Another memorable bus ride, this time it was the constant avoidance of camel herds on the endless straight roads and the noise of the bus horn. The horn was pressed every two minutes, was very loud (louder inside the bus than outside!) and sounded something not very far off the theme tune of sonic the hedgehog on the sega mega drive games console.
Jaisalmer, known as the "Golden City" is located far north west of India and is located close to the Pakistan border, a country that India doesn't sit straight with at the best of times. The main attraction is the Jaisalmer fort situated on the Meru Hill. A quarter of the city's population lives within this fort! The main reason we traveled this far west was for the infamous camel safari's on the desert sand dunes. The desert is not something like the Sahara, instead more of a semi-desert, barren ground, some sparse vegetation with the odd pockets of sand dune areas.
We collected the camels in a small rural village, equipped with some wooden huts, water wells, a small school and the usual cascade of wandering children and animals. We were led for about two hours from this village to a collection of sand dunes, we were advised to cover up as the sun can sizzle you pretty quickly in the midday sun. Food was prepared by two of the camel men over a man-made camp fire. Plenty of chai (tea) and organic local produce. Unfortunately, this visit was not all a bed of roses, I got food poisoning (either from a dodgy street samosa that morning or gone off curd) and ended up puking my ring up for most of the night. I wasn't the only one however, with two other fellow travellers (Marlene and Mike) too finding themselves on the wrong side of India's bacteria. None the less, I managed to appreciate the mid-night blanket of twinkling stars and make it through to the amazing morning sunrise. The camels decided to get lost during the night (allowed to wander without being tied up), when we finally manage to scout them, we saddled and trekked back. One of the camel guys got on with me and we upped the speed a little this time, however camels have a tendency to be very lazy not to mention highly uncomfortable!
...time to hit the Rajasthan capital, Jaipur...
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