tales.
Then it was to get better as we had lunch planning to walk up the hill to the fort. My only footwear being my FORMA adventure boots (must say they were like slippers now……so comfortable), oh, and only 1 other thing I needed, an oxygen tank to help me breathe as we climbed.
Off we went through the back gate and up, and up, and up and UP UP UP – I was waiting for clouds to appear around my neck….
Arriving at the fort was a sight and experience I shall never ever forget, the fort, Mehrangarh the Fort of Jodhpur, crowns a rocky hill that rises 400 feet above the surrounding plain, and appears both to command and to blend with the landscape. One of the largest forts in Rajasthan, it contains some of the finest palaces and preserves in its museum along with many priceless relics of Indian courtly life.
The Fort and its palaces were built over a period of 500 years following the foundation in the mid-15th century. As a result, the varied building styles of many different periods are represented, including the 20th century. The abrupt transition from one era to another, as you progress through the buildings, is one feature that makes a visit so remarkable. The chronology is not always obvious, though, especially as many parts were altered by later rulers, to suit changing tastes and needs.
The view over Jodhpur was simply breathtaking, I truly was in heaven, or at least I was until The Chilli Bomb was consumed later that night…….what I mean about the Chilli Bomb, (that is what I nicknamed it). After we had been around the fort learning things from this amazing guide, we chose to walk around the market town, having first abseiled down the cliff face (the path we had walked up) back to our hotel.
The market just seemed to go on forever where, I’m sure, you could buy anything from a Chilli seed to a fighter jet, with stalls, and open fronted shops that went on for miles, packed to the hilt with people everywhere.
We walked around and as was his want, or it always seemed to be, Santhosh decided to have something to eat. Now at this stage I still wasn’t eating very much except CURD and Rhotti or toast so I was forbidden to have the massive chilli (sweet Chilli so they said) stuffed with a potato type mix, and then deep fried so it puffed up.
WELL, let me tell you, all I saw were these three chaps, Santhosh, Digvijay, and Rohit bite into these things and start to sweat, then sweat a bit more, then beads of glistening sweat appearing on their faces – laugh, well I laughed that much I was nearly sick and they were from this country too, god knows what would have happened to me – another fine result from a poorly tum tum…..anyway hence the name from now on the Chilli Bomb.
Returning back to the hotel and making sure everything that needed charging was plugged in we all met downstairs next to the pool. We sat on top of the restaurant with some log fires in between us to keep the chill away. I had no idea what they meant by keeping the chill away as I was still in my polo shirt laughing at them all in woollen hats, 3 coats, 4 pairs of trousers, and gloves whilst trying to sit on top of the fires to keep warm. (wimps)
Having eaten, the night passed quietly, and I woke up to the sound of chanting calling Muslims to pray, and me to breakfast.
I was feeling heaps better by this stage, so tucked into a hearty breakfast of omelette, chunks of melon, coffee, curd with muesli, and a couple of pastries.
I was ready for riding again, and luckily Shumi had left during the night to catch a plane as he had to get back to work and couldn’t do the full 10 days BUT what he didn’t know was, he’d seen nothing yet as the best was yet to come.
Leg over my Ducati and let the fun begin……….