Camel-lot

I started out the morning with a trip to Jaisalmer Palace Fort; another outstanding example of Rajput architecture. 


“Hanging out” in the Palace. Yes, they are what you think they are. I walked quickly through this section, as there was no alternative.

I started out early in the morning to beat the heat and the shop vendors, but caught them on the return. As I said “Not shopping today” to one vendor, the next one says “Shopping is very good for your health, madam”. I had to drop the no-nonsense facade and just laugh, replying that I preferred yoga. That got a smile, and a reprieve.

At three in the afternoon, I joined a dozen people from Belgium, and a last minute add on from Portugal. After loading on sunscreen, we piled into jeeps and drove into the Thar (pronounced “tar”, but with a flat-tongued emphasis on the t) Desert. We first visited a deserted village. 250 years ago, the inhabitants were of a high priestly caste who offered things to the gods for the common people. One day the Maharaja came to the village, saw a young woman and asked for permission to marry her. The group refused because they were higher caste. The maharaja gave them an ultimatum: either allow me to marry this woman, or I will kill your village. He allowed them a three day decision operiod, during which they dispersed to other towns, leaving the village empty. No one moved into them due to fear of being haunted.

Next we met our camels and drivers and began riding. These were one-humped Dromedary camels specific to Rajasthan. Cushions were thankfully present, although after a while it still felt like we were sitting on bags of rocks. Camels are tall, with long gangly legs. When they get up from lying down, your body is lurched forward. If you’re not leaning back and hanging on, you will be pitched forward onto the ground (no, I wasn’t, and neither did anyone else).

If you’re not the leader of the pack, the view is pretty much the same
Picas, one of our camel drivers

We rode out to the dunes in about ninety minutes, where the drivers set up camp and and cooked dinner. The dunes themselves are not Sahara sized, but are still impressive, and fun to play around in. After we ate a dinner of lentils, vegetables, rice and chapati, one of the drivers shared his life story after being asked, and then we were audience to a Marwari concert, as we fell asleep under the stars. While it was delightfully cool when we went to bed, by early morning I was quite thankful for the blanket that had been provided. I woke early to see the sunrise, and we all rode back to the jeep after breakfast. It was a great experience, and the staff were wonderful.


Next stop is Udaipur, which will probably be my last stop in Rajasthan. I can’t see everything, but feel like I’ve already seen a good sampling of the state during this trip. 

Advertisements

Author: mettatsunami

Just another traveler in the world. Various musings as I visit Buddhist monasteries in the UK, then make my way around the world on an extended pilgrimmage.

6 thoughts on “Camel-lot”

  1. While enjoying your travels, I’m trying to follow you on a map of India to see your route. Unfortunately, the maps I use are different – don’t all show the towns or areas you’re in. You know the maps where you put pin points…. for those of us who don’t know the geography that well, I’d like to see something like that — (not that you don’t have enough to do planning your next day!) Camel safari looks very fun & a great experience sleeping in the desert!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HI Gail,
    I haven’t found anything like that on WordPress. It does allow you to map location, but it doesn’t seem to include it in the blog. I’m afraid google maps might be your option. Unless another blogger who reads this knows?

    Like

  3. Camels have such an old look about them, especially their expressions. Add to that the wrinkled appearance of their skin and they just appear old. I am sure the ride was an interesting experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s been great to hear about your adventures in Rajasthan. Just to get an idea of the scope of your travels: What other parts of India do you plan to visit? How long do you plan to stay in India? What other countries do you plan to visit? When do you plan to return to the States? Or . . . are you traveling without fixed plans?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s