Day-4 – Jaisalmer and Desert Camp
The hotel again is a family run haveli style hotel with the family staying in one part of the hotel itself. Our rooms were upgraded and we got 2 rooms on the ground floor with a small fountain overlooking the doors. Big rooms and bigger bathrooms even with a round bathtub! Again a 4 poster bed and a trunk used as a center table and a small wooden closet with glass doors which was filled with bangles in the room 😀 I loved the decor here. The BIL was teaing me that this place might be haunted for all you know and dont get scared if you hear these bangles jingling in the night!! 😛 The food here was just ok-ok on the roof top restaurant. We managed with just some vegetable rice that night.
The next morning we checked out and headed towards the Jaisalmer fort – This is a living fort, which means there are people still living inside the fort. We saw a Jain tample with wonderful carvings and then walked around the fort admiring the Jharokhas on all the buildings inside the fort and then went to the top of the fort which had a canon installed, to get a view of the Golden City Jaisalmer. The whole city looked golden due to the sand and the afternoon sun.
From there we walked through the narrow walkways to Patwaon Ki Haveli-an old, well preserved family haveli that shows how the rich lived in the city. A room for entertainment/a room for music/a room to meet and greet people/ huge kitchen and vessels that forget lifting – we cannot move it even an inch and a single fire place for cooking in front of the window-that too on the 2nd floor! Here again we saw that each room was color co-ordinated with dark blue and golden. Oh, and there was another room for playing! There was chess and a huge colorful stiched cloth for playing dice. We were really impressed and wondered how we manage everything within the 10*10 of our homes! 😀
From Jaisalmer, we proceeded to Winds Desert Camp at Sam Sand Dunes for a night of tent stay in the desert. Here again, apart from 1 another couple from Delhi, we were the only ones who checked in on a monday and so all the importance was given to us 🙂 Post lunch, we started at 4:30 for sunset camel ride. Unfortunately with the 2 kids it became very difficult to ride the camel and so we had to get off and then took a camel cart. I asked some questions like what they feed the camel and wont we be heavy for the poor animal to walk or stand up with hubby,me and chutku on it. The camel owners said that the camel can carry a weight of more than 200kgs but I somehow felt guilty. So it came as a relief when we decided to get down and take the cart instead. Somehow it felt that the camel didnt have to struggle as much. The husband’s arguement was that, this was the rozi-roti for them – they can feed the camels only if we pay them…so think of it that way…
Well, we went on the camel cart ride quite far where we saw pure sand dunes unmarred by footprints which had those waves created by the winds on small mounds of sand. It was beautiful. They also showed us a fence which was apparently the old India/Pakistan border (not sure how much of it is true though). It was 6pm by the time we got back to the car park and the BIL wanted us to finish the desert jeep safari too in the dark as he had included another awesome place to see the next day.
We waited for 1/2 hr while we had tea and biscuits for the jeep and then got in. By then it was dark and it was beginning to get cold too. It was a beautiful full moon night too. The jeep driver took us a little further on the tarred road and suddenly swivelled into the desert sand. Stopping the car, he removed a lot of air from the tyres stating that it would be less bumpy that way. Then for the next 20mins it was upppp and dowwwwnnn the sand dunes where he showed and talked about some village where Kareena Kapoor stayed, which movie was shot there etc etc; It was fun but it wasnt as thrilling as we thought it would’ve been. The Ajmer auto ride was more adventurous than this 😛
Back to the car park and back to the camp at about 7:30pm where there was a dance group waiting with Aarthi and Tikka to welcome us! Snacks and dinner followed in the outer courtyard watching the Rajasthani folk dance and listening to “Kesariaaa Baalma, Padhaaro Mhaare Desh” and “Morni Baga Ma Bole aadhi raatma”. The dancers were beautiful and graceful and oh-so confident! They were so flexible, bent backwards,danced on nails-simply superb! The 2 girls even called us for a dance and we stuck out like sore-thumb while they gracefully moved their bodies and taught us how to move our hands. If felt like true Royalty!
By 10:30, we were exhausted and it had begun to get too cold despite wearing warm clothes that we decided to call it a day. It was a blessing that through out the day Chuktu had been a good boy, co-operating everywhere. I had promised to show him lots of stars and we sat there for a couple of mins in the freezing cold,with him on my lap seeing stars. 🙂