Sunday, 9 June 2013

Excursion to the Amber Fort

The Amber Fort
Our plan was to head out to the Amber Fort in the morning and then relax in the afternoon before our 5pm train onto Jodhpur. However, Dave was quite nauseous when he woke up so we didn’t manage to check out till we had to at 10am, followed by a slow breakfast where Dave tried to force down a bowl of cornflakes as he felt he should try to eat something. He still didn’t have much energy so we amended our plans and decided to take an auto rickshaw to the Fort and just take a look from outside, take some pics and then come back.

It took us a few tries but we finally managed to negotiate a rickshaw for 300INS and it turned out we had chosen well as our driver was excellent, the best we’d had yet. On arrival at the Fort we were impressed by its enormity and design and Dave decided he had enough energy to explore inside and not just look on. It was worth the expended energy as inside was huge and greatly detailed and despite the heat we enjoyed wandering around the labyrinth of rooms and corridors. 
The main gates in the Fort

We still needed to pick up Sarah’s glasses so after we'd felt we'd seen enough of the Fort it was back into town where we waited half an hour until they were ready. Dave waited with the driver in the rickshaw as our driver was worried he’d receive a parking fine unless there was a gringo on board. For the price, the glasses were worth the wait. They seemed no different from the expensive ones back home, but only time would tell if the quality was comparable. 

When we arrived back at the hotel we asked our driver if he’d be available to take us to the train station in an hour. He happily agreed, but then unfortunately the rickshaw ‘mafia’ that camped outside the hotel had some severe words with him and after a couple of minutes he quietly apologised to us and said that he wouldn’t be able to take us after all. We felt really sorry for him and decided that on principal we’d walk the distance to the main road so as to not use one of the mafia when we needed to go to the station. 

We did exactly that, much to the angry comments from the drivers when we hiked past with our backpacks on declaring saying that we didn't need to go anywhere... On arrival at the station we bought the tickets we needed for our Mumbai – Satna trip, and we were wait-list numbers 25 & 26 so we knew that there probably wouldn’t be much chance of getting on that train. We tried to buy the Foreign Quota tickets instead but apparently you can only buy them from the station of departure, which is fairly useless as by the time you arrive in town they’re usually already sold out.

It was our first experience travelling 3AC and it was a lot more crowded and we had many more people staring at us the entire trip, which made us decide that - if possible - we’d pay the extra for 2AC from now on. We arrived at Jodhpur only 20 minutes late at 10.20pm and it was only a short walk to Govind Hotel where we’d planned to stay. The owner wouldn’t budge on his room price but he at least threw in free Wifi and there was air conditioning so we took the room figuring it was too late to hunt around. The power unfortunately cut out sometime throughout the night, killing the needed aircon, which meant that we woke up drenched in sweat before the day had even started. We hoped that the day would improve after a refreshing shower!

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