16 November 2012

Camel Ride

We are half way through our holiday but have seen only a tiny portion of India. 

On Wednesday we went on an excursion from Jaisalmer town into the desert. We rode a camel. One poor beast had to carry both of us. We climbed on while the camel was sitting down and then had to hang on for dear life as it got up. 

The transformation from sitting camel to standing camel is a complicated process and possibly involves five or six dimensions. And all the time you are sitting up and enjoying the ride across the scrubland there is the ugly prospect that the camel must sit down again before you can get off!

In fact, we dismounted on a sand dune and had half an hour to explore before the return voyage at sunset. So we went through the sitting/standing and standing/sitting maneuvres twice. By the end we were more or less under control. 

There were lots of tracks in the sand that we first attributed to birds. In fact, the pedestrian was a large beetle. We observed the track-making with our own eyes and even photographed it. 

There were birds about. We spotted two species of bulbul as well as the ubiquitous doves. There were even some feral peafowl. 

The camel ride was followed by a cultural show and dinner. Both were uninspiring. The band was technically fine but the style of music didn't appeal. Nor did their frequent requests for tips. The dancers were very young and didn't have a wide repertoire, but their costumes were very colourful. The food was easily the most disappointing we've had all holiday. 

The following day we moved on to Jodhpur, the 2nd largest city in Rajasthan. Yes, the silly trousers do come from here.

India's awful traffic finally caught up with us and our car was shunted from behind. Our driver, who has impressed us with the safety of his driving, was not at fault. It was the other driver who was to blame. Luckily there is no damage that will hold up our tour. 

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