Up quese ho? (my finest hindi). Back from the desert, survived the ride! Our journey began from Jaisalmer by jeep, forty five minutes into the desert. In the sand hills we found our camel launch point. We had a drink while they prepared our very stinky rides, then promptly set off for the high dunes. After a few hours of awkward riding we got to our soft sandy vista. We cracked a bottle of wine and took in the sunset with another prairie boy and his girl who are traveling the world for a year. We watched the sun disappear over the camels backs, then slowly made our way back to the main camp. We arrived to cushions encircling a large fire where cold libations awaited our return. We sat back and watched a traditional Rajasthani performance with music, dancers and the occasional fire eater. We ate, we drank, we smoked the shisha and some Afghani specialties.
Life was good. When the show ended we piled onto the back trailer of a camel powered caravan and made our way back into the desert to spend the evening. Under the stars we made a large fire and continued our festivities with india's #1 whiskey (more like #4) and kingfishers. Fine purveyors of lagers and it turns out airlines. Every 20 minutes someone grabbed the headlamp and set off into the darkness to find more twigs to keep home fires alive. The circle of travelers came from all points. Denmark, Japan, Italy, Austria, u.s.a., new Zealand, aussie's, and a few others i'm sure. but dey no speek tu gud inglesh. At midnight we shared hugs, kisses and more kingfishers.
The wood finally burned to smoldering ashes, and we settled under heavy covers to sleep under the starlight, fully clothed as the desert is a wee bit chilly at night. We woke to an amazing sunrise. We mounted our camel sleds and made our way back to camp where a delicious breakfast awaited our hungry return. after settling our hunger, we loaded into the jeeps and made our way back to Jaisalmer. I took a quick shower, rinsed the sand out of my ass crack, brushed my face, washed my teeth and jumped back into the white tata chariot. We had a late start, so we arrived late in Jodhpur. After a brilliant recovery snooze, I awoke this morning and headed out into the streets. the main market and tourist traps laid to the west, so i went east. I roamed into the real city neighborhoods where the locals often asked me if i was lost and if i needed help getting back to the clock tower. I told them that this was not the real India, but that he was the real India, and that's what i wanted to experience. Without exception this made them smile, and granted me invites to see more. I helped run a hand fed book binding press, pressing and gluing pages and a feverish pace. I demonstrated my chiseling skills with a carpenter as we made a bed frame out of what he was convinced was quality wood. So i let him believe his story of quality. I helped stretch polyester strands over suspension bars to dry after they had been dyed and washed. After many hours, I decided it was time to check out the actual market and set off through the narrow streets. Every street has different products; textile, metal work, 3 wheeler repair, food stands, and much much more. Finally, by mid day it was time for nourishment. I carefully chose my dining destination and enjoyed the local flavors. Full and slightly rested from the sit, I made the long ascent to the massive and impressive fort that hangs over the city. The hike was steep but well worth it. Excellent vista's as well as a very impressive structure that had to a bitch to build hundreds of years earlier with no heavy machinery. good for them. I watched the sun set over the city and made my way home. a quick refreshment, and now this note. Soon it's time for dinner and some more zzzzzzz's.
Tomorrow will come early as we make our way to Udaipur, and more adventure.