We hired the same taxi driver again for the day and started off by going to Nahargarh Fort. This fort sits high on the hill overlooking Jaipur and the Lake Palace in one direction and Amber Palace the opposite direction. The fort boasts the worlds’ largest cannon on wheels. There is not much to see, although it is peaceful and nice to walk around and enoy the vistas.
One thing we have noticed at all these palaces, forts and Hawal Mahal is the lack of guard railing, or very short guard rails in some areas. All it would take is a curious kid or an adult to stumble in some spots and over they would go – bye, bye.
There is much more to see in Jaipur, but with so little time and kids we have to pace ourselves. That afternoon we were off to the train station. We were glad to say goodbye to our Jaipur hotel and a little unsure of what we would find in Jodhpur, our next stop.
Got to the train station at 3:30pm. We reserved our train travel on makemytrip.com and printed tickets out at home – very easy and efficient. Unfortunately we can’t say the same for the trains. The train to Jodhpur was 1 1/2 hours late. The Jaipur train station is surprisingly clean. We found a bench to sit on and were immediately surrounded by locals wanting to know where we come from, where are we going, the children’s ages and grade levels etc.
The trains are quite comfortable, depending what class you are in of course. We were in 3rd class A/C which is an open compartment with six people. Comfortable enough and cool in the evening so A/C is not required. The kids like to go up to the top bunks. Two Indian guys joined us as well as three others on the end bunks.
The Indian people are extremely social and talk and eat the whole time. They talk to each other and to us. When the Chai Man came around they offered to buy us chai and when we say “No thank you” they bought it for us anyway. It is hot and delicious and served in little clay cups which we are suppossed to throw out onto the tracks afterwards. Apparently this is environmentally friendly, rather than washing dishes or throwing out paper or plastic cups.
When they find out Michael works for a cellphone company everyone gets their phone out, proud to show him they all have they same brand. They compare phones and features and we are surprised that during the whole train trip cell phone reception is excellent.
We arrive in Jodhpur at 11:00pm and are greeted by “the boys” of Kuchaman Haveli (our hotel) as soon as we get off the train. They take our bags and within 20 minutes we are at the hotel. It seems a little cleaner than the last but very basic.
We went up to the rooftop restaurant for a quick bite to eat. The view of the city was beautiful but the food was terrible. Craig and I both ordered minestone soup and what we got made our stomach turn – it was green and the consistency of the yolk of a sunny-side-up egg. I still cringe when I think about it and needless to say we didn’t touch it.
We are on the ground floor right next to the reception and it is very noisy from “the boys” socializing inside and people outside and when one dog starts barking, it seems to set off every dog in Jodhpur. We must have been tired from travelling, I don’t know how we fell asleep with all the noise but we did, and we slept until 10:00am – the best sleep in a long time.