Friday, 5 October 2012

The Joys of Jaisalmer

DAY THREE - Jaisalmer & Desert Safari

We start our day early at an artificial lake, originally built for burials and festivals. Three men are bathing and praying in the water ... Dipping their hands in the water, chanting & saluting the sun three times before each quarter turn. It is kind of surreal....

We are brought back to reality when one of our party asks to be left alone and one yesterday's lunch begins to take affect.....the harsh cruel sun beats down and some of us begin to struggle....


We're off to explore the Golden Fort this morning, which has nearly 4000 people living inside. No cars are able to make it up the steep cobbled drive to the fort's main entrance. There are 5 gates in total which zigzag up the hill. Each with a heavy door with spikes at elephant eye level, the only power strong enough to have tried to penetrate through these defenses. We chose to walk, it's a chaotic with the auto rickshaw's, cows and pedestrians all competing for the same narrow bit of road space...



There are three levels of Fort walls and it's not surprising that the Fort inhabitants have resisted continued official attempts to remove them & allow tourism to flourish. It's impossible to break-in & even harder to get them out!



It is hot and we walk for three hours exploring inside the walls.... My favorite place were two Jain temples. We leave our shoes and water bottles outside and enjoy the cool, dark interiors watching the monks in their bright robes going about their daily ritual of polishing and dusting the many hundreds of statues inside.





The Havali's - Rajasthani mansion's of the town's wealthy merchants with their relief carvings, filligreed windows and lace like screens...


The streets inside the Fort are a maze, we follow the guide and end up with the usual shopping opportunities. The first at we are offered cold drinks and a chance to explore the five levels of antiques, after lunch a silversmith.....We won't be considered great customers, at each stop we have someone asleep or trying to fight off the lurgy...!


I make it as far as the drive to the desert before my illness strikes, they say Delhi Belly is inevitable in India and I'm mad as I have every pill and potion going and take Travelan before I eat. I am sick. I retire to my luxury tent and miss the camel ride to watch the sunset.

We are the only residents at our camp site, which can sleep 85 people. It is still low season, not many people are mad enough to visit before 0ctober.... It is only just October, and only just bearable....




The tent is nicely decorated and joy of joys each tent has a full en-suite bathroom! There is a large evaporative water cooler, which works ok.




Little Wandering Wren

Location:Jaisalmer INDIA

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