Jaisalmer Travel Blog› entry 15 of 37 › view all entries
The main reason for going to Jaisalmer had been to go on camel safari. In fact, we'd really enjoyed our time in Jaisalmer, and, had we known how good it was going to be, we'd have gone there anyway, without needing the prospect of a camel safari in the desert to provide any additional temptation.
Having said all of that, we did, on 27th December, after a relaxing Christmas and Boxing Day, set out on camel safari for two and a half days with our new-found friends, Anja and Sven, and two mysterious Scottish people, who, we were told by the guy that we bought the tour off, had booked onto the same tour as us. When we joined the tour we discovered that the two Scottish people were actually four Koreans, which didn't bother us at all.
The camel safari itself turned out to be an interesting experience! It's definitely one of those things that I look back on and say "I'm really glad that I did that." Notice the use of the past tense! At the time, it was often far from pleasant. Riding camels appears to be one of the most uncomfortable forms of transport known to man.
The tour consisted of some plodding along through the beautfil desert scenery, with a stop for lunch where all of the food was prepared in the desert from ingredients brought along for the trip. The food was pretty good, considering, although the bread did occasionally contain a little sand! Some of it was really tasty. They would make a fire to cook over, and some of us would help with the food preparation. At night we would build a bigger fire and sit around it talking as the sun went down. The sunsets in the desert were fantastic, and, once the sun's gone down, you can see more stars than you would have ever thought existed! We slept on sleeping mats on the sand dunes, under the stars - a fantastic experience.
We stopped off at a couple of villages to see the desert way of life. I felt a little awkward walking around this village, staring into people's homes. I think that the villagers were as interested in us as we were in them, but we didn't really interact with them in any meaningful way; some of the children came to beg pens and sweets.
By the end of two days in the saddle, we had very sore bottoms. Both Zoe and I decided to walk alongside our camels for the last couple of hours of the tour, on the third day. The saddles are not designed for comfort, consisting of a metal frame on top of which they had tied all of our sleeping mats and covers, in a somewhat random fashion. At times you would find the whole thing sliding off to one side of the camel, and needing a hasty bit of re-attaching!
Having said that, this is still something that's worth doing. And spending two nights out in the desert in a row made it seem a bit more special, because we had a whole day away from the town. The guys running the tour were really good fun, and we had a great time around the camp fire in the evenings.