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Not so long

My disclaimer before beginning is that this computer is acting up a bit
and  m y patience for it is limited...see, "m y", prime example.   I hit
the space bar once and it randomly  inserts extra spaces for me -
sometimes a lot of extra spaces.  Then there are the sticky letters that
don 't want to press  down at all...

...SO, even though     i am much, much, much b ehind in the telling of
Indian tales, this message (contrary to what it now appears) will be
brief.  Just a taste.

I have moved on from the madness of DElhi and  into     Rajasthan's
beauty and diversity.  THis is the desert state of the Thar, where
cities  are known by their distinctive colours (I'm in Jodhpur now, the
blue city) and their camel fairs, where  gypsies roam and strikingly
blue eyes peer out at you from beneath  vibrant veils and thick,thick
lashes, where sand is a perpetual companion (whether or not you'd like
it to be), and where lassis mixed with purified butter  are sold for
pennies on the street.  Heaven!

I successfully met    m y friend Erik and his family in delhi on the
14th, and we all went from there to Bikaner (not too, too far from
Pakistan, for those of you with maps handy)  on  the night train. 
Despite it's being a low class,           it was a MUC H more pleasant
journey than my first, onj a narrow guage train to boot, which was  fun
and different.  Bikaner was a bit edgy, but in a way that agrees well
with me    - the old town  is full of hundreds of years old havellis
(private mini-palaces) and camels p ul l ing unbelievable loads on
wooden carts.  Who knew a camel could pull over a tonne and a half
without effort?!!

The main attraction for us of Bikaner was as a starting point to camel
trek - which we did for 5 days in the desert,  with   3 ridng camels,  2
cart pullers and  a whole staff at our disposal -  a driver for each
camel (though most were so exceedingly well behaved that we handled the
reins ourselves or just tied them to the saddle-horns and let them lead
themselves), plus a guide.    Practically a village!       To sleep    
open under the stars every night was  incredible, though cold.  Thnk
goodness for plentiful blankets (atleast for us, i think the drivers
past a chilly night or two...) and Erik's "tunnel" expertise - how to
make the most of the blankets  yo uare given.

FRom Bikaner we trained down here to Jodhpur -  a city full of such
colours as I never imagined         in India or anywhere .  And this
amazing fort  b uilt on a stone mesa towering over the old town  (which
is, as you'd expect in a desert, flat, flat, flat).  Great, great place.
 A couple of days frm now we'll continue up to Pushkar and then who
knows?                   Hopefully I ' ll have filled in the details of
this sketch a little more by then, but who knows!  So much to see, eat,
experience here!!!  Love, Roberta