Sand castles and Camels....

Trip Start Dec 30, 2005
Trip End Jan 30, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Friday, January 13, 2006

The Golden city of Jaisalmer was an amazing sight to see. And a sight we felt we had earned the right to experience! 10 hours of driving and an overnight train later we had arrived; exhausted, hungry (the protein bars were no longer satisfying) and so dirty. It was great!! Okay well great after we had a warm shower! The journey to Jaisalmer was a long one, but rewards of true travel are in the journey on route to the destination-not just arriving at a destination without a great story about how you arrived! The journey will not be forgotten- and neither will the snoring all night on the train in our 6 person sleeper!

Founded in 1156, this is one of the most enchanting cities I've ever been to. One giant sand castle city with an ancient and romantic ambience- it felt straight out of a fairytale. The city had a very small town feel to it, only a population of 58,000 people. In India that's a tiny town! The entire city complete with narrow, maze-like streets with shops, temples and elaborate homes- all carved out of yellow sandstone. And all of this right in the middle of the desert. We had a tour of the city in a tuk tuk with Neryan, a guide from our guest house. He really made our stay a fun one as he was a constant source of entertainment (he may have had a bit of a drinking problem?!!)! Music blasting we ripped around the streets, with hige smiles on our faces and took in the sights of the Golden City. I've uploaded a video clip into the photo album of some of our tour.

Most travellers that venture as far as Jaisalmer (almost at the Pakistan border) are not only there to explore this fairy tale city, but also to experience a camel safari in the desert. This was so much fun! Riding a camel through fluffy sand dunes in the desert- it was, again, like all things in India, INCREDIBLE. Sampling desert life trotting through the sand on the back of a camel- One of my favorite adventures yet. It's right up there with riding an elephant in the jungles of Northern Thailand. We were on our camels for the afternoon and watched the sunset sitting on a sand dune. Wow! This was the one thing that I was most excited about experiencing while I was traveling here- I wasn't disappointed!

In general the people all over India have been super warm & friendly. The sense of communtiy here is incredible. They make time for people and place high values on relationships with people. In our world we're too busy working to even get to know our next door neighbours. Not only that, but it's refreshing to see how people can be so happy with so little.

Our camel guide, Neryan, as crazy as he was left us with these interesting words of wisdom that made me really think about the value of NOTHINGNESS...

What's greater than god?
Less than the devil?
Rich people think they don't need it.
Poor people have it.
If you eat it you will die.

The answer is nothing.

They may have nothing materialistically, but they have so much more than us in so many ways. Truly, an inspiration. Who needs Alanis for inspiration when you have India!

Now by car and then plane to the beaches of Goa for some r&r...
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