When we arrived in Jodhpur by train at around 1 pm we got on tuk-tuks and drove for a little while, before reaching Jagat Villas, the homestay we would be staying at for the next couple of nights. The place was an absolute paradise and the family who ran it was really welcoming.
They had prepared a homecooked lunch buffet for us and we all ate way too much of it, hungry from the train ride. We had over an hour to kill before meeting up again, so John and I decided to explore the local area around the villa for a while. The villas were quite a long way away from the center of Jodhpur, but it was a really nice walk none the less, as we got a look into the more average way of life in Rajasthan, away from tourist areas and noisy city centers. I instantly liked Jodhpur, all the locals we met extremely friendly and genuine, smiling and waving at us, no one shouting at us to buy this or that from them or staring at us as if we were aliens.
In the afternoon the whole group took tuk-tuks to the old fort in Jodhpur. We bought audio guides and then proceeded to explore the different rooms and courtyards, imagining life there.
It was a much better experience than I had expected with stunning rooms, intricate designs and interesting collections.
After about two hours of walking up steep hills and through extravagant doorways we followed Harsh down another steep road through the old city of Jodhpur. Even in the old city many houses had been painted blue and the vibe was much more authentic than in the touristic Jaisalmer, with relaxed salesmen, women, and children greeting us and waving at us from the different houses.
We soon reached the stunning market square where Harsh told us that mostly locals come to buy their clothes, food and bits and bobs from.
Picture: Richard with his new sari
Harsh took us around the square for a mini street food tour. We started off by getting the best lassies in Jodhpur (well I didn’t see as it's a yogurt drink), it was completely packed with locals.
Afterward, we went to a busy stall, where Harsh got us all delicious samosas,
and we finally ended the tour at ’sweets corner’ to try out some desserts, a few cashew sweets even being vegan.
By now it was early evening and we took tuk-tuks back to the villas, going to bed soon after, tired from the long day.
Our second and last day in Jodhpur I woke up early and went outside to read. Soon though Richard spotted me and we decided to go for a morning walk, on the hunt for bananas for breakfast. We had a lovely walk, meeting a lot of children on their way to school, all waving excitedly at us, as we made our way through their neighborhood. We found our bananas at a little stall and went back to meet up with the others at 8.30 am.
At 8.30 a couple of open jeeps took us on a ride to the more rural areas of Jodhpur, first stopping at a potter’s house, where he demonstrated his work to us.
The second stop was at a family’s hut, where the friendly father demonstrated a traditional welcoming opium ceremony for us (don't worry mum, we didn’t taste any of it!).
Our last stop was a local carpenter’s home, who showed us how he makes the traditional rugs of the area (among other celebrities Richard Gere had visited him).
It was a fun trip and we were back around 11.30 am with plenty of time still left of our day. Harsh ordered three tuk-tuks that started of by taking us to the blue city of Jodhpur. In the blue city, our tuk-tuk driver ended up taking us for a winding 2+ hours walk around the city, going up and down extremely steep hills and long staircases in the HOT weather.
When we finally arrived by the tuk-tuks again everyone was exhausted and sweaty, but my knee had held up surprisingly well throughout the whole seance and soon we were on our way again, a little while later stopping at a beautiful step well that Richard had read about in his guidebook.
By now it was around three in the afternoon, all of us starving from the hike around the blue city (which had by the way not actually been that blue), and so we told our chauffeurs to make a final stop at the sweet corner we had visited the day prior, going upstairs to the food hall to eat a cheap lunch. The food hall was completely filled with locals and we had to wait a little while before getting a table. It was worth it though as I ended up paying around 10 Danish crowns for a dosa about half a meter long.
We walked around the market square in the old city for a little while, buying bananas, looking at shops and stalls and haggling with salesmen over a pair of cheap sunglasses. I was once again surprised by the extremely relaxed and local vibe of Jodhpur, compared to the (at times) loud tourist hell in Jaisalmer, with salesmen always shouting at us to buy their stuff.
Around 5 pm we took tuk-tuks back to the villas where we relaxed until dinner, all worn out from the long day. We went to dinner at a pizza place just around the corner from us, where the food was actually really good, although we were sat beside a little girl’s birthday party of very loud 10-15-year-old girls. The mum was really sweet though, giving us all a piece of their cake.
In the evening we quickly packed our bags (getting quicker each time) and went to bed early, waking to the sound of the alarm at 5.15 am the next morning.
At 5.45 am this morning everyone was packed and ready to go, and we filled into tuk-tuks, driving us to the main bus station.
At the bus station we got in the bus (having upgraded from a local bus to a public bus with AC and luggage storage), and sat down for the 7-hour long bus ride to Udaipur, the Venice of the East.