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Most of the rest of Rajasthan

Bundi was lovely — small, relaxing, etc. I got good news while I was there, and savored it from a rooftop looking a well-lit palace enjoying my first (and likely only) beer of the trip. Kingfisher lager. Not terrible. A bit sweet. Cold.

The next morning, I was the first person to brave the local fort, Taragarh. I beat most of the monkeys to it, too. Great views, and amazing to be the only one enjoying them for the first hour or two. Bundi’s wildlife was nice: in addition to the normal livestock, I saw monkeys (fairly normal, but I’d never seen one steal nan before), brilliant green parrots, and a host of butterflies.

Some of the baoris (stepped wells) in the area were nice, too.

From Bundi I went to Udaipur, called (somewhat wishfully) (by travel writers who’ve had too much bhang lassi) “the Venice of the East.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful city from the right angles — especially from the Monsoon Palace, Sajjan Garh, on a hill a few km away — but I don’t know about Venice. The Lake Palace was impressive, although I’m nowhere near being able to afford even the right kind of shirt to think about having a meal there.

On the way to Udaipur I saw the fort at Chittor and felt all six droplets of rain I’ve crossed paths with on this trip. The fort is big, but spread out and wasn’t a particular highlight. Perhaps my memory is colored by having the driver try to rip me off at lunch that day — just as in China, finding the real menu and demanding repricing did the trick, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Between Udaipur and Jodhpur I stopped at Kumbalgarh and Ranakpur. Kumbalgarh was very impressive. I’m finding that I enjoy the views of/from forts far more than what little is left inside them; I guess I have more temple fatigue than fort fatigue. Being able to walk a substantial portion of the ramparts was a plus. The Jain temples at Ranakpur were also quite impressive, even given my temple fatigue — lots of impressive (and quite literally unique) marble carvings.

Jodhpur was a quick stop–just one night. The fort, in addition to being a normally impressive Rajasthani fort, has an excellent group in charge of it, very informative signs/included audioguide, and a well-curated collection of items.

I’m now in Jaisalmer, where I will see the fort and then head out into the desert. Having no great love for either camels or blistering heat, I’m going to forgo the standard camel safari itinerary and drive out to the local dunes tomorrow evening at sunset (after trying to catch the fort, which really does look like a sandcastle as LP claims, in the morning). The camel safari can give me something to aspire to when I finally make it to Morocco.

From here, I’m planning on a full day of driving and two nights in Pushkar, followed by another day’s drive to Delhi and flights to Colombo on the 16th.

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