Riding Camels!!!!

We got up at 6:30am to leave our hotel by 7am to see the sunrise over Gadisar Lake. There was too much fog, so we couldn’t really see the lake, but it was still very beautiful. We get back to the hotel and have breakfast on the rooftop. It is amazing how cold it is in the mornings and then things quickly heat up by mid-day. It was nice sitting with your warm chia, looking over the city with the chill in the air and waiting for the fog to burn off.

Our next stop was Jaisalmer Fort. It was like a city within the city. People lived there and the fort walls and nooks and crannies were filled with street vendors selling their crafts. Amberee, Nina, Emily and I went to one of the rooftop restaurants in the fort, and had amazing chia, while again taking in the city views.

We went back to our hotel and before we left town we stopped at Patwa Haweli. It was a museum preserving the history of Indian life and culture. We stopped at few market places, but I think at the moment we were shopped out.

Next stop the desert. We get to our basecamp and we all chill after the long car ride with chai while our guides are getting our camels ready for us. Our guides tells us they are ready and the six of us walk out to meet our camels. My camel was named Babaloo. He seemed a little feisty. The guide helps you on with you putting your foot on a strap to hoist yourself up and swing your leg over. The guide then has you lean back, as the camel gets up on their front feet and then lean back as they get up on their back. I must admit it is a little scary at first. Once on the camel, all those years of riding horse when I was young came in handy. Squeeze at the knees and hang on to the horn.

Our guides walked about a mile into the desert to watch the sunset over the sand dunes. Once we got to our spot, we dismounted and we sat and just enjoyed the amazing view. A guy with a motor bike drives appears like a mirage and he has chips and beer. Of course you have to buy. It was surreal. Sitting in the desert, eating chips, drinking a beer watching the sunset next to your camel. Once in a life time opportunity for sure.

Once the sun set, we got back on our camels and we headed back to base camp. My guide had Babaloo break out into a bit of a run on the way back. Lets just say riding a horse is a much smoother ride. Once back to camp, we sat and enjoyed live folk dance and music. The music got done about 8ish and then we had dinner back at base camp. There was two other groups in our camp as well. A husband and wife couple, and then two very attractive guys, from Switzerland and Chile traveling for a bit together.

We had the option of sleeping in huts at the basecamp or sleeping in the desert. You only live once, so we all opted for sleeping in the desert. When would you have that opportunity again. Our guides loaded up a cart full of blankets and we crawled on top. I was the first one up, and I fell backwards off the mound of blankets and my head ran went right into the ass of the camel. The guide caught my balance before I fell off. We all climb aboard including “Rambo” (our driver – we call him this because of his Army jacket he wears most days). Our guide walks us out into the desert. We get to our spot for camping and guide said, cold night, sleep right on sand to stay warm. Pictures from other groups we saw, there beds were a bit off the ground. Nope not us, added to the adventure. Our guide and Rambo, cleared a spot in the sand and started putting down all the blankets and pillows for us to sleep on.

 

Thank goodness I put on lots of layers, so once under the blankets I did start to warm up, and once you lay on your back and look at all the stars laying on the hard sand and being cold is all worth it. I never saw so many stars. We even saw a few shooting stars.

In the middle of the night, I had to pee so bad. I got up from my warm sand cocoon I made for myself, and use the light of my phone to walk over to some bushes. The sand was so deep and hard to walk in and I must admit, it was a bit scary walking in the desert in the middle of the night, but when nature calls.

The only thing that dampened the time was Emily complaining. She was complaining about the cold, but yet, she didn’t put any extra layers on like the rest of us. She just had on a thin jumper and a cardigan. Then she complained she couldn’t sleep because of my snoring. She knew I snored, so she shouldn’t have slept next to me. The rest of the girls all slept. Complaining and negativity I think is part of who she is. She complained or had a snarky comment about most things on this trip. She’s young, 24, I think, hopefully later in life she can look back on this journey and learn from it. Life is to short to go around pissing and moaning all the time and in a different cultural setting such as this, you have to be flexible.

We wake up the next morning and the top layer of blankets is soaked. It is so weird. It didn’t rain, it was all wet from the morning dew. It was so beautiful watching the sun come up over the horizon, again, once in a life time opportunity.

Our guide loads up all the blankets and bedding back on the cart and we load up again back to base camp. They have hot chia tea waiting for us which is just perfect. We have a light breakfast of toast, hard boiled egg and banana. The rest of the groups are getting back too and look about as rough as we do. Sleeping in the desert is not for wimps! We talk to the cute guys for a bit and learn about where they are from (Switzerland and Chile) and then we load up again for the drive to Jodhpur.

India – 2 / Jody – Zero

New Years Day we left for our week of travel. I must admit, I was a wee bit hung over from our roof top celebration the night before.

It was such a fun time. We had a fire on the rooftop and a case of beer and we played music and then at midnight Pranay came up and we lit off fireworks. These were not your little fireworks either! After we got done, it looked like bomb went off on top of the roof.

We arrived in Pushkar and checked into our hotel. The hotel was beautiful, but the bathroom totally stunk. I can’t figure it out, in all the hotel bathrooms they put these white balls in the sink, like the things you would find in a mens restroom urinal and they stink like that too.

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We freshened up a bit and then went to this place for lunch. It looked like a decent place. Nice outside tables and chairs. We all ordered different food and when they came, all the sauces looked the same. Olivia found paper in her food. I am not sure if was being hung over, or the food (I just ate my nan and a few bites of my paneer) but I was not feeling good.

It was not a good time to not feel good, as after we walked to the market in Pushka. This was one of the biggest markets and people, cows ands motorcycles everywhere!!! I thought I might have to get sick at one point and I went into this public toilet and I had to walk right back out. It was so disgusting and it was a squat toilet. I was not about to do that in that place. I did manage to get all my shopping complete for gifts for people and while I was standing at a booth, waiting for some of the other girls to finish up, I got rammed in the front of my thigh by the head of a bull. People all around me, and that sucker went in for a direct hit. I am really surprised I don’t have a bruise on my thigh.

We all shopped until we were about ready to drop. We got back to the hotel and I was so tired and all I wanted was a hot shower and bed. The rest of the girls went out to eat and I decided to hang back. Besides having an icky feeling tummy, I was starting to get a cold. I go to get in the shower, and it is ice cold water. This is normal in India, so you just have to let it run a bit, nope, still ice cold. I washed up best I could and I was so stinking cold after that shower I had on three layers under the covers. By now it is only 7:30pm, so I planned to just get warm under the covers and connect to the free hotel WIFI and check out everyones New Year plans since it was not even 2017 yet back home. WIFI wasn’t working for me either….. I just decided to call it a night. India – you got me on this day!

Monday, January 2nd –

I was feeling much better today especially after 10 hours of sleep. We had breakfast at our hotel and then we were on the road by 9am. We had a 9 hour drive ahead of us to Jaisalmer. We stopped in Jodhpur for lunch. but the place looked a bit sketchy. I ordered nan – can’t go wrong with just bread. Back in car we go.

imageWe get into Jaisalmer about 6:00pm, check into our hotel, freshen up, and then we go to eat. By this time we are all starving because we hardly ate anything for lunch. The place we went to was called Junction Palace. They had a nice roof top restaurant but it was quite chilly so we ate inside instead.

After dinner, we came back to the hotel to call it a night. I as so looking forward to a hot shower since I didn’t get the night before. Turn on the water – IT’S HOT….. but only for about a minute. Looks like another cold shower for me! You got me again India!