We left Fathepur Sikri in the end of the afternoon.
Jaipur was our first step. We arrived there in the evening around 8pm and found a nice and cheap hotel.
We went to eat in the restaurant of the hotel and took some beers.
We went to sleep afterwards in order to have a big day in Jaipur.
Rabi and Clara went to the market in the morning and we had a very nice fruit platter before to leave the hotel in order to go to the Pink City.
On the way, we saw a nice white temple called Birla Mandir. Unfortunately, we arrived around 1pm and it was closed. Indeed, it closes at 12 noon and open again at 3pm.
Some people are selling street food there and their Puf Bhagi are very good for 50 INR. It is all made from fresh vegetables.
We then moved to the Pink City and saw Hawa Mahal which is very famous. We met some local people who lived on a rooftop in front of the monument. They allowed us to come up to take a few pictures and have a nice view from upstairs.
We tried to visit the City Palace but it was expensive to get in. We saw a snake charmer in front of the palace. It was impressive to see a cobra so close and to touch it.
The pink city is very interesting to see. However, we rushed a bit in order to see the sunset at the Narghar Fort.
I really recommend you to go there. It was amazing as you have a view on the whole city and you can have a long walk along the fort even if you don’t take a ticket to get inside.
You have to pay 30 INR for parking to get in. Then you can park and have a look from outside.
We decided to pay to get inside and see the sunset. It is normally 200 INR per head if you are foreign. We negociated to pay 200 INR for the 5 of us because it was closing at 6pm and we came in at 5pm.
It was a good experience to go inside as you can get some very nice views of the city. I really recommend you this place.
Afterwards, we rushed to Choki Dhani which was 1h away.
Choki Dhani is a family village where you pay 600 INR to access unlimited food and entertainment.
The food was good as it was different from the other things that I have had in India, but for almost each activity, you had to pay extra.
The food consists in a Thali served on a proper Rajasthani way in plates made of leaves.
A part from that, we saw some dance shows, a fire blowing show which was nice and it was a nice atmosphere inside. You can pay more for small activities such as bowling, arrow and rifle shooting and so on.
According to me, it is good but not worth the price that you pay. Then I won’t recommend you to go there if you are travelling on budget.
We decided to come back home and relax to wake up early on the next day in order to visit the Amber Fort and Palace before to leave for Jodhpur and stop in Pushkar which is on the way.
We woke up and went to the Amber Fort in the early morning.
The fort is impressive and you can see many elephants going up and down to the top of the fort.
We walked to the top and checked the different views from up.
We did not visit it from inside as it was 500 INR just to visit a small part and we had to rush to Pushkar by 10am.
We arrived in Pushkar for lunch and ate there.
We stopped in a Sikh temple where it seems that people live inside.
Then I saw an Indu temple and took some pictures of it. I could not come in as it was only for local people.
We then went to the famous lake where the view is very nice. You can see local people bathing, cleaning their clothes and praying.
When you go along the lake to the end, there are some scammers who almost oblige you to take some of their flowers and throw them in the lake to give you good luck. Don’t listen these people and walk away because they will ask you crazy amounts of money afterwards. 2 of my friends fall in the trap.
Then, once I passed this step, I arrived in the small active streets of Pushkar where there are loads of street food stalls and shops. I have had a delicious veg burger for 50 INR. We were rushing and I have had to leave the place in order to reach Jodhpur not to late.
We arrived late in Jodhpur and found a cheap hotel for 1200 INR for 5 people. It was not the nicest hotel I have been in but it was just to sleep a bit as we decided to wake up early on the next day to visit the blue city of Jodhpur.
We left the hotel at 7am and went to the blue town with a tuktuk.
A man started to talk to us and ended up inviting us to his house where he had a rooftop with a wonderful view on the blue city.
He gave us some biscuits and tea and we stayed with him for approximately 2 hours. He was a guide in Jodhpur and explained us loads of things about his city.
After that, we splitted the group. Rabi, Carla and Shakira went to the Jain temple while me and Rohn went to the fort by the side of the reservoir where we did some climbing, it was really awesome and beautiful.
I fall from a roof because I was jumping everywhere like a monkey as usual and I hurt my feet. I did not feel anything at the moment and continued jumping and climbing around.
We were about to climb up to the fort but we had to meet the other at 11am, then, we came back.
We asked the direction to come back to the car and 2 times, we got picked up by some guys in motorbike who drove going by the narrow streets with markets around. It was very cool.
After some time finding each other, we went to eat in a place recommended by local students; then, then we took the road again for 5 hours: direction Jaisalmer.
The road to get there was very nice, we were feeling more and more in the desert, with sand dunes around us and wild camels crossing the road.
However, my feet started to hurt a lot due to the falling of the morning and I couldn’t walk anymore.
We arrived in Jaisalmer in the evening. This city is located 100 km away from Pakistan. Then, it is very desertic.
We stopped in a very nice restaurant just before to arrive in the centre. The food was amazing and the service was very good.
Then, the other mission was to find a hotel. After checking a few which were not in our budget, we found a perfect one which was only 1200 INR for the room for 5 people and it was the best room I have had in India so far. The hotel is called Royal Hotel Haveli. It is clean and luxurious. It was just perfect. We ate in the rooftop restaurant at night where you can have a nice view on the fort. The food was also very good. I really recommend this place to everyone.
We met 2 indian guys who were travelling by motorbike around Rajasthan. They were also staying in the hotel.
Then, we had some drinks with them and had good laugh. One of them saw my feet and brought me some tiger balm and straps telling me that I will be alright tomorrow. Man, if you read that, thanks again, thanks to you I have been able to walk on the next day and be perfectly fine for the day after that where I did a Safari.
