Train ride from hell... or at least the desert
My next stop was Jaisalmer, north of India in the desert. I was unable to get the Air conditioned car on the train and had to settle for second class. This turned out to be okay. I had met a guy from Australia (Dean) going on the same train and it made the trip more bearable. The worst part of it was the dust that was flying in the window. As we sat still, the dust accumulated on every surface including us. Upon arriving in Jaisalmer, all the images of the Indian railway system came to me of thousands of people hopping on the train. We were trying to get off the train and there were so many people trying to get on the train that they were literally coming in the windows and climbing over those of us who were trying to get off. By the time we made it to the parking lot the train was full and had hundreds of people on the roof of the train. Absolutely unbelievable.
Another image that everyone has of India is the cows in the street. They are everywhere fighting for space with the rickshaw drivers, taxis, people, dogs, goats, snack carts and various other street vendors. By one of my guest houses a small shop had 4 or 5 cows that they milked every day and sold the milk from the stall. The cows roamed freely and it was always tricky to see where I was stepping on my way back to my room.
I visited the Jaisalmer fort, which pales in comparison to the Jodphur fort as far as tours go, but was pretty impressive in its self.
The main reason that people go to Jaisalmer is to go on a camel safari in the desert and see the sand dunes. I debated about going but then decided that since I was there... I talked to people who had done a safari and decided the best for me was to leave in the afternoon, do a couple hours on the camel, stop and watch the sunset, have dinner, sleep under the stars and then have breakfast, and ride a couple hours back to be picked up. I figured that would get me plenty of time on the camel.
The sand dunes were pretty impressive and would have been great if I hadn't seen the ones in Namibia.
We set up camp and dinner was cooked for us.
Had to keep the Dung Beetles out of our sleeping bags and it was a nice night under the stars and a full moon.
At the end I was glad that I had chosen the short safari. The camel is pretty wide and it does not make for comfortable riding. I thought my leg joints were going to pop out of place. On the second ride I actually walked a bit in the middle because it hurt so much to ride. In the end it was a good experience and I am glad I did it.... But DON'T MAKE ME RIDE A CAMEL AGAIN!
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