Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Camel Safari in Rajastan

Bopping along on a camel out in India's desert state of Rajastan, the first thing I noticed was the silence. India is normally a mash up of noises and chaos: tuk-tuks, cows, salesmen, horns honking, and people shouting. But in the desert, all you hear is the sound of the breeze against your head scarf and the sounds of the camels. It was so refreshing.

We chose a three day/two night safari and I'm so glad we did. The first day and night, we only saw our guide and one other person, an old lady who was cutting brush to make a broom and stopped to have some chai tea with us. That night we saw one the most spectacular sunsets I've ever seen while standing all alone on sand dunes. It was like we were the only people in the, Bengali (our guide), and the three camels.

We spent each morning riding the camels for a few hours and then took a break for lunch and relaxing time during the hottest part of the day. We didn't have a lot to do since our guide did all the cooking and cleaning  up and wouldn't let us help. We asked Bengali all about life in the desert and how he learned to speak English and take care of camels. We laid under the shade of a tree on the saddle blankets or wandered around the surrounding area looking for interesting stuff or good pee spots. At around 3:00pm, we would ride for a bit longer to some sand dunes to set up camp, watch the sunset, jump on the dunes, and eat dinner.  Then we would crawl in our blankets and watch the stars come out until we fell asleep.

I don't know what it is exactly about India that makes we want to say the word "magical" all the time. I've never loved or hated a place so much as India and yet I still feel like it was fairy tale.

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