After waking up to a pretty incredible sunrise in the desert we spent the morning seemingly driving around the desert to all of Ali’s mates houses to drink Masala Chai. Once we eventually got moving we picked a couple of hitchikers up and made it back to Jaisalmer by lunch time. We spent the rest of the day chilling out with the girls before doing a bit of shopping and sorting out our bus to Udaipur for the following day.
I should add at this point that we had been told by numerous people that the only way to get from Jaisalmer to Udaipur was to either get an overnight bus which left at 3pm or a train (which was fully booked and took much longer). We took the decision to ignore this advice and booked a the first early morning bus to Jodhpur in hope of trying to come up with a ‘Plan F’ that best suited our needs and got us there asap. Whether it was a bus, car, train or hitch hiking, we were getting there tomorrow. Bus booked for 6am we hit the hay.
The following morning we woke up at 5:30 and headed outside. We had just woken the house boy up who was comically called Smile and so he went and found Ali so that he could take us to the bus station. Turns out that Ali and the lads had had a party the previous evening and once we had loaded up the jeep Ali got in and sat in the drivers seat only to realise he was so high that he couldn’t actually remember how to drive!!! Not to worry though because he got his friend to drive us to the bus station who was coincidently also still absolutely hammered. Thankfully it wasn’t far at all and there is no traffic at that time in the morning, the only things you have to avoid are the sleeping cows. We got our bags on the bus then Ali told us to get back in the jeep and we’d have some chai, he told us the bus never left on time and that we may as well stay in the jeep and have a brew and keep warm. Good plan as although we didn’t have a clue what they were saying to eachother they were laughing hysterically so it was entertaining either way. In true Indian style, the bus started its engine and began to roll out of the bus station and Al and I dived out of the jeep, said our goodbyes and ran after the bus jumping on at the last minute. There is just no fun in sitting on the bus/train waiting for it to depart..
6 hours later we stopped on some road in the middle of Jodhpur to be told it was the last stop. Al and I hadn’t a clue where we were… Not to worry, as much as Ali may be a complete stoner he had called a friend in Jodhpur and he had come to meet us off the bus. We told him we wanted to get to Udaipur and were told that the buses didn’t leave until the evening… We asked again if he would take us to the bus station as we had discovered in India, you ask question enough times, you will eventually get the answer you want. Low and behold there was a bus leaving at 1pm, that was only 25 mins away. We raced across town, hopped on our new bus and set off to Udaipur. Mission complete, we arrived in Udaipur in time for tea and ended up bumping into Natalie and Abi again, who had left on the bus the day before and not arrived until earlier that day.
Al and I sat by the lake and had dinner enjoying a few clandestine beers which were served in mugs as the bottles were expertly smuggled out the back by one of the waiters. Sitting there relaxing we were discussing Al and Dave’s 3 rules of backpacking….
1. Don’t bring more than you can comfortably carry.
2. Don’t bring anything that you would be upset if it got lost, broken, stolen or soiled.
3. Don’t give up. Nothing is impossible, there is ALWAYS a way!
Point number 3 was especially important, we had been told that there was absolutely no way we would be able to get to Udaipur by dinner, yet here we were. We’d met other backpackers, people I refer to as ‘Backpacker Snobs’ who said it was impossible to see everything we wanted to see in the four weks we would be in India and that we weren’t very good at backpacking if we thought we could?!?! Yet with enough overnight trains and buses we’d been here just over three weeks and were now on our third unscheduled stop… not that we ever had a schedule, Plan F had been in full swing from the get go!