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By on September 22, 2013 in India with No Comments

Our journey has nearly ended.  We took a five hour taxi ride from Jaisalmer to Jodphur, and now waiting in the airport to fly to Delhi and on to Dubai for a couple of days, then home.  Thank you everyone who kept up with our posts. You can’t believe our much we appreciated  your comments and words of encouragement.

All in all, what an adventure! A training ground for the next one. We definitely saw more of the country than we would have in a train or a car. In a rickshaw you can’t doze off, read a book, write a story. In a rickshaw you see every person that stares, laughs, or yells at you, every flick of a cow’s ear dislodging a fly, every patch of shade on the side of the road, every discarded shoe, every child squatting, every man sleeping.  In a car we may have missed seeing goats standing on two legs attacking a tree and the tractor covered in a three dimensional design made of cow patties. We may not have needed to rest so many times for cups of tea in derelict towns, on derelict tables, surrounded by people taking photos of us. We may never have eaten the strange food not served in restaurants. Never have felt that secret fear that with every bite we might get sick. Never have resented a hidden speed bump or pothole so much, leaping out at us unexpectedly. My feet would not be so tan, looking ridiculous with the crisscross of my tevas. Our ears would not have been attacked so ferociously, by the unique jingle jangle of a truck horn; the eerie, high pitched crooning of a tractor’s stereo; or or the eerie high-pitched screaming from me. We would not have smelt the air – full of exhaust so thick it gave us headaches; grass, so fresh in the countryside; and rain, cleaning everything. We may not have met so many wonderful people, helping us; or unwonderful people, taking advantage of us.
So what was unexpected?
That we didn’t get runny bottoms
That we’d enjoy the occasional chat with the few other rickshaw runners we met along the way
That Rick would take so well to driving
That the traffic flowed so well (except in the presence of the three stop lights we encountered)
The high price of gasoline
At the sheer number of people, everywhere – we couldn’t find solitude besides a few times in the last couple of days
That I’d be so disgusted with bugs and giant ants, inch long, crawling on me
That the women were so hidden, both by their clothes and their presence. Look at the photos, to come, and note that 95% of the people that approached us were men
How addicted we were to Facebook, our excitement by wifi, in those rare times when it was available
That we’d be quite such objects of curiosity
That most of the terrain was so similar until we reached Jaiper
At how shy, fearful, so reluctant to accept gifts the children were
To find an awesome pair of Converse in Shillong
How pleasant the police were
How safe our stuff was, not a single person tried to pickpocket us or nab anything from the rickshaw
That the food wasn’t spicier
That we didn’t see more beggars – only a couple our whole journey
That out of the 256,000 cows we saw, only 6 were female
That we wouldn’t see a single street sign
That our rickshaw would break down so consistently and so thoroughly
To get a giant hole in our piston
That the bandits of Bihar would come in the form of a deceitful old man and a snooty hotel
And what was not unexpected?
The traffic
The fabulous food
The poverty
That the rickshaw broke down
High points:
Every time the engine started
Monkeys on the side of the road
Mahout on elephant
Lime juice served on arrival at the Gateway Hotel, Agra
[for Rick] Rick finally winning a game of backgammon at the bus stop
The view from our fort balcony in Jaisalmer
Getting engaged!
Low points:
Every time the engine didn’t start
Nearly taking out a motorbike and scooter while trying to find the nonexistent Hotel Bliss
Breaking down in the middle of nowhere in torrential rain, feeling out of options, alone
Most useful items:
[by far] The India map app
My sarong
Parachute cord
Tool kit
Most useless items:
Strapless dress

400 pencils

Things we should have brought:
A broken hacksaw blade
An extra plug adapter
Things we lost:
1 bottle of conditioner
1 pair of tennis shoes
Things we gained:
1 flute (which broke in half)
1 singing bowl
1 rusty padlock
1 rusty knife
2 scarves
1 sandalwood bracelet
1 silver necklace
1 engagement ring
237 ants
Several potentially fatal diseases
Things we missed from home the most:
Potable water
Regular toilets
Toilet paper
Red Bull
Good coffee [Rick]
Thanks for your support.  Stay tuned for our next adventure circa November 2014: Driving across the Sahara – and this time it won’t be organized by anyone besides ourselves!!

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