Mostly Sweet With a Dash of Sour

It can’t be said that traveling in India is easy, but there are grades of hardship. In the last week or so we have been following the well trodden, hence pretty easy, tourist trail through Rajasthan. It’s been fantastic and places like Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur deserve to be well visited. However, we were ready to get off the beaten track again away from menus with Nutella and noodles and Continue reading

Golden City Glory

In the eerie light just before dawn David and I climb the steps to the Mirage Hotel. We find a thin, wiry man wrapped in a shawl against the cold breeze. He is sweeping and tidying the roof top terrace, getting things ready for when his guests wake. We call “namaste” and he turns, a bright white smile punctuating his dark features and he welcomes us in. He is Mr Ba who Continue reading

All the Fun of the Fair

Having so enjoyed the gentle and rural authenticity of the Nagaur cattle fair I was in two minds about the Jaisalmer Desert Festival geared as it is to pageantry, entertainment and tourists. It was all these things and I loved it!
It began with a procession celebrating desert life. We gathered and jostled for the best view with the other goggle-eyed tourists at Continue reading

Chai and a Pink Blanket

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It’s quarter to five in the morning. We have arrived in the desert city of Jaisalmer in the far west of Rajasthan just 100km from the Pakistan border. It has been dubbed the Golden City due to the honey coloured sandstone from which the glorious Fort is built, but it is far from golden at this moment. The dark and cold envelop us and everything is shut, unwelcoming and unfamiliar. Continue reading

Pushing Through Pushkar

Eleven years ago I spent a blissful time in the Rajasthani lake city of Pushkar. The lake is sacred and I witnessed many Sadhus performing Pooja on the shallow ghats, I wandered the lanes browsing in the few shops and stalls. I remember doing an Ayurvedic massage course with a practitioner from the charming old haveli I was staying at and eating vast amounts of kheer a rice pudding/porridge type dish iimagenfused with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and peppered with jewels of green pistachios and creamy cashews.

A decade later and the lake is still beautiful and sacred – Sadhus still come Continue reading