Sunday 13 December: Seven-hour bus ride from Pushkar, via Ajmer, to Jodhpur for 11:00 pm Jodhpur–Jaisalmer Express (No 4810) sleeper through the dusty red desert to Jaisalmer and the delights of the Golden City Hotel, it's en-suite rooms with cable TV, rooftop restaurant and swimming pool.
Bastioned hill-top fortress town of golden sandstone with intricately carved palaces and Jain temples in the heart of the Great Indian or Thar Desert - Jaisalmer is my sort of place. Ignore the hassles from camel safari vendors and it's a great place to wander and enjoy even without the exotic fare offered at the bhang cafe. At long last got my expensive karrimor sandals neatly repair-stitched by a street trader for few rupees. Cute animals in the fortress town and bird life amongst the temples at Gadisar Lake which is alive with not-so-cute cat fish grappling for food. Carved penthouse of Salim Singh ki-Halveli and Tazia Tower - just fantastic, but the cenotaph cupolas are a quiet, restful place away from the bustle of town.
Day trip to Sam Sand Dunes, once a place to watch the desert sunset - now a place to watch the, mostly Indian, camel-riding tourist hordes watching the desert sunset.
Wednesday 16: Jaisalmer-Jodhpur Express (No 4809) sleeper arrived at Jodhpur station 5:15 am. Waited for daylight to look at the clock tower, sturdy fort and for the 7:30 am bus to Udaipur. Drank Chai (masala tea) while sitting next to four street children, asleep and curled up together for warmth, like puppy dogs, on the station floor (no photo).
Jaisalmer and Jodhpur scenes.