Trip Start Jul 19, 2011
7Trip End Aug 17, 2011
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We had the following morning to explore the ancient town of Jaislamer which uniquely had a fort which was still in use. We have visited many an empty fort in Rajasthan, most certainly all impressive examples of Indian's ancient heritage. However it was a welcome sight to visit a living, breathing fort which had a place in the lives of the local people. Imagine growing up within a fort
As we walked around ignoring many of the calls to purchase stuff we really didn't need (a large camel statue?) an enigmatic lady caught us and brought us into her shop. What unfolded was an inspiring talk with a lady who works with local women selling wall hangings that they make. I have already touched on some of the ways in which women are treated in the is part of India and it makes me feel privileged that I have by chance been born where I have. The charity 'Wells for India' had an article which verbalise better than I could the desperate situation these women face. It is well worth a read, just click on the following link http://www.wellsforindia.org/pdf/empowerment.pdf. Therefore to meet a women in this parts of Rajasthan like 'Bobby' who has a degree, is fluent in English and is working hard to improve lives of women in her community is truly remarkable. The cloth work she was selling was beautiful with some pieces taking 6 months to hand stitch. As we listened to her talk they became more than just wall hangings, they symbolised the start of a women somewhere feeling empowered and valued.
The cameling hour had become us and we were dressed in our finest camel riding outfits (mainly consisting of variety of items retailing at 100Rupees each) and headed desert bound in a rickety jeep with 6 other adventures to meet our trusty steads. We stopped at the side of the road, disembarked and were ushered by the camel men to a variety of saddled up humped mounts
We rode our camel for about 2 hours and it was brilliant. My camel was called Raja and Rachel's was called Lucky, it had a very cute face but was a reluctant trotter! Raja was superb as he was an older camel that knew they way so the men just let him go and we went! The scenery was amazing in that sparse way that only a desert can be and our camels were sure footed and took great care of their novice riders. We stopped by some sand dunes, dismounted and had our camels taken away for their evening's food and entertainment. We busily took photos and waited for our desert dinner to be cooked. Our beds for the night were blankets and in the dark we managed to steal the camel's saddle cloths as pillows
Morning came without any further intruders and we were some what relieved to have daylight on our side. We were made cups of chai and had eggs on toast for breakfast, not bad for the desert we thought. Our darling dromedary's came trotting back from their place of rest, were saddled up and off we went for the last part. The camel men got them to trot for us so we managed to get some speed up. They were surprisingly comfortable, more so than sitting trot on a horse I thought.We got back to the jeep and our brief time as camel riders was over. We said goodbye to the camel, thanked the men for their hospitality and headed back to the hotel to change and de-sand our bodies but in my case try to scrub blue dye off. I know I won't be coming back with a tan but being blue?!