India, February 20, 2017

Day 8, Jodhpur to Rohet

We had a lovely last evening in Jodhpur, venturing from the hotel into the old city for a roof top dinner at Indique.  From our elevated table we had views of the old clock tower, fort and palace.

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Back to the hotel to get packed up after our three day respite from travel.  We are off in the morning for Rohet and Rohetgarh, a family run fort in the traditional Rajasthani style.  We have been traveling through the Rajasthan region (state) since before Jodhpur.  Rohet is a short 45 minute drive from Jodhpur.  Paramjeet has a small shrine to Ganesha on the dashboard, decorated with a beautiful garland.  Ganesha is the god of new beginnings and is an obstacle remover.  Perfect for the car….as Paramjeet says, “to drive in India you need a good horn, good brakes and good luck.

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On the way we passed a group of women breaking and hauling rock.  Very hard work, especially in 87 degree heat.

In our itinerary from our travel agent Christina at Willamette Travel, we were warned that the 375 year old desert fort would be our most basic accommodation.  So, we were prepared for bare bones, and laughed ourselves silly upon arrival.

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The heritage fort hotel is still the residence of the original royal family of Rohet.  Suzanne and I were lucky enough to meet a female member of the family later in the evening when we went down to the bar for a glass of Indian wine, Sula.

After it cooled off a bit in the late afternoon, Suzanne and I took a safari to nearby Bishnoi and Brahmin villages.  The Bishnoi are a group of people that worship nature and believe in the sanctity of plant and animal life. No TV, electricity, toilets and they only eat vegetables and milk. Women with a ring in their nose means they are married.

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The grandfather of the small clan we visited is 87 years old and his wife is 81, must be doing something right.  They live a very simple life on 15 hectares (37 acres in the semi-desert).

Imagine our surprise when we got to the Brahman village of approximately 300 and found everyone preparing for a wedding. But the bigger surprise was the fact that the local men were preparing liquid opium to drink in honor of the big event. We were offered a some, which we graciously declined.

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The groom had his turban done by our guide. We were extremely lucky to able to watch some of the wedding celebration.

After returning to the fort, we had a great vegetarian dinner and enjoyed the sparkling garden.

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