Jaisalmer Camel Safari
Trip Start Feb 22, 2008
42Trip End Feb 21, 2009
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As Thursday was a holiday (one of the god's birthdays!) the other girls had decided to take Friday off work and go to Jaisalmer for a camel safari. They were leaving on the 12.00pm train that evening. This sounded like a great idea so Heather, Nick and i decided to go with them. We rushed home to pack while Karnika got her travel agent to get us the train tickets and at 12.00pm we were in the station (unfortunately the train was not, but you can never expect them to be on time!). The train journey was 13 hours long, but we were on a sleeper carrage so we were able to sleep for most of it. When we got there the girls had booked into a guest house in the fort itself. The guest house was 50 rupees a night! We were in a dormitory with no glass in the windows and a shared squat toilet, but we didn't care as it was only for 1 night. We dropped off our stuff and then went for a nice non-spicy full of meat and cheese meal!! It was wonderfull.
We then went shopping (as you must the whole fort is full of shops!!) we neded hats, long sleeved tops and long trousers. We managed to find all of these for about 200 rupees each so we were set for the camel safari. We then went back to the guest house and sat on the roof terrace having a beer and chatting with the guest house owner. It was a great day.
Next day we had to be up at 7am to meet the tour guide for the camel safari. We were taken by jeep into the desert where we met our camels. As with our luck they didn't have enough camels for the 7 of us so we got back in the jeep and went to another location 5 mins away where enough camels where waiting. We all looked redicious covered from head to toe with hats, sunglasses and linen! But off we went.
There was 1 guide for every 2 camels and most of the guides were under 10. They walk along while the customers ride the camels. What an uncomfortable experience! You are miles off the ground sat on hundreds of blankets with no stirps for your feet so they just hang there holding on to a tiny little knob in front of you as you sway back and forward with every step they take!
We stop for lunch under the shade of a tree and sit there talking to 2 french people and an american who have joined our trip for 3 hours so we are in the shade during the hotest time of the day.
Back on the camels and we walk further into the desert and to a little village to give the camels some water. We are imediately swamped by the children asking for pens and money. After they realise we are not going to give them anything they get out their english books for us and we start doing nursery rhymes with them.
After the camels are watered we get back on them and by this stage our bums and thighs are really really sore!! Luckly there is only about an hours more riding before we hit the sand dunes where we are sleeping that night. We climb to the top of the dunes to watch the sunset - which wasn't that great as the day was hazy so the sun disapeared behind the haze before it had a chance to turn red, but it was great to see it in the desert!
The guides cooked us dinner and we had a beer each while singing camp songs. (well i was singing as no one else could remember any songs!) and the guides sang us indian folk songs.
Then off to bed, which was litterly a blanket underneath us and a blanet above us, then nothing but stars and sand!
It was freezing, but a wonderfull experience.
The next day we had boiled eggs for breakfast and then set off back to the jeep meeting point.
We got back into Jaisalmer about 12 absolutely filthy, but luckly the tour guide had a guest house that did hot showers for only 25 rupees each. So we all piled in there and sat on the roof terrace with a drink while we took turns in the shower. Clean and shiny we headed for lunch - another non-spicy full of meat this time italian meal and by the time we finish we have to grab a rickshaw and head to the train station as our train leaves at 4 from this station so it is more likely to be on time.
We have another sleeper carrage, but as we board the train at 4pm we have more time waiting around before getting the bunks down and going to sleep. The other girls are in the row behind us and have a weird expeirence with some indian men reading porn magazines and staring at them, so we send Nick to sit by them and protect them (not that he'd be able to do much but it stops some of the staring). We get back into Jaipur at 5.00am and walk home before clasping back into bed!
It was the best way to spend the weekend and a really good experience, but i won't be rushing to ride a camel again anytime soon!