City Slickers India: Walking to the Fair

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November 11th 2018
Published: November 11th 2018
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I suppose it is not a news flash that when it comes to travel adventures we like to dream big. Not like private jets big, but live like the locals big. Sometimes it is just a little ember that fuels a lively conversation and sometimes those dreams turn into full on flames of adrenaline.

Right now we are in the heat of living one of those big dreams.

When dad and I first came to Pushkar for the camel fair nearly a decade ago, we spent our first night at a hotel on the edge of town. We went exploring and while we were sitting on the rooftop patio of our hotel, we saw one of the camel caravans coming into town. We were in complete awe of the beauty of the camels, the ruggedness of the Raika and the romance of the age old adventure.

We knew the Raika brought their camels from their villages and may spend weeks walking them to the fair in hopes of getting a good price for them at Pushkar. We knew they faced a rough journey where they must tend to their own well-being and the well-being of the camels. We knew they lived on very little and worked very hard. We knew they were the original camel people of India.

We also knew one day we just had to experience it ourselves.

This last 13 months have been unofficially known as the Year of the Camel in our lives as it has consisted of camel training clinics, some camel related media coverage, a camel expedition in Mongolia, several camel events at Shamrock Farms and now this.

We are spending our first 4-5 active days in India in a remote part of Rajasthan walking with the Raika as they escort 50 some camels to the fair. We plan to walk 30km per day through rugged terrain, small villages and the occasional highway. We will tend with the heat, thorns, language barriers and the mere fact you are dealing with animals which means anything could happen.

We wanted an authentic experience and we knew if we asked our treasured friends at Indian Moments, it would be. I like to say that Indian Moments is not a travel company, but rather dream makers. They partnered with Camel Charisma, a camel conservatory missioned to save the Raika way of life and the camel lifestyle in India, and they again proved me correctly. We are living a dream in India.

Join us as we move this camel caravan to the Pushkar Camel Fair where they will be sold and traded much like our own state fairs in the States.

Reader warning: if you dislike photo after photo of camels, you may want to skip the next few blogs. If you really like camel photos, please don’t hesistate to follow us on Instagram @valerispassport or Valeri Crenshaw on Facebook.

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