Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Our Desert Oasis continues

Away from the city lights yet close, in the sanctuary of the cold desert we lay. The sand beneath our feet was pleasant and soothing. We were given thin bedding to lie (don’t ask last when it was cleaned) and 2 additional bedding to cover ourselves. Dressed for extreme weather, we weren’t sure whether to sleep or get lost in the magnificent sky. The peace occasionally marred by a vehicle in the distance was something that we crave in the hustle bustle of the city.

The sky seemed to be lit by the million stars sparkling in the sky. We just could not stop looking though the dew was making it difficult. We managed to see shooting stars (not sure if the wish came true) but the sky looked like something you see in a planetarium.
I tried really hard to keep my eyes open but the cool air and numb nose managed to put me to sleep. I did wake up in the middle of the night but the dew felt like rain and went back to sleep. Sleeping in the desert is something however I wish I was awake a while longer.  And hate my weak resolve which fond comfort in the cold.

The birds woke us up early morning, armed with our camera we went berserk trying to capture the rising sun which evaded us till 7. I managed to click amateur shots of the sand and rolling dry grass. Pictures could do no justice to the view in front of us. The tremendous mountains of the night were actually small rising in the land. We could not even laugh at our own folly for being scared of falling.
The rising sun was not up to the expectation. I believe rising and setting sun looks the best over an ocean. The water engulfing it is another sight to behold. The sand didn’t do enough justice. After sun rise, our caravan started its return journey. Climbing a camel wasn’t easy even in the bright day light. Not sure how the nomads did it. I am sure I had a death grip on the camel. Lucky there were some deers to distract me momentarily and the camel survived the fright.

The caretaker had prepared a simple breakfast for us. It was nice to get back to reality. Bath in the desert is another story; the water is so saline I was better of without a bath. I was stickier then I started with. We had an action packed day ahead of us and had to make a move. All our dues settled, we pushed for the Golden city.

Finally our driver turned up and we loaded for the city around 50 km away. The main attraction is the fort which is called the living fort as people live within the fort. We didn’t have any bookings and that was the first priority. Internet helped us in getting an average accommodation for the night. We weren’t being fussy as we didn’t have any where else to go. This was the holiday season so didn’t have an option.
Assured of a place to stay, we roamed the fort. However we were bored with all the forts we had seen. This wasn’t anything spectacular and just I and my sibling went about seeing it. My parents gave a rain check, in hind sight good decision. Just loads of climbing to see some architecture which was marred by hordes of people trying to click photos. There was a traveling group of some 50 people and that blocked all the entrances. 

Shopping was amazing, managed to pick up some leather bags which was a steal. Jaisalmer is the place for leather; don’t be fooled when shopkeepers tell you its camel leather. Its not, I was informed by one that it is mostly goat. So bargain your heart out. 

Surprisingly I don’t believe the food was anything to rave about. After all the shopping we decided to see the sun set in Sam dunes. We rushed the driver to take us before the sun set. After bagging some amazing seats, we waited and waited for the sun to set. In the desert the sun takes forever to set.
The dunes were as crowded as Mumbai local, people everywhere and the locals just added to the noise. Finally the sun set and another disappointment. It felt like a plain sight that I see from my window. I felt like I had a bucket list, see sunset at Sam dunes (Done). It felt boring and I don’t seem to have much recollection.

We reached back to the city by nightfall and were looking forward to the next leg of my trip.

Blue city on my way to paint you red.