Our drive from the Hotel Vivaana to Bikaner took us through four and a half hours of fairly desolate countryside. But stark landscape notwithstanding, it was a drive filled with interest.
We stopped in a small town, Fatehpur, to look at a few more havelis and while doing that Hashmat gained entry for us into the outer courtyard of one haveli where the family was busy preparing lentils (and chickpeas, I think) for some Rajasthani foods. The young man was skimming the skins off of lentils that had been soaking for several hours; the mother (I think) was rubbing skins off of some; and the granny (I think) was looking on. They were so gracious in letting us see this little slice of life and in answering our many questions that it was the highlight of my morning.
The highways themselves provide a certain amount of excitement, too. Many of the heavy goods vehicles are decked out with tassels and strings of pompoms that flutter like mad as the trucks barrel down the highway looking for all the world like a squad of slightly over the hill cheerleaders. There are also vehicles that look like mobile sofas or easy chairs with their loads of enormous bags of fodder.