Jaisalmer is the end of the line of the train tracks on the West-side of Rajasthan. It is also in the middle of the Thar Desert in India.
There was seriously sand to the horizon and probably for many hundreds of miles beyond that
I had a Camel Safari arranged and on my arrival the host at the Dylan Café Guest House offered to allow me to join a camel ride on my first day and then stay overnight in the desert on my second day.
My camel’s name was Johnny Walker, a very kind and friendly camel. The ride was bumpy, but I got used to it after a while and the boys who guided us even sent my camel and I on a bit of a run! That was exciting.
These boys guided us through the desert, Halim on the left, Maghji in the middle and Me on the right (duh!).
I loved the feeling of sand under and all over my feet. It really brought me back home in my mind to the sandy beaches of Sydney. The texture was fine and dry, not scorching as one might think of desert sand.
There was seriously sand to the horizon and probably for many hundreds of miles beyond that – as far as the eye could see.
Thank god we didn’t stay overnight on the first day, because even in the jeep on the way home we were caught in a serious sandstorm. We had to stop the vehicle and you could feel the power of the wind and sand rocking the jeep side to side – outside the headlights only proved that we had less than a metre of visibility! Freaky! I felt bad for the group of Koreans that camped overnight – probably got so much sand in who knows where. 😛
Here is a photo of me on the second day (notice the red Kurta this time). I have been wrapping my pashmina scarf around my head in turban style, I really like it that way and it actually keeps you cooler!
Amin, the boy pictured with me here, would help to prepare the meals as we stayed overnight in the desert.
No, you die, you die!
I helped him to gather firewood etc and I found the spiked tail of some reptile. With his limited English he kept saying “No, you die, you die!” And all I wanted was a photo and as soon as I took the picture I ran the heck away! Turns out it was some edible lizard whose oil is used as a remedy for achy joints and pains.
This the other guy who prepares the chai and the meals for us on the overnight stay. I’m sorry I forgot his name! But he was so kind and looks really cool with my sunnies on – see feature image at the top of the post.
The weather on this day was much better than the day before – we were able to see the sunset this time.
I opened up my eyes and the moon was all of a sudden huge and very bright!
As the sun set, the moon rose. I sat on top of a dune to watch the moon as it was still fairly dimly lit. I meditated and closed my eyes. I guess after some time, I opened up my eyes and the moon was all of a sudden huge and very bright! I looked down the sand dune from where I sat and some footprints made cast shadows that formed a face. I took this as a sign – this would be my sleeping spot for the night (some 200 metres away from the rest of the group).
The serenity was amazing. And being alone on top of the sand dune in the middle of the desert was such a special experience. I felt altogether alone and at one with the world – strange feeling!
I lay a thick rug down to sleep on and wriggled into a sleeping bag. The wind was gentle and warm for a long time – it was very pleasant. At around 2AM the fog came in and I woke up with wet hair (dripping!) and the rug was damp all around me.
I could see for miles around, everything clear as day.
At some point in the night, a wild dog was rolling around in the sand about five metres away from me, so bizarre. The moonlight shone very bright all through the night, so every time I woke up (every hour probably) I could see for miles around, everything clear as day.
Amin in front of the fire in which he baked some potatoes for us, and chicken for the Koreans in the group.