The Camel Safari

Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
Trip End Sep 26, 2010

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So arriving in Jaisalmer was like a breath of fresh air. Hot fresh air, but fresh air nonetheless. This was a town in the middle of the desert with a big fort right in the middle of town. Fortunately for us, we were staying right in the fort at a place with a great rooftop restaurant and view over the city. We spent the first day just relaxing for a bit before going on a walk of the town when it cooled down enough later in the afternoon. It is the hot season here so it was about 46 degrees during the day but at least it is a dry heat.

I instantly decide that I like Jaisalmer much more than Delhi. It is not quite as crowded and has much more of a pleasant atmosphere. We walk through the random alleys of the town, again avoiding cows and the mess on the streets but here it does not seem so bad. People tend to stare at us for far too long, but it is becoming sort of normal and I am now used to be stared at just because I'm different. Quite often locals want to have their picture with me as well. This is amusing. We have a nice paneer dinner at a rooftop restaurant (rooftop restaurants seem to be the standard here.) I am pleased. This is much nicer than Delhi.

The next day I bummed around the hotel mostly reading and enjoying the view from the hotels rooftop restaurant. There was a massive sandstorm the day we arrived so the camel safari was in jeopardy of not happening, but it died down the day we were supposed to leave so we left for our trek as scheduled. We took a tiny rickety old jeep out into the desert for an hour when we came upon our camels. These animals are much bigger than I expected. We hopped on and trekked about an hour and a half into the wilderness only passing one small town along the way. Eventually we made it to our camp which consisted of one hut for supplies and 7 cots out on the sand dunes. It is beautiful to be out on the sand dunes, it felt amazing just being out there in the wilderness, living the nomadic traders life, if only for one day. The riders made us a nice dinner and we enjoyed that and some chai as the sun set over our little camp. It was nice and cool in the desert so I slept well, and woke up early at around 5am to look up and see the amazing night sky. There were so many stars and the milky way was completely visible. This was a great moment for me in my travels so far, and I stayed up and just stared up at the sky until the sun came up. We had a quick breakfast after everyone was up then headed back on the camels to the jeep, and then back into town.

I bummed around the rest of the day because it was too hot, then we headed back to town for another sunset rooftop dinner. That was about it for Jaisalmer as we were leaving early the next morning, but I definitely enjoyed my time here.

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