Hot Earth Soft Sand

Trip Start Dec 18, 2013
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Trip End Jan 03, 2014


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Where I stayed
Desert View Hotel

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mission - Get Unlost
My mission today - make my way to the desert sand dunes on a local bus. The destination? Khuri village. A classic cannot-read-instructions traveller like I am, I lost my way finding the local bus station on foot and wasted a 50 Rs on autorickshaw to correct my situation. I had gone the opposite direction even when armed with the latest edition of Lonely Planet book. 

The buses were scheduled to leave hourly but I had just missed one 30 mins earlier. The extra waiting time meant that I got to make some friends with the chai walas and stall vendors at this derelict bus "station". 

Only an hour journey, this beat up mini bus blazed through flat plains dotted with stunted bushes, leaving a sandstorm behind us. Besides the occasional sights of galloping camels and clumsy donkeys, I was quite rapt that the bus route came very close to the ginormous wind turbines sprouting randomly like trees on barren land.

Khuri Desert Village
It became very apparent that the semi-touristy Khuri village is aimed at domestic visitors, with the elaborate setup of cliche looking desert tents directly outside of the town. Khuri itself is barren and shelterless, a fitting description of a desert town. Accompanied by an elderly french couple, we marched through the village under the harsh sun and on grounds so baked that the only evidence of moisture were the fresh camel manure. 

Hot Earth Soft Sand
Two kilometres out of Khuri on foot, this unlikely troupe of 2 French and 1 Asian arrived to a dry canvas of sand dunes and the hot earth started swallowing our footsteps. A young boy with his camel came to us and did his best touting he could to earn some rupees. 

We proceeded to the highest point, dragging along our feet on powder sand. I was not expecting vast horizons of sand dunes, so this little patch of powder earth will do. The young boy was looking disappointed that he may not bring home some rupees today, so I relented. A mini desert safari that lasted 20 mins earned him 200 Rs. Probably good for the day.

"No Lunch! All of Khuri! No Lunch!"
We hauled our feet back to the village and met with the elderly head honcho at Mama guesthouse - apparently the holiest hindu priest in Khuri. However his status was only made known to us some hours later, which explained his odd behaviour when we asked for lunch and he looked extremely offended, exclaiming "No lunch! All of Khuri! No lunch!" and shooed us out to the road. In the end, we found Arjun at his guesthouse of 5 mud brick rooms with thatch roofs, who cooked us 2 basic vegetarian curries and rice for 100 Rs each. 

The Lust for Meat
From Khuri to Jaisalmer, the one and only last bus leaves at 2pm. We waited worryingly till 3pm, thinking we might have to spend a night here with the camels. When the bus finally came with its sandstorm chasing behind, all I was thinking about was a hot bowl of the instant korean kimchi noodle soup. Of which I had and costed me a bomb, but was a life saver even when it was bizarrely served with white rice on the side. Subconsciously I was breaking the monotonous curry selections for anything in a soup. And I was really lusting for meat. 
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