For Christmas break this year (2008), we headed to (relatively) nearby Rajasthan, the desert state of India that borders Pakistan in the West. Rajasthan is a poor state, but known for its colorful people, its desert and its castles. Zoë quickly adapted to the hardships of family travel, learning to fend for herself. ("Daddy, no eat my FOOD!")
Zoë loves riding trains, which is a good thing considering how much time we spent on them. We started our trip with a hellish 21 hour train ride to Jaisalamer. Zoë was so excited that she didn't sleep until 3am!
Our $12.50 hotel was in a 400 year old home (haveli) inside jaisalamer fort.
Our support camel, 'johnnie walker'. apparently, camels have a bladder in their mouths that they periodically inflate when they are in heat. Charming!
Zoë had a ball playing on the dunes in the desert. Youtube video here.
Zoë gets a bucket bath in a hotel in udaipur. It was her idea to actually get in the bucket!
locals bathing in the ghats of Udaipur.
Zoë peers through an elephant stone at our favorite hangout in bundi- a cheap hotel built at the fort's old elephant stables. These stones go 9 feet into the ground and were used to anchor chains to the elephants legs.
Zoë with the friendly famly at the elephant stables, they had a friendly daughter that was Zoë's age.
on New years eve we had a rajasthani feast at the elephant stables, Zoe was happy as a lark playing and eating with the village children.
Robyn helps Zoë look through binoculars at the Bird Park in Bhartapur. The bird park is a world hertiage site -- it's a good one! It was nice to have a nature break from indian cities.
On a boat ride through the swamp at the bird reserve.


Robyn's favorite feature of our $12.50 hotel in Jaisalamer was the sink pipe that emptied the sink (toothpaste, spit and all) right onto your feet! Youtube video with Robyn's commentary here.
WE took a 3 day camel safari. We chose to take a camel cart, instead of riding the camels, so it would be easier for zoë. Robyn said she felt like a 'maharaja' (rajasthani princess). That's an incredibly optimistic outlook on her part given that we were riding directly in the flightpath of the incredibly flatulent 'rocket' (above), with horny 'johnnie walker' behind us (pictured below left).
family time in the desert. Robyn sips a bottle of 'bulldozer' (subtext 'strong').
The fort in jodhpur was amazing! This is the view from the roof of our hotel. Unfortunately, the city itself was insanely polluted (more so than delhi), so we quickly left after a couple nights.
Zoë gets swarmed! everywhere we went people requested to take Zoë's photo. We frequently had to tell people no - zoë tended to get freaked out after awhile.
monkeys running around the fort in Chittigbargh. The monkeys were agressive! One charged Robyn as she was peeling a tangerine for Zoë (she threw it as far as she could) and another jumped on her backpack when she was walking!
A cow and her calf amble down the train tracks at the station in kota. I wonder what happens if a train comes while they are on the tracks.
I thought this sign at the elephant stables was funny.
Getting silly with other travelers at the Elephant Stables. Raj, the owner, is behind us.
Zoë drawing with a couple backpackers at a backpacker cafe in Bundi.
We got around the park in bicycle rickshaws, the rickshaw drivers know where all the birds and animlas are.
In addition to birds, the park had quite a few other animals- neilguy (shown here, it's a type of antelope), deer, huge pythons (I got 5 feet away), and jackals.
page created on January 3, 2009