Monday, November 7, 2011


Today I had only three goals; sleeping in, completing a lesson of math, and participating in the zip-line tour over the Mehrangarph Fortress of Jodhpur.  My first goal was easily met when Mom knocked on my door at 10 AM, just as I was waking up.  I have got to say, she had excellent timing!  She took me to breakfast and told me that Ivan and Dad were out exploring the city and that she did not have the heart to wake me up earlier.  We ate breakfast at the roof top patio of our hotel and just after we ordered, Dad and Ivan showed up.  Shortly, breakfast ended and I was on to goal number two.

By the time I was starting my math, It was already 11:30.  I knew we had to be up at the fortress ready to zip by 3:30.  If I did not focus on my math, this would not be possible.  I cranked through my warm up problems, read the lesson with great efficiency, and completed my thirty math problems.  I focused pretty well on my work, but almost not well enough.  By the time I was finished with my lesson, it was already three o’clock.  Yikes!

With quick foot placement and speed, we caught a ride up to the fortress.   With us were three Indian doctors, as well as Ivan, Adam, and the Silbaugh gang.  We split up into three rickshaws and enjoyed the ride up to the castle on the hill.  We all had building anticipation about the zip line tour.  The plan was for us to do a circuit around the ancient fortress, flying along wires, over deep gullies, and past ramparts!  We would walk a hundred meters or so between zip lines.  I just could not wait!  It felt like ages (though it was probably only 15 minutes) when the lead guide finally said “all this way please”! Gulp!

I was nervous and excited.  We followed our guide to a staircase leading up to a large platform built high upon the fortress wall.  That’s when we all started getting really excited.  Going with our group was another party of Indian tourists.  The other Indian group went first, but soon it was my turn.  I got myself in the proper position and was pushed off by our guide.  The first two seconds were scary, but soon I experienced the same exhilaration that I felt while paragliding.  I was flying!  I felt the wind in my face and glided smoothly.


Our zip circuit went around the back side of the fortress.  We zipped back and forth over a lake behind the castle, flying between the castle walls.  Our last line was the most impressive.  It was several hundred meters long and took us all the way back to where we started.  After the zip tour, we walked back through town towards our hotel.  We wandered a maze of streets and houses with the amazing sunset, shining upon the blue houses.  The people of Jodhpur paint their houses blue to keep the mosquitoes away and to keep the houses cool.  We are not sure how the color blue repels the mosquitoes, but with Malaria around I hope it works!   

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!


  1. The zip line sounds great! I would really like to do that sometime.

    Are there screens on the hotel windows or do you use bed nets or anything to keep the skeeters at bay?

  2. this is sooo awesome to read Rohan!
    I have been to India but never to all of the areas you are seeing.. you are one lucky young man..!
    oh I am friends with Shelly,Denny Patrick for ever..
    have fun!!!!

  3. Rohan, I've been reading since I got back from the mine. Really cool to see how your skills are developing. I started back at the beginning and was able to see how much your writing and photography have improved. Judging by how often you have to juggle your day around your math lessons, those skills must be developing also. Now how to work on those "getting up early" skills. Pat says you will be needing them in high school back in the US. Thanks, your writing and pictures are a nice part of my day. Den

  4. Denny, thank Patrick for the getting up advice. I will transfer that to my early morning zombie.


  5. Hey Chopper! I notice that Rohan didn't answer your question about the skeeters.... we're using nets and DEET... Tim saw lots of Malaria in Mumbai. We're staying skeeter free, we hope!