Jodhpur - Jaisalmer
Jodhpur – the blue city (actually its blue color is more contractual)
We met there an Indian photographer and an Irish senior tourist over there (in the guest house we were staying in), who after getting to know each other ended up smoking all night long. Hehe. Pretty fine acquaintance I must admit ;) There was a Japanese guy who didn't really speak any English whatsoever, just a few words, but mostly using his inventive electronic translator to communicate. Anyways, once we met them on a rooftop of our decent place recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebook, we made friends and promised ourselves to see each other in Goa somewhere around mid January. Eventually the next day the Irish guy had to instantly cancel his tickets booked the other day (taking him to another place here in India) and frenetically make a booking for another one and set off the same day to Delhi and then back home because of some business issues. Something was in the air apparently. Despite of his laidback plans from the previous night he wasn't sure anymore if will be able to come back to India this year. That's a shame, life though. The Indian guy happened to be a freelancer photographer going around India, now Rajasthan, building his portfolio in a quite amazing way – his plan was to travel for the next 10 years, coming back to Mumbai (where he was coming from originally) from time to time, cause obviously willy-nilly - he has to earn money for this great plan. It turns out that doing his profession just 2 months will do the work for the rest 10 months of travelling. Isn't it great? But everyone can find a way to do this, this way or another. We are working on it, I guess. ;)
Jodhpur welcomed us with too much hustle, but after two days there, feeling the atmosphere of the city we started to like it. Loads of charming, blue dwellings and vivid market, beautiful clock tower in the heart of the town which indicates remote times of the British presence, a few dacades back.
A quick look from the outside on a majestic and rising up high very old fort, emerging out of a sandstone, incorporated into it so perfectly that one couldn't imagine that was the emperor's order to build it and give it all its features in such a short time as it happened back then, a few centuries ago. Now towering above the city.
We went out to see Bishnoi villages – well known tribu's living down south from Jodhpur according to the 29 rules established and followed since the XV century! All dwellers living there are vegetarians, respecting natural habitat of the animals surrounding them, being appreciative to the scarce greenery of that arid land they're living in. Besides but definitely shocking, there were 363 people killed trying to save their precious trees, back then.
Although, because we did our “visit” without any organised tour, not guided at all, we kind of happened to speak just with indigineous inhabitants of those villages. That basically ended up with us riding around there trying to encounter a single English-speaking person. Unsuccessfully. Nevertheless we saw huge vultures (that I've never in my life seen in the wild!)
and the Indian gazelle – chinkara. Amazing and definitely breath-taking experience. Passing through the Bishnoi villages I got a few shots of a life plodding in its own, slow-paced rhythm.
We took a break in the middle of a dry land and bushes:
Afterwards we went to see a Royal Enfield bizarre temple, where we had to drive over half an hour and it turned out to be an incredible place just next to he highway, where actually was an old Enfield behind the glass-case presenting himself fully and uncovering his true nature. People say (and believe it with all their heart) that 26 years ago a guy was driving his Bullet along this road, had an accident and the machine burned out in few seconds causing a sudden death of its driver. When the police came to take to the police station and kept it over night to proceed all necessary paperwork in the morning the Enfield, to everyone's surprise, disappeared. What happened? It somehow, found its way back to the place of the accident. Twice. So they left it there, making a temple out of it as an out of this world spot of a miracle, according to the urban legend.
One of the visitors, like us, told us that we may find many more alike examples of how broad and miscellaneous Indian beliefs are and different curiosities taking place in India every now and then. Yet considering how big is this country, covering the whole (and more) vastness of Europe, we may go for a wild goose chase deliberately looking for similar things ;) Who knows though, there is something new, unexpected, exciting or stunnig every day we find on our way, so it's not out of question then that we may stumble upon many more of this kind. That's the talking - the adventure awaits!
Let's see what more will it bring along ->
Straight after Jodhpur we decided, eventually, to head for Jaisalmer which we previously decided to skip (as it's located to far up North of Rajasthan). At least, we thought - not complying a lot with the path we've chosen (is to say - heading downwards, principally). After a night in a shithole called Phalodi we eventually headed up to Jaisalmer. Fortunatelly I put some thermal underwear on, otherwise I would have frozen to death. We set off early morning, at about 8 o'clock, and the landscape most of the time was covered under misty veil, cloudy sky and wind didn't make the things better. At some point, we pulled off the road to grab some hot chai, which ended up with the locals sitting around the fireplace next to some freely lying lairs just under shed-alike roof (someone, a guy in a turban on his head, was even sleeping there and once woke up hilariously stepped off the 'bed' and went around the corner to do what the nature was calling him for) ;)) Tiny dog was jumping around me all the time, and the guys who served us two hot cups of tea were trying to speak to us as much as they could, because didn't know English whatsoever (just a few words). We had loads of laugh anyway, Pedrak's ears brought them lot of fun apparently. :P The on-the-road scenery changed drastically. There were not too many cars in general, just when we passed by a military station (common in this part of India) and their trucks and tanks heading back to it. And the desert, Thar, was all around us, sometimes more the other time less extensive.
We spotted some typical animals strictly protected in these areas, like: Indian gazelle (chinkara), eagles and a bluebull!
|blue bull - Nilgai Indian antelope, next to an oasis |
(the biggest Asian antelope!)
|Then came the time for our intergalactic off the road shots - Star Wars fades away! Specially for Natala :D|
|Here comes the Star Wars team!|
And a few more from the route:
|common Thar's farm|
|with its thatched roof huts|
Next destination : Khuri village on the Thar desert!