Indeed, the tiger balm was like magic. I was feeling so much better when I put my feet down. Then, I recommend this thing for all the backpackers. It does not take space and can save your trip in case of small accident.
After some hangover because of the drinks, I still managed to wake up and went to the fort in the morning with Rabi and Rohn.
The fort is very nice and and there are loads of markets arounds, shops, stalls and restaurants inside.
After a breakfast and after exploring the areas of the fort such and the viewpoints and the Jain temple; we came back to the hotel and everyone got ready to eat together, then we decided to go to Bada Bagh.
We went to Bada Bagh with the car. Be careful with Google Maps, there are 2 Baga Bagh which are both 15 to 20 minutes away from the centre. Obviously, we went to the wrong one first and ended up in the desert in the middle of nowhere.
Then, we found the right one. It costs 100 INR to get in. It was nice to see the cenophats which are impressive.
We also met some local guys who were guides there. We didn’t use their service but talked to them and get on well. They told us to have dinner together in the evening and that they could arrange to do some barbecue and bring beers for only 300 INR each. In the end, we could not make it but it was interesting.
In the end, we run to the fort and found a restaurant with a rooftop where we saw the sunset. It was very nice.
There, we met Rod, a french guy with his girlfriend from Lithuania.
They decided to come with us on the next day to do an overnight safari.
We then went to compare the safari packages in different agencies. My friends wanted to take one that we found interesting as the agency agreed to include all the things that we wanted for a price that was OK.
But I convinced them to go to see Sawai from Real Desert Man Camel Safari with who I have talked the day before and I planned to do the safari with originally.
We were not disappointed because he adapted his offer to what we wanted and gave us a good price as we were a group of 7 people.
We agreed to meet on the next day at 1.30pm with him.
We then went back to the hotel and slept early in order to see the sunrise on the next day.
I woke up at 7am and went straightaway to a lake to see the sunrise on my own as everyone was still sleeping.
I walked with a group of children who were going to school and they shown me the way to the lake.
It was very nice and quiet in the morning.
There are loads of big catfishes which are fed by the locals. It is an interesting spectacle.
I came back at 9am because we had to check out.
We all went in the fort, walking around and eating some food. Then we all met at 1.30pm at the guesthouse of Sawai, in order to get ready for the Safari.
We jumped in the jeep and we started to go in the rural areas where we visited an abandonned village.
Then we stopped on the way to a lake which was nice to see but nothing too special.
We crossed different rural villages where children were coming back from school.
We finally arrived near the desert dunes where we jumped out the jeep and took the camels for a ride of 1h30.
We rode 1 hour in the desert, then we arrived in the dunes and it was very cool to ride the camels there.
We arrived at the camp base in the dunes and we straight went to higher dunes with the jeep to watch the Sunset.
It was very beautiful and everyone was very happy of this experience.
Our driver then drove us to the evening dune bashing. We jumped in the open jeep and the driver was crazy, we loved it but unfortunately, the clutch of the jeep broke after 5 to 10 minutes of dune bashing and the driver had to bring us back slowlÿ.
Fortunately, Sawai from The Real Desert Man Camel Safari managed it very well as he organised another dune bashing on the following day for us to be totally happy and enjoy the 40 minutes ride which was agreed with him.
Then, we came back to the camp base and local guys were there to take care of us.
They gave us some snacks and tea and made a wood fire in the sand while they were cooking for us on a local way.
We ate some daal, chapati, potatoes and rice, which is the traditional food there.
We ate with Paul, a canadian man who has a house in Jaisalmer and helps the locals to organize the desert safaris at night time. He was a nice person with an interesting project of cleaning the villages in india with volonteers.
In the camp, it was amazing because we were on our own with nobody around us. Around the wood fire, the locals guys started to sing some local songs for us, it was very good.
We all talked together and exchange about our lives and cultures.
Then we slept in the dunes with matresses and thick blankets. We ended up watching the wonderful spectacle of stars in the sky.
Indeed, in the desert, you can see the stars as you have never seen it before. We saw loads of shooting stars too. I really loved the experience. And the blankets were good enough because nobody got cold during the night.
We woke up with the sunrise in the desert ! It was very good.
We then had a breakfast made of fruits, biscuits and tea before to do another camel ride in the dunes for 1h30.
After that, we went for the dune bashing and it was just perfect ! Everyone had a lot of fun.
Then; they drove us back to Jaisalmer where we could use the facilitiies of Sawai guesthouse in order to freshen up before leaving to Bikaner.
After a shower, we went to eat a last time in Jaisalmer near the fort; then, we took the road for 5 hours to arrive in Bikaner. The road is pretty nice without much traffic.
We found a hotel where the room cost 650 INR for 2 people, so we took it.
We went to pick up some street food and slept early to leave at 8am the next day to reach Mandawa.
We left at the right time and took a bit more than 4 hours to get to Mandawa. The road was a bit bumpy and took longer than what was planned.
We saw a first Haveli with a garden where we played cricket with some people. It was fun.
Afterwards, we saw 2 other Havelis which have been converted in hotels. Both were very beautiful.
In the second one, they made us visit their rooms which were very amazing in terms of design.
I then visited the small streets of the village and talk with local people before to leave for Delhi.
The road from Mandawa to Delhi was very bad during the first 2 hours. It was bumpy and there was no proper road, hence we had to go very slow.
We stopped in different villages on the way, to stretch our legs and eat. We even stopped in a field which was a factory where they produced bricks.
After a few hours in the traffic, we managed to reach Delhi and we went to sleep straightaway as the journey was very tiring.
We woke up a bit late and exchanged our pictures and videos from the trip.
We then moved to Decathlon in order to change my bag which was torn on the side.
Then, Rohn brought me to the airport in order to catch my flight to Kolkota where I stopped a few hours before to take another flight to Bangkok.