To escape the heat of the day for the 300 Km to Jaisalmer, we saw the beginning at 6 o’clock in the morning starting from Jodhpur. In the early morning hours, there were besides the pleasant temperatures also less traffic, which made the ride on the bike even easier. Despite the exchange of some parts before, Nigel’s motorcycle had started again with his quirks. After our breakfast in a small town along the route, after we had our first morning tea break around 8 am, the engine of his bike did not start anymore. Next to the tea stall was a small workshop. Since the mechanics only opened at 9am, we had to wait first of all. As he came and tried to figure out the problem, I startet to feel slightly uneasy. As he approached the matter, that could not work well. However, the surrounding onlookers reaffirmed that he was the best mechanic in the area. The heck with it, we had no other chance anyway, so we let him try to fix the problem. It took 5 hours, the engine was almost completely dismantled, oil and small parts exchanged, but – what surprise – finally the bike started again. Nigel had to pay 3.000 INR, although the „chief of service“ couldn’t explain the cause for this temporary breakdown. For the main, we could continue to Jaisalmer.
After we made it with a temporary stuttering motorcycle to Jaisalmer, we went immediately to a real professional for fixing the problem, after having our room. We were recommended a small workshop – for the young master of his guild it took exactly 5 minutes and the problem was solved permanently. A contact failure at the ignition switch was causing the problems – he did not even want to take money, because he was so fast. Of course he got 200 INR as a tip. Previously we had spent hours in two other workshops because of this problem and my travel companion paid about 7,000 INR for it. As it turned out now – for nothing.
Jaisalmer was founded in the 12th century and is inhabited by approximately 70,000 people. It is located in the middle of the desert Thar and is – because of the construction of yellow-brown sandstone – called as the „Golden City“.Also here is a well developed fort on a rock in the center of the city. Jaisalmer was once a prosperous oasis for caravans, which operated trade between India and Western Asia.
On our previous tour, this place was the hottest thing we had ever experienced so far. No tourists can be found here at this time of year – they normally leave this inhospitable area at the end of March. The guest houses and restaurants were empty, doing business with the locals was not really successful. Therefore we were able to find within the fort in the historical city center a large, great room with private bathroom and air conditioning for about 2.5 € per person – this is also rare here.
But if you left the peaceful old town in the fortifications and went to the suburbs, had been with the local traffic the same challenge as in any other Indian city.