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Jaisalmer

Camel Safari

sunny 38 °C

So we had booked a camel safari with 'Trotters Independent Travel''. (Cue people saying ''Lovely Jubbly'', ''this time Rodney, millionaires'' etc a lot). Now hotel managers in Jaisalmer do not like if you don't book a camel safari with them, and our manager was no different. He was a creepy, sour, mean and obviously annoyed git. He charged us whopping fees for booking our train and insisted we 'pay now' for everything.
Anywho, we ignored him as much as possible and after checking in at 10am, myself and Marion went up to get some breakfast in our rooftop restaurant.
The place was COVERED in flies. There must have been about 15 - 20 flies on our table and I just couldn't eat there. We made our excuses and left while the chef shouted and pleaded after us about how great a cook he was and that he'd make us anything we wanted!
We hit the streets of Jaisalmer, which in all honesty, were no better. They were covered in cow shite and goat shite. Jaisalmer is literally a shit hole. Excuse the auld french. There were so many flies, and they were all landing in the poops and then landing on other stuff. It was pretty gross.

Now some of you man know me as a bit of a Monica and I've never denied that - I like things clean. But I'm not neurotic (really I swear!) and I have parked that side of me for my travels, especially India. I left Monica at home. I have not complained about dirty towels, bed bugs, unclean sheets and pillow cases, grotty bathroom floors, hairs in my food - nuthin'! And while I am appalled at all the rubbish on the streets everywhere, I've basically gotten on with it - used my own towel where there was none, slept in my sleep sheet, used a t shirt as a pillow, cleaned aforementioned dirty bathrooms a bit with the hose, ignored dirty glasses, picked the hairs out of my food and continued. NABB, NAB!
However, flies and bugs are my downfall. Put a cockroach in my room and I can't sleep. Put 20 flies that I know have probably munched on cow shit for breakfast and I can't eat in the vicinity. FOOT DOWN INDIA. ;) Soooo luckily Marion thought that Flymaggeddon was indeed a fly too far and we soon found a restaurant that had only 1 fly on the table, a cool chilled vibe, lovely relaxing garden and EGGS! Nom.

After breakfast, once again we were waiting on the 2 lads to get ready so we could go and start our camel safari. Timmy was doing his hair I reckon, and Cecil hadn't even gotten showered yet. 20 mins later and we're still waiting on them, so eventually they're ready and the manager won't let them leave without checking in first. So Marion and I say feck this and we trot off to Trotters, thinking the lads wouldn't be far behind. Well we should have waited on them, as we spent the next 30 mins explaining to the lads in Trotters that we thought they were on the way but we weren't sure. hahaha. Another 15 - 20 mins pass before they rock up in a tuk tuk. sheesh!

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So of course Cecil doesn't have any cash and needs an atm, so off we go looking for dosh for him. Eventually we are piled in the jeep on the road to the camel safari. We stop at a small lake for a ''five minute break'', but once again, when the time comes for us to get back in the jeep - who's missing? Cecil. lol. He'd gone off to roll a spliff behind the tree so we all have to wait for him to come back. Tum tee Tum. The driver was getting pretty irritated by this stage. So Cecil comes back all riled up saying that some local kids were playing with his back pack and his passport is missing! After 5 minutes of searching around the place, it's in his bag, so off we go again.

Finally we get to the camels and camel guides and they are awesome. The camels looked really laid back and cool. They didn't smell at all and there was no spitting!
I was saddled up first onto a camel called lucky, and was told to lean back as she stood up. WEhehehelllehehhellelelelellele - that camel standing up or down bit was hilarious and I couldn't stop lolling. I was also once again reminded of how little control I had over any animals I sat on and how I was again at the mercy of a wild animal and whatever it wanted to do!
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Soon we were all strapped on to our camels and attached to one another, except Cecil who was let off on a camel on his own and proceeded to spend the journey rolling joints, smoking fags, dropping things that the guide had to get down and get for him, and burning holes in the camel's dress (?) ;D Even the Germans behind us commented on how much he was smoking. (Marion could understand them! ) The ride itself was awesome. The sun was blazing and the land was super dry and barren for miles. It took us a while to get into the camel rhythm, but once we got used to it, we were all loving it and in our own little worlds. After an hour or so, the tall sandy dunes came into view. I stuck on the Jozif - Balance album on my ipod and it made for an altogether spectacularly blissful safari.

After 2 and a bit hours, we'd reached base camp and dismounted, to the lads' relief - apparently camel rides are a smidgeon uncomfortable for the lads. Suddenly, as if Lord Shiva himself had heard my innermost thoughts, a man dressed all in white appeared with a bag of super cold Kingfisher beers! HURRAH! A beer man! In the desert! With Beers! We all greedily relieved him of his wares and went off to spend quality time watching the sunset, cartwheeling in the sand and posing for arty sunset-sandy type photos.

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When it was pitch black the camel lads decided to serve us a Thali dinner. A Thali consists of rice, chapattis, dahl, curry, pickle and raita. It's the best value in town as you get a bit of everything and it's usually only about 2 euro tops. Anywho it was delicious, but we couldn't see a thing. I had to keep shining my torch on my plate to ensure I wasn't eating one of the many, ever encroaching black beetles that were so prevalent in the dunes! (And which I was terrifed of)
We weren't allowed a campfire (boo) so we just sat around in the dark, yapping and laughing and flicking beetles away. Our guide (blessed with the universal language that is Only Fools and Horses) was great fun, and a real hero, protecting us from beetles and making sure we were all ok.
I was a bit weirded out with the thought of having to sleep on a thin mattress under the stars with black beetles crawling all over the place. :/ Timmy was also terrified and opted to sleep on the roof of the jeep. i wanted to join him but only one person was allowed up there. So Marion promised to protect me and we got our mattresses and moved them into the softer sandier parts of the dunes. The beetles did start to hide after a while so it wasn't too bad, but I still tucked myself up in my sleepsheet tightly!
There were so many millions of stars in the night sky, it was amazing. We spent the first half of the night just staring up at them just twinkling away. The harder we looked, the more we saw and we could see the plow and Orion's belt and I saw 4 shooting stars. It was awesome.

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I fell asleep for a bit but then awoke at the sound of some ferociously loud growling animal which scared the bejaysus out of me. I decided to ignore this growling and go to the ''bathroom''. It was so freaky. I could hear footsteps coming towards me all the time, but they didn't get any nearer! And how was there footsteps on the sand!? Then I saw a giant mouse or armadillo and tried to follow it for a bit with my torch but it was too fast for me. I hastily returned to the relative safety of my mattress under the stars . Unfortunately I couldn't get a wink of sleep for the rest of the night. A very cold wind whipped up at one stage and some dogs howled away nearby. (how did they get there?) I discovered the growling was the camels breathing and they must have been responsible for the footstep noises as well.

Hours later, I saw a very nice sunrise and joined Cecil who was awake and having his first chillum of the day.
After a breakfast of toast, jam and biscuits we all saddled up for another epic camel ride back out of the desert. Once again it was amazing. Camelz Rool!

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Posted by squeakylee 01:02 Archived in India Tagged safari camel dunes jaisalmer beetles Comments (0)

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