12/24/2013 – 173 days/16162 miles

I was about 30 minutes from Jaisalmer when I pulled off on a sandy dirt road leading to a hospital to take a few photos. By the time I got off my bike, pulled out my camera, and took a single photo, I saw a cloud of dust as a Hero Splendor was making it’s way up the dirt road. They stopped and we chatted for a few minutes, and within that time, another bike appeared. Nayaran dismounted, and within a few more minutes said he was on his way to his farm, which I’d passed half a kilometer back, and that I should come see it and have chai with him. I guess it’s not every time that you pull over for a photo that you also get an offer for chai and a farm tour, so I took him up on it. I slowly followed him up his driving, which seemed ten times longer than I’m sure it actually was, due to the fact it was a flour-like sand…in my opinion, the worse surface to ride on. The rear tire likes to dig in pretty deep…notice the lack of kickstand while the bike remains upright…
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He showed me his freshly harvested peanuts (which I also sampled), his lemon trees, and his newly sprouted cumin fields.
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As I was ready to get into Jaisalmer and needed to be moving on, he extended his offer of staying on his farm, deer hunting, and having a feast for my next visit to India. If I return one day, I might just have to take him up on it.

Riding into Jaisalmer, it became immediately apparent why they call it the Golden City. Every structure, especially the very prominent fort which is built on a hill in the middle of the city is made from golden yellow stone, giving the city a strangely beautiful uniformity when viewed from afar or above.
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During an invasion, these stone balls on the top of the walls would be rolled off, crushing any enemies below
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I walked through the palace in the fort. The history was interesting, but for me, the best part was the close up views of these incredible details and the view of the city that you get from the top.
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Also inside the fort are seven Jain Temples
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Throughout the city are Havelis, which is basically just another word for mansions. The amount of detail in the carvings of these buildings is pretty incredible.
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And this ornate design is endless as you walk through the city. It doesn’t seem like it’d be possible for there to be so much of it throughout the place.
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I shipped a few things home from Jaisalmer…exciting, I know…but the whole post office process was a bit interesting…
First, I had to bring all my things to a tailor. He sewed them all up in white cloth pouch, using a treadle sewing machine, no less. I guess I’m spoiled by being able to go to the post office at home and just picking up an envelope or box there. When I got to the post office, a guy brought me behind the building to a small shed where he proceeded to melt wax over a candle, sealing up the sewn seams on my tailor made parcel. Only after that will they weigh the package, take payment, and then send it on it’s way.
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Jaisalmer has an interesting grey water sewer system
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Finally! I’ve been waiting so patiently for a bottle of world renowned English wine!
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Drunken parties on this rooftop are bound to end badly
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Prime parking spot
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A little roadside shoe repair
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