After a week of emailing and phoning hotels, airlines and India Railways I think our plans are in place for Rajasthan just after Christmas. We've kept the train travel down to three days. One day we will have to arrange for a car/driver. Many hotels are booked so it took a lot to find something decent and at a reasonable price. We tend to go by Tripadvisor as they have advised us well in the past. Now to sort through all the emails and figure out where we booked and in what city.
We decided against Pushkar (famous for it's camel fair) as the beautiful lake has completely dried up and thus is just a big hole in the ground. Apparently the governments attempt to clean up the lake and make it deeper went awry.
We are looking forward to travelling and seeing a different part of India: palaces and forts, camels and desert, and the brilliant colors of the nothern sarees and turbans.
Of course we had the initial problem with IndiGo airlines cancelling our tickets because Michael's name on his passport and visa are different (Michael/Mike). Then yesterday we noticed that their prices for the same flight had gone down by 8000Rp/$200Can. (for the four of us).
So, Michael got back on the phone with the airline and this time we gladly paid the cancellation fee ($15), then rebooked at the lower price. Saving $200 feels good!