Firstly we would like to mention that we didn't get the dreaded
'Delhi Belly' whilst in Delhi! It would have been an added complication
we didn't need!
The sleeper train from Delhi to Jodhpur was
pretty good and we almost got a full 8 hours sleep. It was 3 hours late
arriving mind but meant we slept for longer! It was better than a lot of
the European sleeper trains we used.
Sunil was there waiting
for us off the train and he took us to his guesthouse. This was a
home-stay so we are staying in his house with his family and 7 other
rooms which much to our later despair, were empty, so all there
'attention' was on us!
We successfully passed the interview
process when we first arrived and were eventually shown to our room and
offered breakfast. The view from the rooftop restaurant was amazing. We
could see the fort that towers over the city and all the blue painted
buildings that gives Jodhpur the nickname of 'The Blue City'. Apparently
the buildings are painted blue to keep them cool and ward off
While we were waiting for breakfast there were some
kids on the rooftop next to us playing cricket! We chatted to them for a
bit and they asked us to take pictures and email them to them. This is
when we saw a different side to the manager, Sunil. He told the children
off, which we found unnecessary and laughed with them when he left.
headed to the fort after breakfast where en-route we had our first
close encounter with cows and bulls. We kept switching to the opposite
side of the road to avoid them which must have looked ridiculous to the
Indians! We cow dodged successfully and started the steep incline to get
to the top. It was very impressive and a nice warm day so we were
happy! We spent about 2 hours there and got some good photos. We also
had quite a few photos taken of us, some people try to slyly take them,
others come and ask you and before you know it your surrounded by kids
who want their photo taken with the funny westerners!! We then got lost
coming back and got overcharged again for tuk tuk! It's our own fault
though, we are not strict enough with bartering...yet!
then made a chicken tikka masala and breads by the owners wife. It was
really nice but unfortunately got a side order of Sunnil talking 'at' us
for the whole meal! He complained about a couple that stayed there the
night before we arrived and kept telling us what a great honest person
he was. It was only 9pm but we couldn't wait to escape to our room! The
room was ok, a bit grotty and the curry fragranced blankets took some
getting use to!
We woke up to find disaster had struck at the
hostel. We were watching the monkeys being very cheeky while Sunil made
us breakfast. As per the night before he talked at us whilst we ate. He
told us how his friend had hacked into his yahoo account and sent
everyone in his contacts an email saying that his family were stuck in
London and needed money (he later thought Nigerians had done it before
accusing his friend again. We half expected him to accuse us as we were
the only guests!) He asked Kris to have a look and then write an email
to Yahoo (Kris made the mistake of telling him he was a website
developer). So that was about an hour of our morning gone. We eventually
escaped (and it did feel like we were escaping) to head to Jaswant
Thada, a white marble memorial next to the fort, where the marble is
meant to be so pure its nearly see through...and for once the guide
books didn't lie! We were looking to see what was reflecting onto the
marble but it was actually the light coming through the marble! Then we
paid a tuktuk guy 400 Rupees to take us to the Umaid Bhawan Palace (that
Liz Hurley rented out as part of her honeymoon) and the clock tower.
The palace was ok but the clock tower was India craziness at its best,
with cars, mopeds, tuktuks, people and cows everywhere!! People were
selling everything from haircuts at the side of the road to cassette
players at the electronic stall!
We tried to walk back only to
get lost and stumble on McDonald's! We only had an ice cream cone each
though as it was hot. And they really don't sell any beefburgers!
Determined to walk back, we retraced our steps back to the centre and
then chose the correct road.
Jodhpur was completely different to
Delhi in the fact that no-one hassles you. People still stare but you
can't get around that. Children say hello, how are you, where are we
from and shake our hand before saying goodbye which is funny.
back at the home-stay, Sunil and Neena are at the computer looking
worried. They asked Kris to help change a few things on their website as
they had changed their email address due to the hack. Kris spent the
next 2 hours changing bits and pieces on the website, mostly not related
to the hack. He said as a thank you he would let us off the service
charge for booking our bus which is 60 rupees! That's 70 pence for 2
hours work! He overcharged for the bus though so I think we still lost
out! Oh well, that's my good deed for 2012 done! He got really upset
about the whole thing so we felt bad for him. But we didn't think he
would really lose out as the contacts he lost were previous guests who
are probably never going back.
We stayed in again and had more curry but couldn't eat in peace as Sunil moaned about the last 2 days events.
We decided to leave on the 3rd day despite paying for the night. We had explored enough of the sites and had enough of Sunil.
annoyed us the most was the extras he charged when we checked out
despite him going on and on about how he never overcharges tourists and
what a good honest person he was etc etc yet he added a 'Sunil service
tax'. We couldn't be bothered to argue so paid and left. It only worked
out to be about 5 pound extra over the 2 days so not important. Phew.
We did enjoy Jodhpur, the fort on the hill was impressive and the blue city cool so we still had a good time despite Sunil!!
We then got the bus to Udaipur which took 8 hours but went surprisingly quickly.