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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Rajasthan, India

Feb 11, 2016 - Bus to Jhunjhunu

2/11 Day of confusion/consternation and debate as we try to come up with a plan for the next 2 weeks. Bon & Mari are a bit at odds, they are sisters after all! Jaipur, Chandigarh (Punjab), Pune, Goa - Hampi,basically all over the western map! I have no real preference, just wish we could be in one place for 2 weeks (other than polluted Delhi) and not be traveling! But B & M being who they are, it's go, go, go...museums, forts, and for Mari, temples, temples, temples or anything related to animals, unless they're being mistreated or poorly...

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Feb 9, 2016 - Bus to Mandawa

2/9 With some assistance from the kind Dr. the night before, it was determined that we would have to catch the 8:30 a.m. state bus. Knowing this we had settled our bill the night before so we were able to pick up a rickshaw in front of the hotel at 8, skipping breakfast. 4 km. away at the bus station we got tickets for Jhunjhunu, the main transport town in the Shekhawati region, although I had been led to believe that we were going to Mandawa. I believed this because Mari had been so insistent that we get the info from Pete about the place...

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Feb 5, 2016 - Train to Bikaner

2/5   We anticipated going to Bikaner by bus since the LP said that there were at least 3/day and our experience so far was that they usually left in the a.m. A short walk from our hotel and we were at the govt. bus station shortly after 9. We were informed the only day bus left at 7 and the only other bus was a private luxury one at 2 p.m.!  A tuk tuk driver then told us about the train which he said leaves at 10 a.m. He drove us there and by 9:30 we were on it...it departed promptly at 10:10 the announced time. This was a local, which...

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Feb 3, 2016 - A touch of class

They say Udaipur is the "Venice of the East". Sure, I guess it has water and classical architecture, but in my opinion, to call cities "the Venice of blah" or the "Paris of blah" ends up taking away from the city you're ACTUALLY in. Udaipur doesn't have the canals of Venice, and Venice doesn't have cows stealing carrots from street vendors. So while the nickname admittedly sets the scene, this post is all about the classy city of Udaipur! Udaipur is much more laidback than the other Indian cities we've been to so far. The street noise is a...

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Jan 31, 2016 - Bus to Jaisalmer.

1/31 Bus to Jaisalmer. Got to station by 9 and bus leaving at 10, so we could pick the best seats since no one was on it yet. Bon and Mari settled into the bench seat up by the driver and I took the one directly behind the driver, by the window. The countryside gets progressively more arid but hardly a desert. Lots of irrigated agricultural land, goats, sheep, and hundreds of roaming cattle of all shapes and sizes on and alongside the road. With the amount of traffic I am surprized we don't see more accidents involving these roaming...

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Jan 31, 2016 - The Blue City

Jodhpur ended up being a pleasant surprise! We weren't expecting much, since Jodhpur had the unfortunate position in our itinerary of being between Jaisalmer and Udaipur, both of which we were super excited for. Jodhpur is nicknamed "The Blue City" because most of it's older buildings are painted, you guessed it, blue. Towering over the ancient blue city is the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort. We spent half a day here wandering around, and it turns out that the Fort is only one of a handful of extravagant buildings in Jodhpur. In fact, one of...

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Jan 28, 2016 - A couple of Canadians on a couple of camels

After a relatively luxurious 12 hour train journey and a midnight rickshaw ride with a guy who looked exactly like Silas from the Da Vinci Code, we arrived in the desert town of Jaisalmer. This is the India we've been waiting for! Narrow alleyways, beautiful havelis, and a breathtaking fort housing over 3000 permanent residents. The breathing room in the town was nice, but we came here for the desert, so into the Thar desert we went. At the crack of dawn, we met our camels and our guide. Deena, our guide, was pretty quiet. That is, until...

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Jan 27, 2016 - Bus to Jodhpur

1/27 Up and to bus station @ 5:45a.m. When I arrived and asked about the 6:30 direct bus to Jodhpur, an Indian fellow told me there was none from Mt. Abu, we'd have to take this bus down the mountain to Abu Road station for onward/connecting bus to Jodhpur. As soon as B & M arrived they barely got on when it began to go (the bus was full and it was 6a.m.)! I was happy to go in the dark because 1) Headlights made seeing oncoming vehicles easy 2) There was very little traffic. When we arrived @ the station, bought tickets for Jodhpur, got on...

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Jan 24, 2016 - Bus to Mt. Abu

1/24 Bus very confusing since we thought when the ticket man said gate #5 he meant there in the new govt. bus station. The rickshaw driver stopped at the old bus station when we told him we were going to Mt. Abu but that it was at the new bus station. He complied but when we reach gate #5 no one knew what we were talking about. The whole time we're going through all this Mari was whining and complaining about leaving at 6:45 a.m. which didn't help at all. Finally, a young kid who understood English said that the bus to Mt. Abu left from the...

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Jan 23, 2016 - Jai-poo-er

...you get the idea. I'll spare you the details, but basically, we slept for 18 out of 24 hours, and nothing brings two people closer than tandem food poisoning and one bathroom. Luckily, we were well enough on the first day to hit the bazaar, where we had to keep reminding ourselves "we only have one backpack each". I love bazaars, and could wander around in them forever. Unless you have the infamous Delhi Belly, of course. In that case, you stay huddled up in your hostel room, which is right above a busy intersection so it constantly...

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Jan 8, 2016 - Critters

Animals abound in India. It seems domesticated and wild animals both have some kind of tenuous agreement with the human population. The first impression is the abundance of seeming unattended cows in the cities. Modern Delhi has its share. Some are fed by priests or at temples, others are fed by devout Hindus, but most fend for themselves. They forage trash, restaurant doors, and markets, anywhere there might be something resembling food. Females are milked. Males are largely tolerated. We have seen a few hit with sticks and worse but as...

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Jan 7, 2016 - Transport

One of the best features of a tour group is that transport is taken care of. Good thing. We are relatively comfortable with train, plane, and bus tickets in Europe, but elsewhere they can be bewildering. It starts with finding the right station. Long distance stations are separate from local. International tickets are sold at separate windows from domestic tickets. Meanwhile, touts linger in stations and try to convince the unwary to go with their company through half truth and dishonesty, and the prices charged can seem like theft. A tour...

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