Today we decided life is too hard and we needed some traditional Ayurveda Indian massages (Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent). We found the best rated one which included a driver picking us up at our hotel and taking us to the spa. These massages are all about the oil. We got the most basic one which was 50 minutes (but of course only lasted 40..slight scam..). They have you get completely naked and women only massage women and men only massage men. We felt very weird getting completely naked but then they give you this weird diaper thing to cover your crotch. The massage felt extremely good and we wished it lasted longer. Since our train wasn’t until 11:30pm we decided to get a cheaper hotel to relax in close to the station and just pay for the night even though we wouldn’t be sleeping there (just $8). We asked for a car to take us to the new hotel and that became a whole scene with multiple hotel workers questioning the location saying it wasn’t close to the station and telling us there is a flat rate. We have found that when a group of men huddle together and keep on making phone calls they are devising a plan that we won’t like. We were about to leave and find a tuk tuk on our own, but then the manager arrived who said not to listen to them and got a tuk tuk for us at a decent rate.
The cheap hotel had great and kind customer service. We walked to eat at another hotel restaurant where we had a second decent pasta! We then napped and tried to relax in the room but they didn’t have an a/c so instead of it being relaxing we overheated and we were ready to head to the train with A/C. There weren’t any tuk tuks available at 10:30pm so we walked to the station. It was our first time converting our bags in to backpacks (in 2.5 months) and actually looking like real backpackers (trust us, if you are traveling soon, buy a a hybrid bag, you really don’t need to be carrying your bag and destroying your back). It was a short walk and we arrived at the surprisingly busy station. Many people were sleeping on the ground and it was filthy. Our train was only about 30 minutes late and it was our best train experience. This train felt cleaner and we didn’t have any rude people, just one guy that snored super loud. We literally slept for about 11 hours!
We arrived in Jaisalmer around noon. Our train was only about 30 minutes late and we were greeted by the driver from our hotel holding a sign with our name. Best way to arrive anywhere in India and its free most of the times, but “real backpackers” will make fun of us for doing this as it avoids the “real Indian experience” which we don’t want anyways.
Our hotel is inside the beautiful Jaisalmer Fort. Cars do not fit in the fort streets so we needed to take a tuk tuk to the main fort area and then walk to the hotel. This fort is the only livable fort in the world where 5000 people still live inside its walls. Just a couple guesthouses are located inside the fort.
We arrived to our room and it is definitely our most unique and awesome room yet, our room was 900 years old and it was used as a gun powder storage and soldiers barracks. The walls are made out of mud and we have a view of the city from the room and the toilet. The hotel owner explained the interesting history of that room. Curious how much a night there?? $15 usd.
This is the view from the room. Soldiers had these rooms as they needed to be looking out in case they spotted the enemy.
The customer service at this hotel is also the best we have seen. The owner greeted us and provided us with an excellent explanation of the history of our room. Since it is off season they have been extra attentive to us as we may be their only guests here. We asked where to eat and one of the employees drove us on his motorcycle to get there, it would have been a short walk but he wanted to help. Surprisingly the restaurant was Italian food and even more surprisingly was how legit the Italian food was!
We then explored the fort area looking at the little shops, beautiful views and small little streets. It is very easy to walk around and fascinating to see people living their lives here. People are friendlier and it feels more peaceful.
There are several viewpoints from where you can see the city. There are a little hard to find but worth looking for them.
It is also very hot so we went to take a nap in our comfy room. We watched the sunset with a cool beer from the roof of the hotel and then went to dinner.
For dinner we went to a restaurant called Free Tibet, this restaurant again didn’t serve Indian food but Tibet food, so we got a little sample of what we will be having in Tibet. We had these dumplings called momos and this barley soup with noodles. It was decent but very bland compared to Indian food. We had found that restaurants inside the fort are touristy ones so we decided for tomorrow to walk outside to find food.
Bonus Pic Of The Day: Have you heard of Copyright Infringement? Indians haven’t! This famous shop “Lassi Wala” became famous because of the Lonely Planet guidebook and immediately after fakes appeared out of nowhere right next to the original making it really hard to know which was is the good one! aaaaaaaah!