Jodhpur and Jaisalmer trip with senior citizens/adolescent parents

#1 Nov 15th, 2014, 15:38
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#1
Travelling alone is stress free but not as much fun as travelling with my parents who avail senior citizen discounts everywhere but act like adolescents as soon as the vacation starts!
January 2015 we've planned a short trip to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. it is a 7days affair beginning to end.

Would be grateful if any of you can help me with some of these queries:

1. My parents are gung ho about travelling in this whole night express train from Jodhpur to jaisalmer. Starts 11:48pm from Jodhpur and reaches 5:30am at Jaisalmer. They prefer train journeys to cab journeys but a bad train will be very uncomfortable for them. Have any of you travelled in the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer express train? how is it? Is it safe to reach Jaisalmer at 5:30am?

2. Jaisalmer hotel owner is offering all sorts of 'desert experience' for us. We are not exactly enthusiastic camel riders. More interested in history, architecture etc. Those who have taken the desert safaris - how was the experience? what was the budget range you were offered (2013 - 14 rates will be more useful for comparison). How many hours package should be take?

3. The Jodhpur hotel tells us Osian visit should be undertaken post 2pm as mornings are too sunny. Is that true? We will definitely visit Osian but my parents are more energetic in the morning hours than evening and I am not sure if the hotel people are just trying to sneak in more 'desert experience' - food, dance, puppet show - by making it an evening trip.

4. We are planning to visit Ludhruva in Jaisalmer. Google tells us it is about 10kms from our hotel, can be go there in auto or is hiring a cab a better option? For Ludhruva what is the best time to visit- morning or evening?

For both Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, if any of you have any suggestions about food, travel arrangements or places to visit please do share.
#2 Nov 16th, 2014, 01:03
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1. What according to you is a bad train? Most of the passengers would be getting down at Jaisalmer.

2. A camel ride is one of the most uncomfortable experience.

3. It will all depend on the heat. If your parents can maintain the energy in the heat then you can go ahead and visit in the morning.
#3 Nov 16th, 2014, 02:10
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1. Very safe to arrive at that time. There will probably be lots of hotel drivers (or touts) outside the station to take you to their hotels. 2A\C class would be the most comfortable. Trains are nice because you can get up and stretch whenever or spread out to sleep

2.\4. I did the safari without the camel bit. Just did the sleeping in the desert part along with the stops along the way. I thought it was great but I love sleeping under the stars!! If you decide to organize a safari you can try to organize one that will also take you to Ludhruva.
#4 Nov 16th, 2014, 13:02
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Thank you! I think I will get the jodhpur jaisalmer train tickets done today.

Lodhruva is definitely in the plan whether or not we do the sand dunes trip. If it is not bitterly cold, my parents would love to stay overnight but probably avoid the camel rides. At present our hotel is offering the sand dune trip for Rs.1500/- per head without night stay with dinner. Do you think it is a reasonable offer based on your earlier experience?

My parents get huge discounts on rail tickets and prefer trains over flights for the same reason you have shared here + 'Holidays starts with train journey' sentiments

Bad train - doesn't start on time, doesn't reach on time, stops at too many stations on the way, people get on the train without reservation and takes up reserved seats etc etc etc. Things that will get difficult to handle for an aged couple.

Anyway, thank you for your response.
#5 Nov 16th, 2014, 13:15
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Originally Posted by dipanita View Post Bad train - doesn't start on time, doesn't reach on time, stops at too many stations on the way, people get on the train without reservation and takes up reserved seats etc etc etc. Things that will get difficult to handle for an aged couple.
People without reservation don't usually board the AC section of the train. The overnight train that you are talking about has only 1 3AC coach.

