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Published: February 20th 2006
January 30 to Febuary 3
The western edge of India and close to Pakistan, daily, fighter jets ride low towards their rivals providing a little distraction from your supremely sore bum and legs courtesy of your drowsy camel. Yes, its about as touristy as you can get, booking a 3 day camel safari when 30 minutes would really do but I like to camp and eat sand with every meal.
Loaded with an American, Australian and two Brits or rather one Brit and one Brit questioner or as Vijay later dubbed him, Britquizitive - questions ranging from days a camel can go without water (reasonable) to 'I see that camel pee flows backwards, how do they mate then?' (WTH?) We set off in a lazy circle around sand dunes, villages and beetle mating grounds. Besides a near constant stream of camel and desert questions lobbed by Britquizitive at the drivers; Abdul and Pappu - masters of patience and good humor, my travel mates were good fun and just as bad on a camel as I was. The Thar desert isn't very beautiful but we spent two nights on pristine sand dunes burning camel droppings and sticks for our
Child on Leash
Cows dont get ropes but kids do.
endless cups of tea. At night the beetles, sized larger than a watch face, would creep up your blankets for either warmth or a chew on your leg.
Jalisamer is perhaps more magical than Jodhpur as you can sleep and stay within the fort walls jumping on perches for sunsets or just to watch all the lives being played out on tops of buildings through out town. Yoga, kites, praying, laundry, kids beating each other up, cow pies drying for fuel, almost a city above a city. Getting lost one day I ended up having the strangest conversation with an Indian man yet, and those are almost daily. In a round about but very creepy way I was asked about my American Jalga, Run, Run from the waterman! Before leaving I got another taste of smooth, paper based Indian bureaucracy, six forms and two rotating visits to mail windows to send a parcel which had to be sealed in wax, stitched in fabric for the apparent lack of card board which only seems to be used to feed the street cows; they need a little fiber to help them digest all the plastic they eat.
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