Free Spirits Around the World in 99 Days travel blog

Sacred

Inside Jaisalmer fort

Mo and Nil our leader

Camels of course


We are touring India with Intrepid Travel. Go to intrepidtravel.com and search for India Unplugged. It is a pleasure to have transport, lodging, and other details taken care for us.

There are 12 of us under the care of a leader from east India. We are a mom and daughter from New Zealand, two couples from Australia, a retired Australian parlimemtarian, a young professional woman from Boise, an Aussie young man recentLy separated from the Army, and a nurse from England.

The group has come together quite well. It will be my policy not to write about our fellow travelers except in a positive manner. The couples for example are about our age, well traveled, friendly, and funny.

Mo and I, on the other hand, remain fair game.

With the tour group, the pace has become semi torrid. On our own, we have been somewhat slow. We'd get to a morning site and an afternoon site, maybe. In Delhi, we'd manage one a day. With the group, our Delhi day included a mosque, Jain temple, spice market, chai at a brief stop, samosas at another, a visit to a spice store, a bicycle rickshaw ride to the metro, just enough time for lunch and snack shopping, then a traffic-jam ride to the main train station where we stuffed ourselves into compartments for a 15 hour overnight train to Jaisalmer.

At Jaisalmer, we were herded into 4x4s for a dash to the hotel where we had just enough time to eat, pack small bags, and cold shower before being herded back to the 4x4s for a ride toward the Pakistan border and our waiting camel team. On to our camels, and into the brush for a painful ride to our camp site.

I do mean painful. The saddles are hard and wide. My stirrups were too short. My legs cramped, my thighs got beaten, my knees were stressed, and my prostate was hammered. After dismounting, I limped into camp.

Camp included a fun folk dance performance by bon fire, a vegetarian (veg, as it's called here) dinner, starry starry skies, and beer for those who wanted it.

The morning featured a rosy fingered dawn to the east and a full setting moon to the west.

After a veg breakfast, it was back on the camels for a less painful ride back to the 4x4s, a dash to town, a change of clothes after a cold bird bath of a shower - splashing myself instead of full immersion - then a walkabout of the fort and town with a local guide.

Thankfully today is free time. Mo is off to more Jain temples, and I am sick and laying low.

Only 34 days to go. I hope the good times don't kill me.



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