Rajasthan roadtrip: Jaisalmer to Jodhpur

9 May

And we were on the road again, again for a six hour drive between desert cities in Rajasthan.

The Thar desert had not been as I had imagined it. A hard rock and sand surface with occasional thorny bushes. None of the wavy sand dunes I thought a desert was all about. And somewhat surprisingly, scrawny goats had made this desert their home, munching away seemingly on sand as we passed them in the car.

The remoteness of Jaisalmer became even clearer as we made our way to Jodhpur. With not even military installations in sight, the kilometres of road and surrounding sand seemed empty and eerie. Remembering the secret village of two days past, I asked Balu whether there were any houses or villages around that I simply didn´t see. He shook his head, “no, not here”, before revealing himself as a poet. “Not out and about, sleep in the house”, he delivered with a rhyme that made him shake with laughter.

Half-way to Jodhpur, we nevertheless passed a short stretch of sand dunes which suddenly made way to a slightly hilly landscape requiring the car to move around bends and not simply continue straight ahead. OK, I admit that my desert descriptions might be fairly tame reading. And, normally a pale landscape of lightly green-coloured trees, rocky hills and dry grass would not be something to write home about. But after hours of seemingly nothingness, even the plastic rubble along the roadside was something exciting to look at. When we passed the first few splashes of colours, I even sent the women long, happy stares.

Entering Jodhpur, six hours away from Jaisalmer, was also like speeding up in time. There were still one or two carts pulled by camels, turbans and saris. But Jodhpur is a city of one million people, and the diversity of these people also showed in the city landscape. We had again entered a chaotic and modern city of traffic lights, mopeds and cars, plastic garbage, colourful ads on brick and glass buildings, and jeans. Yes, jeans. After days of kurtas, saris and pyjama trousers, seeing a girl on a scooter in jeans felt somewhat remarkable.

“I miss Jaisalmer”, my boyfriend mumbled next to me. And rightly so. As a first impression, there was nothing charming about Jodhpur. In the front seat, Balu was busy honking the streets clear of people.

“I was afraid we would hit that cow!”, my boyfriend whispered to me. “I am more concerned about the people. They´re not holy, are they now!”, I replied with my teeth clenched. Because by now also people were jumping clear of Balu. Passing some particularly slow-moving mopeds in a narrow alleyway, Balu let out a stream in Hindi. “Your mother is a camel”, my boyfriend interpreted in the backseat.

“What? You understand Hindi?” Balu laughed. “I said, 'You're deaf? Get your mum!'

Arriving at our hotel, Balu turned to us and asked if we wanted him to drive us around the old town tomorrow. We politely declined. “I think we can walk”, I replied.

And that´s when we saw the reason why were also seeing other tourists in this city. (Six of them so far.) Overlooking our hotel in the old town was a fort just as imposing as in Jaisalmer:

You might also like:

No comments yet

Leave a Reply