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Trip Start Sep 19, 2012
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Trip End Jul 22, 2014


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Where I stayed
jailsamer Hotel Royale

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Monday, November 5, 2012

Warning if you have a sensitive disposition please skip the first paragraph

I have never experienced anything like I have over the last few days. Delhi Belly is as bad as they say in fact I think it is worse. You have absolutely no control over your body. You have violent cramps and no control over your muscles where you need them most. My 100 hundred meter radius was reduced to to about five. You swallow tablets, drink fluids and make sure you have an endless supply of loo paper. You are actually too scared to move and this carries on on for 24 hours a day. You stop eating and you still wonder where it comes from. It physically and emotionally drains you as you can not go anywhere or do anything. The night I had to leave Bikaner and catch the bus to Jaisalmer I was actually contemplating stealing a towel from the hotel and making myself a nappy. Fortunately it did not come to this. We had one stop in the middle of the night where I disappeared around some buildings and as I was squatting with my pants around my ankles I heard this patter of hoofs and look up to see about 10 pigs making a bee line for me. That frightened the shit out of me. hastily retreating while the pigs devoured my meager liquid deposit I realised that this is maybe why the Indians don't eat pork.

Any way Jaisalmer is quite a cool place with this huge fort dominating the skyline. I have booked into a great hotel and all the rooms are very bright and colourful and the best thing is that there is a swimming pool. Evening though we are in winter the temperatures are in the 30.

I have decided to go on a camel safari into the Great Thar desert. I have been told that this is a overnight trip and will arrive back tomorrow. I did a day ride in Israel some years ago at it was great fun and interesting as we went into the desert where the 7 day war was and our guides were informative, fun and mostly stoned. 

What a disappointment!!! I was picked up by car and driven through some dry dry scrub land that reminded me of Kruger Park in winter. After about an hour I was deposited at a little lodge consisting of a dry courtyard and about 6 thatched rondavels. I was told to wait as more guest were arriving and we leave at about 4.30 pm. Eventually I was called and there was a 12 year old boy leading a camel and this was my safari. I climbed on to the saddle which was constructed out of a wood and metal frame tied together with rope and an old blanket thrown on top. Possible the most uncomfortable contraption I have ever placed my skinny ass on. We then headed off through a little village and the most interesting thing I saw was a dead camel. It looked as if it had just fallen over and it still had its saddle on. At first I thought it was just resting until I noticed the crows eating its eyes.

After about 50 minutes of bone numbing agony we arrived at the desert. Now the desert consists of about 2 km of sand dunes and probably about 500 m wide in the middle of the scrub. This patch of sand is covered in tourists who have come by camel, wagons and buses all just to watch the sunset. Vendors are rushing around selling crisps and cokes and crippled beggars are are asking foe money. After about 40 minutes the sun disappears and then there is made scramble as all guides rush to get there clients back. We returned to our little lodge at a bone jarring trot where I was served dinner and told that I would be picked up at 8.30 in the morning. I had anticipated a night under the stars with a campfire and riding around like Lawrence of Arabia.not sleeping in a dirty little thatched rondavel.

After breakfast my driver turned up he spent about 5 minutes praying before we left and touching all his idols on the dash board. What really concerned me was that every time we came to a sharp corner or a blind he would hoot, cross himself but didn't think to slow down or even wear his seat belt
Arrived back at the hotel it was great to have a swim. I took a walk up to the fort and it is quite amazing as people still live in all the little lanes and alleys as they have done for hundreds of years. Most of them are now selling nasty souvenirs to tourists but there were some great craft and fabric shops.I met an artist called Babu who was painting portraits of musicians on to T shirts. One was of Bob Dylan so I asked him if he liked his Music. He told me his favourite song Was 'Lay Lady Lay'. I pulled out my phone and started playing it. His eyes lit up and he invited me into the shop and for the next few  hours we sat and drank tea, chatted about music, and art and life. all the time I was transferring songs to his phone from the likes of Dylan, stones, Doors, Beatles, Pink Floyd and U2. He was a talented artist who also did traditional art but told me he was struggling as no one spends money on art. He hadn't sold anything for weeks and was thinking of finding some other form of income. Any where else I am sure he would have made money.
 
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