Camels, Chandeleo, and Pushkar
Pushkar Travel Blog› entry 63 of 88 › view all entries
It has been a long few days. We started off with a camel trek through the Thar desert. The camels are a little different than the ones in Morocco were. People ride them two at a time...driver and rider and as a result, they go a lot faster. All of us had some pretty sore backs the next day after riding the camels. It was quite beautiful to see the scenery.
We rode the camels for a few hours through the Thar desert to a camp with white tents where we were to spend the night. The tents were nice with a bed and even a toilet but beyond hot. I spent most of the night listening to the giant bugs hit out tent (it sounded like rain on the tent) wishing for a fan. Around 5 am, I could hear a shepherd calling for his goats.
The next day, we loaded onto a jeep to head to the local village nearby where our driver and vehicle met up with us. The jeep was a lot of fun....it felt like the Indiana Jones ride (Disneyland) only it was real. The local children are always so excited to see us and sometimes run after the vehicle with big smiles or wave. You kind of feel like a celebrity. They are very cute. Our driver took us to another nearby village where we got to stay in a beautiful heritage hotel...a very large family home made into a hotel. It was gorgeous. This time we had a fan.
Our tour leader mentioned that we should try taking a walk in the local village to explore so after relaxing for a bit and taking a little nap, off I went. The tour leader forgot to mention that the dogs in the town are not so gentle (every other town, they are present but very docile and barely move). Most of the dogs are a mix of fox and wild dog. I walked around the corner and two dogs started barking at me (very unusual) so I tried to keep the same pace and just kept walking. Then I came to another corner and another dog started barking at me. They don't bark from a distance though. They start approaching you while barking. I was starting to get a little bit freaked out (I've never been scared by dogs before) and was looking for the closest way to get back to the hotel without encountering any more dogs. The only way to get back though was to go back where I came from. So off I went holding my breath watching for fences that I could jump up if need be. The dogs were there again and started doing the same thing as I returned but this time they joined in (4 of them) slowly following me and barking and growling really loud. I was so scared. I didn't run because I thought that would make it worse so I kept walking at the same pace and ignored them and after turning another corner (almost at the hotel) they backed off. I didn't (nor will I ever again in India) venture off. I see the dogs in a new light. Scariest of all, a lot of the dogs here have rabies and I didn't get a rabies shot before I left. When I got back to my hotel, I told the guide about the dogs and he didn't seem surprised....not impressed. Asked me if I wanted a stick to beat them away next time. Great.
The next day, we headed to another small village. I didn't go to see the village but instead, relaxed inside the room and read a book. I've read almost all 7 harry potter books on this trip. And with air conditioning, I got a really good sleep...finally. The hotel was the most beautiful of all...another heritage hotel. It looks more like a castle than a hotel and we were the only ones staying there. It was very nice.
Today, we are in Pushkar...a bit of a bigger town where there are a lot of other tourists. It is the first time seeing non-Indian faces besides Alison and Simon in awhile. There are lots of hippie-type backpackers here and lots of young Israeli backpackers here. It seems nice so far.
I am really looking forward to australia. India has some amazing things to see but it is so different from home....a bit of a culture shock. Things like....everyone here snorts snot into their mouths and spits....everywhere! It is a national phenomenon. There are so many poor people here....many, many people with debilitating disease and a lot of birth defects, etc. Sometimes it is really disturbing to see. The street everywhere, even in major cities, is a big farmland.....goats and tons of cows are all over the streets...so is their feces. It is so polluted....garbage is everywhere. And there are so many people....we saw a bus travelling on the road that was so packed that people were sitting on top of the bus.
The roads are insane. People barely miss each other and cows. I saw another dead dog on the road today. Arranged marriages are common here. But you can see the western influence slowly creeping in. Pictures of hindu gods are everywhere....there are 330 million gods to worship. How they keep track of them, I have no idea. It is just such a different way of life.