04.11.2012 - 04.11.2012
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.
The staff in our hotel in Jaisalmer were amazing and made Jo and I a packed breakfast to take on our early morning bus ride at 5am to Jodhpur. Cheese and tomato toasties! Yum!!
The bus was amazingly comfortable and I think most of us slept the majority of the way (it was needed I think).
After a much needed freshen up at the hotel we grabbed some Thali for lunch then had an orientation walk around the centre of town towards the clock tower. Onto the local spice shop for a talk on the different spices and tea they sell. It smelled amazing in there!
On route back to the hotel in the tuk-tuks we were taken to the fort which is on top of a huge hill. Apparently when the fort was built, someone was buried alive underneath it for good luck. We were assured that this person had volunteered for the honour! The views from the fort were, of course, incredible. We could see the palace, the royal burial ground and the rest of the city. Gorgeous!!
Next activity...village safari! Living up to the name of safari, we travelled in open jeeps!! At the first village we visited a local potter where Jo tried her hand at making a bowl. The potter was impresive; he used a potters wheel which he spun by hand!!
Then onto a weavers where they make the most beautiful rugs. Yet again, Jo and I had to talk each other out of buying things and getting them shipped home!! We resisted (for the time being)! The weaver who gave us the demonstration showed us his scrap book of articles and photos. The rugs they make there have been featured in Vogue!! And Richard Geere and Prince Charles are among the famous people to have visited them in the past.
The final stop on our safari was to see an opium ceremony. The man who showed us this was crazily happy (I wonder why)!? Once the opium water had been prepared and filtered several times, it was first offered to the god and then to the guests. The guests being us! We were assured there was only the tiniest amount of opium in the water so we all accepted (it would have been rude not to hey)!?! After a few people in our group had a go at balancing a huge water container on their head (which we saw being made at the potters), we made our way back to the hotel as the sun was setting. Thanfully no-one dropped the container on the floor...it would have smashed into a thousand pieces and it was the family's main water container!! On the drive back, our jeeps got held up in a road block...by sheep! It was like being in the Lake District!!
Another early start tomorrow so a (relatively) early night for us!