The Journey so far-
Day 2 | 17th, December 2010 | Bikaner – Pokren – Jaiselmer
It was around 11.30 AM we left from Deshnok, Karni Devi Temple some 32 odd KMs from Bikaner towards road to Jaislemer. Again, blissful drive was waiting for us to hit the highway and we gladly jumped into the it and zoomed towards Bikaner. We knew, the other highlight of the day left was enjoying the drive on super flat and black metalled roads of Rajasthan that leads to Jaislemer around 340 KMs away. As we came closer to Bikaner we confused the road and entered into the Bikaner main market 😥 … It was a painful experience altogether while driving between those extremely narrow roads and made me remember the Sadar Bazar of Delhi. People were jumping from all over the place, so were rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and cycles. It costed more than an hour to reach the Highway to Jaiselmer from Bikaner.
The Truck and The Tree…
It was 12.30 PM and as I started to speed up we had a railway crossing waiting to get open. I thanked that there are not much vehicles on the roads blocking the traffic idiotically from both sides as it always happen near railway crossing of Panchkula while going to Kalka, Himachal Pradesh. It’s a big turnoff while going to Himachal 🙁 … But, coming back to topic although in Rajasthan we found plenty of railway crossings but none jammed the roads and most of them were blocked for a brief amount of time. There was nothing major but just a drive, drive and drive on amazingly flat roads with least amount of traffic.
There were instances when you can see miles in front and miles at the back of roads straight as an arrow with not even a single soul anywhere in between. The place almost isolated us from the civilization after chunks of timer intervals one after another. The only thing that stops you on these butter smooth highways was either something catching to the eyes, like a beautiful road or the railway crossing 🙂 , otherwise you zoom, zoom and zoom. The first stop we had in mind was Pokren to have lunch at RTDC, Motel Pokren. If you are going from Bikaner the hotel is just at the end of NH-15 on left side, from where you need to take right on to venture further ahead to Jaislemer NH-15 or you can take left to hit NH-114 towards Jodhpur or Udaipur or Jaipur. The food at RTDC hotel was light with good taste and we enjoyed the big cup of tea as well after our meal. It was a welcome stop for my wife who was already feeling awkward due to hunger and unrested long legs :). We marched ahead towards left from Pokren towards Jaiselmer.
Since, such regions are particularly suited to test your machine’s horse power, I was not stepping back from the opportunity. I accelerated to test my Swift dZire engine and first time in life crossed 150 KMPH :roll:. It was extremely joyful driving at such speeds and my swift showed no signs of un-swiftness 😀 … This meant it has more power left to further accelerate. After a while sometime you feel bore driving at constant high speeds and my wife suddenly shouted why the hell are you driving so slow? When I actually asked her to read the speedometer it was displaying 120 KMPH 😆 and politely asked her, do you want me to speed-up more 🙄 … She said, YES 😯 … On her wish I started speeding up and went to 162 KMPH when I felt we were almost talking to air as we were now feeling the pressure, I asked her more and she said slow down, slow down 😀 … But, 162 KMPH in my swift dZire would register as best ever speed I got while driving for a long long time to come 🙂 …
We knew before the darkness falls, we will reach Jaislemer for sure and get our room. We called up Hotel Moomal, RTDC for the availability of the room and the guy at the reception confirmed the availability. He also suggested the route which was pretty straight forward from the highway. Hotel Moomal, RTDC is located at road leading to Sam Sand Dunes and just adjacent to an air force museum. So, you need to cross both the Gaddisar Lake and Sonar fort straight from the highway to reach the Hotel.
We checked into the rooms which were overly priced when compared to cleanliness and comfort but we had no choice left. Also, we were not in the mood to search more hotels in the city and spoil the day in another chaotic traffic of the city. We had a cup of tea and by that time sun had almost set so we had no options to go anywhere apart from walking around the hotel under fresh air. After an hours knap, we went for dinner in the Hotel’s restaurant which was served as buffet in most hotels of Rajasthan :(… Since, there is a dominance of tourists from Gujarat and Bengal in Rajasthan, the hotels prefer to cook non-Rajasthani food 😯 and of course we were surprise with this fact. Nevertheless, none of us is a big foodie 😆 … After dinner, we walked in the Hotel complex for an hour and enquired about the Sam Sand dunes at the reception. The guy at the reception booked the accommodation for us at Sam Dhani, RTDC at Sam Sand Dunes by showing the pictures in the computer and took Rs 1000 as advance in the night itself. I thought we will get the receipt when we check-out in the morning. He told us to be back by 2.00 PM next day after local sightseeing in Jaiselmer because they send all the people in a single group. We agreed and went for the good night sleep in the room.