Holy Cow! (Pun Intended)
Trip Start Sep 02, 2005
18Trip End Oct 03, 2005
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I am now in Jaisalmer, and it is straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. I was a huge Indiana Jones fan as a kid, and I think that is what got me interested in places like Morocco and such. This town looks like what I would picture Morroco to look like. It is all sandstone building, as is much of the India I have seen, and intricately detailed buildings.
There are cows everywhere here. We have also seen stray pigs and goats. The Indians feed them what they can, but you mostly see the cows eating plastic bags and cardboard
Our "Hotel" is inside the fort and feels like the place that Indiana Jones stayed in Morocco (maybe). You know, the one with the secret doorway? Well, I haven't eaten any monkey brains; however, I have been trying all sorts of Indian vegetarian dishes. We ate rooftop on our hotel when we arrived after our 18 hour train journey. We were all starving. I was so happy to get a wonderful museli of yogurt, granola and fresh fruit. I also downed 3 whole litres of water. I have been drinking enormous amounts of water and hardly peeing, but it has to be coming all out in sweat.
I had aloo gobhi (potato and cauliflower in sauce) for dinner last night, and it was palatable. I also had yogurt with fresh fruit. The yogurt is unsweeted (about the only thing to which Indians seem not to add sugar) and tastes slightly different but basically very good. Very good, as I have just been eating for energy and not for pleasure. I think I have found my new main staple to be yogurt
We sat on top of the building with a beautiful view of Jaisalmer Fort in the moonlight. Romantic is really the best word to describe it. There were young boys playing music, and one was dancing; he was very good. Several of the people, with which I was dining, got up and danced with him. We all had several good laughs. My dinner, along with a litre of mineral water and 2 glasses of Kingfisher beer, costs less than $5 U.S. including tip. Saffron, the restaurant, was very upscale (relatively anyhow).
We head out this afternoon for an overnight camel trek. We take camels into the Thar desert and camp out under the stars. We won't use tents or anything, and I am hoping to catch a cool breeze. I have never appreciated showers as much as I have the past few days. The heat is drier than Atlanta, but it just feels different. I have no problem being sweaty and stinky from camping all weekend long, but there is just something different about it here.
I hate to speak negatively about everything, because this is a beautiful country. However, there is always a stench in the air regardless of where you go. It is either the strong and sickening (to me) smell of spices, horrible body odor from people (probably due to spices and certainly lack of showers), or cow shit. Sometimes I prefer the smell of cow shit over the others. Don't leave me out though; I have been smelling pretty ripe most of the trip. You don't really seem to have much choice.
Sleeping has been okay, but I am not getting enough of it
I am off to visit a couple of gorgeous temples and then to barter for a bedspread. Everything is so gorgeous here and so inexpensive. I only wish I could carry more. I am going to hit the post office first to see how much it costs to ship things. I hope to have some free time to update when I return from the camel trek, but there are just so many better things to do than to sit in an internet cafe. Hope all is well back home and happy birthday mom! I am glad that I got the timing right (since we are a day apart) but sorry to call you so late.