After we spent a full day exploring, we ate dinner, grabbed some ice cream, and putzed around Jaipur until our overnight bus left for Jodhpur. Traveling by sleeper bus through India was a bizarre travel adventure.
We began our trip at 11pm on the side of a busy highway. When the bus arrived, we were hastily shuffled onboard as honking cars lined up behind us. We prayed that our baggage had made it safely underneath the bus and climbed into our “double bed.” The bed was about the width of a twin bed and our “coffin” was roughly two feet high. We laid out the blankets we had bought earlier in the day and fell asleep. It was cozy with all four of us squished side-by-side like sardines, but we managed to sleep for most of the ride (the kids slept the entire time!).
The next thing we knew, we were being yelled at to exit the bus. We gathered our belongings in 10 seconds flat and exited the bus onto a deserted street corner in Jodhpur. It was 4:45am, so it took us about 15 minutes to find an Uber that would take us to our hotel.
Thankfully, our hosts at the Almond Tree Homestay were available when we showed up at 5am. We were planning to just drop off our bags, but they graciously allowed us to check in to our room early. If you’re ever in Jodhpur, we HIGHLY recommend staying at the Almond Tree! It was the best place we stayed during our time in India.
We fell back asleep for a few hours and woke up around 9am to explore Mehrangarh Fort.
These 15 handprints were left by the wives of the maharaja before they immolated themselves on his funeral pyre. They are known as sati marks, and they date back to the 1843 death of Maharaja Man Singh. It was a somber sight. I’m sure glad wives don’t have to do that anymore!
After we left Mehrangarh Fort, we walked down to Jodhpur’s Blue City. We grabbed lunch and coffee at the Step Well House Cafe. While we ate, a group of boys came by and jumped in for a swim. Ella and Winston were enthralled, and we had to explain to Winston that he most definitely could NOT go swimming with them.
The next morning, Ella and Winston both came down with fevers. We had planned to drive 5 hrs. to Jaisalmer for an overnight camel safari, but we opted to stay in Jodhpur instead. Jodhpur is a larger city, with hospitals and doctors, and an overnight camel safari didn’t sound too comfortable with feverish kiddos.
Over the next two days, we putzed around our homestay, biked to a nearby park, took a lot of naps, and enjoyed the warm weather. We were even treated to a delicious four-course dinner on our terrace overlooking the palace!
After the kids recovered from their colds, we spent our last full day in Jodhpur doing a camel safari in the Thar Desert.
During the camel safari, we stopped for dinner at our guide’s home. His mother prepared us a home-cooked Indian meal over a hot fire, and Winston played with our guide’s siblings and friends. He didn’t want to leave!
Josh took some cool drone footage of our trek through the desert.
The next morning we shopped in the Blue City before heading to the airport to catch our flight back to Boston via Delhi and Paris. We bought tea, curry and spices, and a blanket.
We were sad to leave India, but we hope to be back someday!