This train is usually on time and is the only one which runs overnight. So if traveling over night is the only option then you will have to put up with this train even if it is not punctual.
#6 Nov 16th, 2014, 14:02
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Originally Posted by dipanita View Post
Lodhruva is definitely in the plan whether or not we do the sand dunes trip. If it is not bitterly cold, my parents would love to stay overnight but probably avoid the camel rides. At present our hotel is offering the sand dune trip for Rs.1500/- per head without night stay with dinner. Do you think it is a reasonable offer based on your earlier experience?
I think you can get cheaper. People pay 1200++ for the whole experience (camel and overnight). If you're going in peak time maybe they raise the prices (I've only been in off-season). The safaris to range in quality quite a bit though!
#7 Nov 17th, 2014, 12:06
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Originally Posted by xsc View Post I think you can get cheaper. People pay 1200++ for the whole experience (camel and overnight). If you're going in peak time maybe they raise the prices (I've only been in off-season). The safaris to range in quality quite a bit though!
Yes that's true. Our visit will be in the peak time.
But if Rs.1200/- is the normal rate then I guess 1500/- is not a complete rip-off. Will try to negotiate once we reach there.
We will maybe visit Khichan. So will try to club the whole thing and get a better rate.
Last edited by dipanita; Nov 17th, 2014 at 12:10.. Reason: Wrong information
#8 Nov 17th, 2014, 12:09
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Originally Posted by aarosh View Post People without reservation don't usually board the AC section of the train. The overnight train that you are talking about has only 1 3AC coach.

This train is usually on time and is the only one which runs overnight. So if traveling over night is the only option then you will have to put up with this train even if it is not punctual.
Got our 3rd AC tickets yesterday. We did want an overnight train as we didn't want to waste travelling days. And the other option was a Delhi - Jaisalmer train, the timings were great but it has a history of reaching late to Jodhpur.
#9 Nov 17th, 2014, 12:16
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You may get some ideas from my trip report about Jaisalmer and Khichan - http://www.indiamike.com/india/rajas...shkar-t148827/.
#10 Nov 17th, 2014, 12:54
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Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post You may get some ideas from my trip report about Jaisalmer and Khichan - http://www.indiamike.com/india/rajas...shkar-t148827/.

This is telepathy (Satyajit Ray style)!
I was just now going through your posts while searching information on Khichan visit options. Thank you for writing in such details with photographs. It was very helpful.
#11 Nov 17th, 2014, 15:34
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Originally Posted by dipanita View Post Yes that's true. Our visit will be in the peak time.
But if Rs.1200/- is the normal rate then I guess 1500/- is not a complete rip-off. Will try to negotiate once we reach there.
1200 is not necessarily normal. It's the starting point (low end).
#12 Nov 17th, 2014, 21:34
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Originally Posted by xsc View Post 1200 is not necessarily normal. It's the starting point (low end).
Aha then I guess I won't negotiate too hard. All three of us are very low skilled negotiator in any case
#13 Nov 20th, 2014, 14:19
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An overnight camel safari on the Sam Sand Dunes including dinner, breakfast and tea costs about 1000 rupees per person. The camel driver receives only 400 rupees per person. The hotels earn a big profit from the safaris. There are a lot of camel drivers who want to cut the middle man but they are threatened to lose referrals if they are caught coordinating their own safaris.

The government is currently working on a pre-paid safari booth at Sam. I'm not sure how soon this will be in effect, but it should provide more profit for the camel drivers.

Be aware hotels may offer you a very fair room rate, but their attitude and service will change if you do not book a safari with them.
#14 Nov 20th, 2014, 15:08
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Originally Posted by iamgorman View Post An overnight camel safari on the Sam Sand Dunes including dinner, breakfast and tea costs about 1000 rupees per person. The camel driver receives only 400 rupees per person. The hotels earn a big profit from the safaris. There are a lot of camel drivers who want to cut the middle man but they are threatened to lose referrals if they are caught coordinating their own safaris.

The government is currently working on a pre-paid safari booth at Sam. I'm not sure how soon this will be in effect, but it should provide more profit for the camel drivers.

Be aware hotels may offer you a very fair room rate, but their attitude and service will change if you do not book a safari with them.
Thank you for the suggestions. Will keep them in mind. We too searched for RTDC arrangements on safari but there is nothing at present. They too deal with private agents or else we have to stay at Sam Dhani and we don't want to do that.
The hotel we have booked in is offering an acceptable deal on room reservation even after we pulled out of the room+safari package he offered. Told the owner that we are interested in safari but my parents' health will be the deciding factor so we can only decide after we reach Jodhpur (will be travelling from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer). That I guess is keeping him hopeful!

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