Time for some desert! After Jodhpur it was up to the farthest westerly point of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is about 213 miles from Pakistan and when you get to Jaisalmer you feel that you are at the end of something and the edge of something else.
With Jaisalmer being so remote, the city is not very large and it takes all of 2 minutes to get outside of the city. You feel like you have left modern civilization and entered a desert village. Thus, the perfect place for a real camel safari in the Thar Desert.
My Fellow Sarariers
As I mentioned in my last post, I made some friends in Jodhpur who I would be traveling with for a while. Lauren, Julia, and Aston had been traveling with each other for a little bit when they picked up this lone puppy in Jodhpur and we became “Camel Toe.” (I can’t take credit on the awesome name unfortunately). So we became 2 Brits, a Scot, and an American on a safari.
When you get to Jaisalmer, everyone and their camel will be trying to sell you a camel safari. Luckily, our hostel owner was able to book us a safari the next day. We trusted this guy because everyone involved in the safari was somehow related to him or had worked with him before.
The other girls decided to do an overnight in the desert. I decided to come back because I didn’t need to sleep outside and it was cheaper.
The driver took us out to a VERY small village where we would meet our guides and our camels. The family of our guides made us some homemade chai before we headed out. Each of us claimed our camels. Lauren took the black camel because he matched her hair as she was the only one with brunette hair. I had the youngest and the cutest.
Our first part of the trip took us about an hour and a half. One of the tips they said was to wear clothes that cover your head and arms because of the sun. Luckily we were there during their winter so it was not as hot, but without some sort of head cover it would have been a lot harder.
We stopped for lunch under some trees where our guides made us a homemade safari lunch. The break was a good break to cool off and rest our bums. Camel riding is not the most comfortable ride in the world. Because of the camel humps you tend to feel like you are sitting with your hips forward instead of right underneath you.
Our last stop was in the dunes where we could watch the sunset. The driver brought us some beer so we could watch the sunset with a drink :). They also made us snacks and a thali for dinner.
After dinner the girls stayed out and I headed back to the hostel for the worst night of sleep ever! I came back to a room full of middle-aged Indian men. They were heading out on a safari the next day. They were all nice but the guy that slept near me snored all night; not the nice snoring but the wet, coughing snoring. I could hear him through my ear plugs and my music that I used.
What it Taught Me
I wasn’t really sure when I came to India if I would do a safari. It wasn’t something on the top of my bucket list, but when in Rome…Now that I have done it, I don’t regret it at all. Traveling by camel and being out in the desert felt like you were in a different time.
It put into perspective how past people lived. Many of the people around Jaisalmer and Rajasthan still live and travel the way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. We got to experience home cooked camp food and traveling some of the more remote parts around Jaisalmer.
It was not only a reminder of the past but a great experience for my friends and I. Camel riding for 3 hours tends to some great bonding time. Oh and the fact you have to squat anywhere you feel like it when nature calls. We all felt like cats in a giant sandbox when we had to go. But when you got to go, you got to go.