Travelling & Jaisalmer-day 31

Having investigated all options from getting from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer, and taking into account our recent rather uncomfortable bus journey, our first choice was the train! Unfortunately, it was sold out so we were back on a bus. We got up extra early and, at 6.30am, we were on our way. Starting early really paid off as we got a relatively empty bus for the whole 6 hour journey! Had some amazing chilli pakoras from a bus stop cooked while we waited.  Got to Jaisalmer and we’re glad we took a government bus rather than a private one – it actually dropped us off where we were supposed to be dropped off!! As we knew where we were, we started walking the 1km towards our hotel. About 10 minutes into our walk, we heard the usual ‘excuse me!’ yells. We ignored them and kept on walking until they added ‘you Ms. Katherine?’ and began waving a sign with my name on it. Headed over to find the hotel pick up service which was very confusing since we’d never organised it! The man was convinced we were getting the train up from Jaisalmer and had been waiting at the station since 11.30… Felt really guilty that perhaps I had sent an email with an arrival time on it. When we got to the hotel, I apologised to the owner and explained the situation. He assured me that I had requested a free pick up and got his phone out to show me the email… Except I hadn’t sent him any request! He had confused me with another guest staying in a few days time!! It made Jayne and I laugh so much – it’s not everyday you walk down the street to see a total stranger hanging out of a car window holding a sign with your name on it!!!  Dropped our bags off at the hotel and headed straight to Jaisalmer Fort. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it looks like a massive sandcastle rising out of sandy plains. Founded in 1156, it was directly positioned on the camel-train routes between India and Central Asia so it brought great wealth to the town. It has 99 colossal bastions which encircle narrow cobbled streets. Unfortunately, it is now slowly sinking into the hill it is built on due to overcrowding and poor drainage.   We went to the Maharaja’s palace museum first, getting a free audio guide with our tickets so we were geeks once again! There was floor upon floor of fascinating rooms and a spectacular 360-degree view from the highest point of the fort.   We then walked around the warren of narrow streets looking at all the inhabited old buildings and window shopping at the main market. Then we walked around half of the circumference of the fort walls, finding old cannon balls used to defend the fort against attack. On the way back to the hotel, I had a brief encounter with a cow who changed direction at the last minute and walked straight into me, using its horns to move me out of the way – even the locals were worried! Back at the hotel to watch the sun set and have dinner. Have packed our day bags for our overnight camel safari tomorrow – hopefully the camels are nicer than the cows!!