Finally…. The day has arrived…. Time to ride a camel in the desert and sleep under the stars! I decided I wanted to do a longer trip than the intrepid group so I organised to do a whole day camel riding and then meet the group in the evening for the camp. So I was picked up at about 8am and driven out towards the desert. I was met by Fusa (my camel driving guide) and his 2 camels on the side of the road; I jumped on to ‘Frankie’ (I cant remember his Indian name but I called him Frankie), Fusa taught me how to drive Frankie and away we went.
It was such a cool day! We rode for a couple of hours in the desert and I didn’t see a single person, car, power pole or any signs of civilisation! Then about 11am Fusa asked me if I wanted to eat lunch in the desert or visit his daughter’s village and have lunch there. I wasn’t fussed either way – so suggested we could do the village thing so Fusa could see his daughter.
The village visit was nice… on arrival the kids came running out to say hello and I spent the next few hours hanging out with village kids, Fusa and his daughter. The good kids were lovely; the bad kids were a pain in the arse. There was one cute little boy who was very contentious telling me not to give things to the begging kids…. He was a cutie and teaching me Hindu (of which I don’t remember a word). The bad kids were trying to steel the suntan lotion from the side of my bag, asking me for things… one boy who was about 13 was so cocky I wanted to slap him… he tried to put his arm around me and was behaving like a right git. The village kids thought it was hilarious when I told him off!
I am getting so sick of kids asking for things…. Seriously it’s a constant chorus of ‘rupee, rupee, biscuit, biscuit, rupee, rupee, shampoo, shampoo’ everywhere you go! In fact, I have found here in India (with a very few exceptions) that nothing is for nothing… every act of kindness seems to have an ulterior motive behind it – especially if you are a tourist.
Anyway… I digress… Fusa and his daughter made a lovely lunch in her simple kitchen. We went for a walk around the village, went and got the camels who were grazing not far from the house (their feet were tied together so they couldn’t go far) and then continued our camel trek for a couple more hours to the campsite.
Shortly after I arrived the Intrepid group arrived… we set up our camp (which didn’t take long as we didn’t bother with tents – just beds in the desert), had some dinner and spent the evening by the camp fire singing, dancing and chilling out.
It was friggin freezing overnight – thank you Qantas for the blanket – it made a wonderful headscarf and kept me nice and toasty. I had a pretty good sleep though considering… it was the first time for me to sleep under the stars – lovely.
In the morning we packed up, jumped back on the camels and headed back to civilisation. The morning camel ride was more like the ride in pushkar – camels following camels, a few villages, roads and not a lot of sand! This made me very grateful for my decision to do the whole day by myself before meeting the intrepid group… travelling in camel convoy is a smelly experience… I was able to come to the conclusion that camel farts smell a lot like cauliflower… iiiik.
Here are some photos of the Camel Safari: