The real money in Jaisalmer isn't in the hotel-business, but in the possibilities of getting you to come along on a camel-safari, which costs ten times as much as the room. Starting to feel somewhat better after arrival, I decided to go on the camel safari the very next day, and as there were also 2 Dutch girls coming along as well, well heck, warm blooded single male and that, I thought, can't be bad. Now it seems that there is an abundance of Dutch girls coming along on camel safaris, but funnily enough they're never actually spotted! Later I heard from everyone (well, everyone except the couples and the girls) who'd been on a safari, that they were supposed to be joined by two or three Dutch girls, but they never showed up.
And that also brings me to the negative sides of Jaisalmer. Because although the city is - yet again - magnificent, with beautiful yellow sandstone houses, with - yet again - a gigantic impenetrable fort smack in the middle of it, I took a thorough and hardfelt dislike to the people living there, who are calculatedly friendly, deceiving and thoroughly unlikable. And part of the enjoyment of a place, quite a large part I believe, is in the hospitality and friendliness of the people. This, unfortunately, is a place with too many tourist facilities, and, for the moment, not enough tourists. So the guys who are there right now, are hassled each and every minute of the day. The only friendly words are basically to get you into shops, so I did my Sergey from the Ukraine routine again to get away from the standard "Ah Holland, yes my cousin live in Amsterdam. Come into my shop!". Also ended up convincing the hotel personnel of Henna that I was a hitman in Holland, just lying low for a couple of months... haha.
Needless to say, the camel safari was wonderful, plodding along by morning and late afternoon, temperatures reaching 38 degrees in the shade and 50 degrees in the sun at mid-afternoon, and sleeping on a simple mattress on the sand dunes under a star-filled night sky. Nobody around but my guide, two camels, Mango and Papaya and yours truly... Oh yeah, and a couple of semi-cold Kingfishers... Life could be worse on this side of the planet.
Having endured the twenty hour journey by train from Delhi to Jaisalmer (pronounced Jesselmere, and no other way, as this will mean you get sent to the wrong platform at Delhi station, and that, in your weakened state, lugging around 30 k's of luggage isn't quite what the doctor ordered), I was enticed by a tout to come and have a look at his hotel, hotel Henna. "Not yet" in the Lonely Planet, Hotel Henna, is a nice enough place and for 150 rps a night (less than 2 quid), I suppose you could do worse than the 2-bed, hot and cold shower, balconied place I ended up staying at.