Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Sweets of Bikaner..

Day 3: Odo reading 550 kms

Another sunrise in Jaipur, checked out from our hotel room and had to smuggle the empty beer bottles out without the owner noticing(the three beer bottle caps that I forgot to throw away are collectors item now, as those were the only things that I bought back home after this perilous journey)  and we headed west towards Pakistan Border, Destination 'Bikaner'. Started out as early as possible since we knew it was a tedious journey thru the desert, but some 50 kms into the journey we were all hungry as a cow hence we pulled over at a roadside dhaba (as usual) and gobbled some paneer paratha with curd (the curd was thick as jelly) which I really liked and we ploughed on.

On our way we were greeted by Camels both wild and domesticated ones, there were also some dead cows on the road and bone's(cow) scattered around, this is not unusual when you are in middle of a desert where temperatures hit 50' celsius with ease and we were feeling this heat. All of us were even afraid to take a leak as there was a burning sensation (you know where) and I don't want to mention what our a** was going thru. A case in study would be this: We bought a bottle of cold water or should I say ice as it was completely frozen so we thought we ll keep it inside the bag and drink it later, After 30 mins or so we stopped to check whether it had turned into water,well it had, not just water it was warm also.
Thar Desert
We somehow managed to cover half of the total 360 kms from Jaipur to Bikaner when we pulled over for lunch in some small town( I don't remember the name) lunch was nice with same menu as mentioned before but we met these national highway engineers who were working on some project nearby (I should add that Rajasthan Government has done a very good job when it comes to roads, beautifully laid out and without a single pothole) they were really friendly and were amazed to hear what we had set out to achieve(they should have thought that we were bonkers).

After this satisfying lunch we left for Bikaner but by now the wind had picked up and a desert storm was inevitable, As we rode along the highway we were all sandblasted and I could hear the sand hitting my helmet(my hand took a beating as I was wearing a knuckle glove) this is what desert life is like,we thought and moved on to reach Bikaner early evening.

We directly went to the city information center and asked where we could get some cheap accommodation, he suggested us that we go near the railway station after roaming the streets searching for the railway station we were approached by a gentleman who thought we were here to race in a rally but after we explained he led us to the railway station where we found our crib.

The city official also told us that the temperature there would go above 55' celsius but the government does not publish it(I really doubt this). We put all our things in the room and set out to explore the city.It was late evening so the heat had died down to reveal the true magic of this place.

The city is an oasis sitting right in the middle of a desert with its beautiful palace and lake with soft cold wind blowing from the west,carrying the sweet smell of sand along. This was as charming to the eyes as Penelope cruz. We went out on a eating spree as Bikaner is known for its sweets and bhujia (I can say till now I have never tasted anything like what we had there, Heavenly) 
Bikaner Fort
Finally we were back in our hotel trying to sleep but the heat was killing us with no AC in the room. After a bit of struggling we could lay our eyes to rest of course with  little help from Dr Vijay Mallya.



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