Free Spirits Around the World in 99 Days travel blog

In Delhi, I had a sleepless night because of back pain. Waves of pain would roil across my back. I thought I was passing a kidney stone. I paced, sat up, tried to sleep, and paced again. The old fashioned spring mattress meant that every move Mo made would attack my back.

It took all day to figure out that I was having caffene withdrawal. The hotel coffee was simply too weak to sustain me. A trip to Cafe Coffee Day was the cure. Yes, I am an addict.

That day we tried hiring a tuk tuk (3 wheel mini cab) to haul us to a site. We negotiated a price in rupees and climbed in. After about five minutes, the driver asked if we wanted to shop. No, the temple only we insisted. He then pulled up to the wrong temple and claimed to have done his job. He must have decided he could not trap us in his cousin's brother's what not shop to buy needless trinkets resulting in kickbacks to him. When I showed him the map, he played dumb and kept pointing at the wrong temple. Mo told me we were getting out. To try not to get tourist police involved, I offered a tip. The driver demanded a higher "minimum." Mo and I vocalized our displeasure. The driver grabbed the tip and took off. We walked the short distance to the metro to head back to the ranch.

Before our desert outing, we were told it would be damp in the morning. I have a handy waterproof pouch for my cell phone. I foolishly forgot to take it. The next day, my cell phone photos were suddenly muddy and unfocused. There was desert morning moisture inside the camera lens. Back in town I went to a local cell phone store to see if the moisture could be removed. They wanted a bunch of rupees to try. I had the bright idea of asking our guide for an opinion. I went and got him and we went back to the store. After a rapid exchange, my guide told me the plan was to ship my phone out of town. He advisd me to wait until the next big city where there would be specialty shops. I agreed. The next morning, I was working with my phone and realized the camera was normal again. The desert air here is so dry that all the moisture had evaporated.

The only place we have had decent pillows this trip was our fancy St Petersburg place. Everywhere else, we have had lumpy, less lumpy, more lumpy, and rock hard. Not that I'm complaning. We get what we pay for.

In Delhi, we were heading back to the hotel via metro. It seems that December 25-31 is an Indian holiday. The station platforms and trains were stuffed and stacked with people. There was room for about two when our train arrived. Our leader literally crammed the 12 of us in with repeated hearty shoves. It was my first experience of being packed in to a subway car.

In Jaisalmer, our room doors are secured with sliding latches on both sides, with a pad lock for the outside. I was sick this morning and stayed in the room to sleep. In early afternoon, I decided I was well enough to try a walk. When I pulled on the door, it would not open. Mo had secured the exterior sliding latch. I was locked in. We were too many stories up to try a window exit. I finally had the bright idea of texting our leader. He called the hotel and a friendly lad set me free. Another first, being locked in a hotel room by my wife.

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