We walked around town a bit and took a 5 hour public bus to Jodhpur. The bus was not too bad, though the locals tried to 'squeeze' onto the seats that we were sitting in. I didn't let them sit with me though. We paid for our seats and the others just paid to stand. When we go into town we walked around and met for dinner on the rooftop restaurant. The first thing I noticed when I got off the bus and stepped off was the thick dirty air. I was coughing up a lung. It was much dirtier than Delhi, at least that was the impression that I got. Our hotel is just in the heart of the town...less than 5 minutes from the clock tower (picture on right). I wanted to visit some local villages on a safari, but no one else wanted to join me. I couldn't go alone so I pleaded. After I showed the others an in my lonely planet I got 4 of them to change their minds. There were now 5 of us taking a village safari to the Bishnois village. These people sacrificed their lives to save the cutting down of a tree. We took a jeep packed with 6 of us total and went off road (really really off road) 50 km or so until we pulled up to a couple of huts. We were informed of the Bishnois caste and some other information about their small village. We drank some opium tea and then some Indian chai. We toured the village and helped grind flour and some other daily chores. Next we went to another village, of the caste I think is Megual (something like that). There we tried on some turbans and local clothing and helped an old man weave carpets from camel wool (see picture on left). All these castes are sub castes of the Brahmins. The Brahmins don't eat meat which is killing me, but tonight we are going to an upscale restaurant which serves meat, yummy. I keep ordering my meals extra extra spicy, but am left having to order a side order of chillies. I don't think the Indian food is as spicy as I hoped. After the village safari I went to the Mehrangarh Fort (see video below), where I got a 50 Rp discount since I had a student ID card. For the total price of 200 Rp. we got an entrance ticket plus an audio tour of the Fort. It was quite wonderful, but I think I'm done with the forts. The village safari was about 6 or so hours and it was 550 Rp ($11 USD), which included the 100+ km round trip off road transport, a tour guide, and lunch.
A few of you asked where I went to the bathroom in the desert...um behind a sand dune! As for TP, I typically remember to always snatch a handful wherever I find it, but you just have to improvise. I was very happy since our hotel last night and tonight actually had hot water, but only from 7-10 in the morning and 7-10 at night. I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to write about but am at a loss of words. It's just so dirty here, people spitting, their mouths and teeth stained red from whatever the hell they're chewing. Cows and dogs just sleeping in the middle of main roads, constant honking of the horns. The smell can be pretty rancid, but not as bad as it could be. There isn't much of a night life in India past 8:00, and TVs are not really available, and Internet cafes often don't have signal. This morning I walked with a couple of people to the clock tower before our jeep picked us up for the safari. There we went to a stand and got some breakfast, some type of fried break with some yellow and green sauces. I think they were just curried chillies. Tomorrow we wake up early for a 7 hour public bus journey to Udaipur, we'll be there for 3 nights. Cheers!