Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jailsalmer started like all the other places - visiting the fort in the center of town.  The fort, built by Rawal Jaisal in the 12th century, stands on the 80 metre high Trikuta hill, with beautifully carved Jain temples.  The Fort is still alive today as many people still live out their  daily lives inside the fort walls.
With Jailsalmer's dessert location, it is one of Rajasthan's most exotic and unusual towns. Jaisalmer, an important ancient trading centre because of its strategic location on the camel trade routes, is often described as the 'golden city'.  The golden, yellow tones of the city as the sun set was really remarkable.  

Our main reason  for taking this all night train ride to Jailsalmer was to go on a camel safari.  The desert region is magnificent and what better way to see it than on the back of a camel.  Mom and Dad (the kids as they were affectionately known) were excited and we booked a two day, one night camel safari into the desert.  On the way out to the starting point we stopped at a couple of small desert villages, and to say the least, they were a little depressing as there has been no rain in a long time and everything is just...well, a desert.

After mounting our camels for the first time, we realized that it was quite a procedure.  Keeping in your seat as the camel raises or lowers itself to the ground, can appear at first to be a losing battle. Which it is!  Mom seemed to be doing great ("better than riding a horse"), Dad was a little sore (not as smooth as he had hoped), and Latha was fine.  I, on the other hand, was not doing well and my behind as well as other parts were very  sore.

After  arriving at the large dunes our guides  set up camp and cooked us our supper.  The sand dunes looked picture perfect - the ripples across the huge expanse, with no one else there!  That doesn't happen often in India.  Latha and I decided (well Latha decided) that we would like to sleep in the tent but the kids had other  ideas.  They decided that they wanted to sleep under the stars.  Well I laughed so hard when the guides tucked my parents in under the desert stars and Latha and I crawled into our tent.

The next  morning I went to see how the  kids where doing and mom was telling dad to quit taking all the blankets and to get out of the sand.  What a way to wake up.  Dad came out the worst for wear with his camel riding wound, but not suprisingly, he also enjoyed the camels the most!

We picked up some textiles thanks to mom's bartering skills, and were off to Jaipur on a night train.

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