After our romantic getaway in Udaipur, we headed to the golden city of Jaisalmer for a different adventure–camel trekking in the dessert! c We took an overnight bus from Udaipur to Jaisalmer, and to our surprise, it was quite nice. We paid the extra money to get an air conditioned bunk, and while we enjoyed laying down, it was freezing in our a/c cubical. We should have unpacked a jacket from our bags before storing them below. After some bargaining, Jared landed us a great deal on an a/c room in a 300 year-old palace hotel. We met some friends along the way, Guillermo and Mariana, and stuck with them for the duration of our stay in Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is a neat city. All of the buildings are old, and you definately feel close to the desert. The Jaisalmer Fort is also a sight to see. It was built in 1156 AD and is one of the largest fortifications in the world.That evening we toured the town and made our way inside the fort to explore. The fort is surrounded by lights that illuminate the outer walls of the massive structure.Our tour of Jaisalmer certainly set the mood for our up-coming adventure. On the way back to our hotel room that evening, we stopped by a shop and bought some scarves to keep the desert sand out of our faces. The gentleman at the shop was kind enough to show us how to wear scarves in the desert. The next morning, we made it to our booking office and set off in a jeep towards the desert to fetch our camels and guides. On the way, we stopped to see Kuldhara, an abandon city about 15km west of Jaisalmer. Back in the 18th century, a powerful man started abusing the women of the village and planned to attack the chef’s daughter next. Everyone was terrified, and as the story goes, the entire village decided to abandon their homes overnight. After everyone left, a holy man cursed the village and it has remained a ghost town since then. It was surreal being in such a large village with finished homes that has remained empty for such a long period of time. After another half an hour drive in the jeep, we pulled off the road and met our camels. And that is when I fell in love with camels! I had only seen them in zoos before, and I had never paid a great amount of attention to them. As I climbed on my camel, I couldn’t believe we were really going to ride these massive animals! The trek was amazing. I was in awe of the way God created camels, and I throughly enjoyed the entire experience. Riding a camel felt similar to riding a horse, but the stride of a camel is much longer. I loved how high they held their heads, and how they always held their nose up as if they were proud.We rode for about two hours and then stopped for lunch. Our guides prepared a delicious lunch for us. To start with, they built a fire, milked a desert goat, and made us some delicious Indian chai tea. For the main course, they made us chapati, veg curry, and rice. A simple but very tasty Indian meal.We rested in the shade of a large tree until the heat of the day was diminishing. We trekked for another two hours before we reached our camp. We had a wonderful night we had sleeping under the beautiful stars of the Thar desert. I was awakened by the light of dawn. Jared and I sat up in bed to watch the sunrise over the desert. It was amazing! It was very neat to wake up and see our camels standing 3 yards away from us. A little later that morning, we packed up camp and headed back across the desert. Overall, we had a fantastic experience, and we highly recommend camel trekking next time you are near a desert!
Stay tuned for our next adventure–exploring India’s capital city!