One of the features of the tour is riding a camel out into the desert and camping overnight.
I think we came down here.
Intrepid organized jeeps from the Hotel to drive us out into the desert. It's a bit of a wild ride with the typical Indian attitude to driving.
Yes, the truck looks squashed.
A camel train with windmills.
Eventually we reached a turnoff and we headed off into the desert for a mile or so.
Our camels were waiting for us.
The wagon for supplies.
The camel drivers demonstrated how to get on and how to lean back when the camel gets off the ground.
Johanna mounts her camel. With my old stiff joints, I found it quite difficult to swing my right leg across the back of the saddle.
Young Anna getting ready to rise up.
Like all of us, Alejandro was busy taking photos.
And so our group headed off into the desert. They tie two camels together and a camel driver leads the first camel. I suspect the camels could do the walk in their sleep.
It's a little un-nerving at first but you get used to it. However I wouldn't say it was comfortable.
Grace looking serene on her camel.
My camel followed Alejando's camel. I nick-named my camel Biter since it looked like it wanted to bite Alejandro's leg when we got close.
The cart with Happy on board as passenger. She had done the camel ride before and knew better.
Oh to be twenty again with all the enthusiasm and fun. You can hang on to the pommel to keep your balance. However your body can bang against the pommel which can unpleasant. On the way out I used the stirrups as they suggested and I felt quite sore by the time we finished the ride, On the way back I did not use the stirrups and that worked much better for me. YMMV.
It is very windy in this area and lots of wind mills have been installed. The area is quite close to Pakistan.
Bruce on his camel.
Base of new wind mill.
George named his camel Bubbles since it had this disgusting habit of allowing what might have been its tongue to loll out of the side of its mouth in a large bubble.
Nan's mother Jiang. They both live in London though they came from Beijing back in 1989.
A photo of your hero on Biter. Taken by Bruce.
The saddle on Jennifer's camel slipped and she started to fall forward down the camel's neck. Fortunately she was not injured.
She retired gracefully to the cart and I don't blame her.
The camels also carry the food supplies for the evening.
After about 90 minutes, we reached the camp site and it felt good to get off. This was Biter.
The sand dunes only come into view at the end of the ride.
The wind break which sheltered our camp beds.
The beds. My overnight bag which contained a jacket, water, head lamp and a roll of toilet paper.
Some snacks and I would have been drinking a beer by this stage. The camel drivers make extra money from the sale of the beer so drink up. The beer was relatively cold.
I had a quick nap and then followed the others out to the dunes.
Sunset. It was quite hazy because of the wind blowing the dust and sand.
Looking back at the camp site from the dunes.
We sat and talked while waiting for the sun to set. This is really where the group begins to bond and enjoy each other's company.
There were lots of these little black beetles. they made a distinctive pattern in the sand.
The sand is quite fine and can easily get into your camera zoom lense.
Dinner was delicious as usual. I suspect I will enjoy all the meals in India.
Then it was time to go to the bathroom which consists of walking out to one of two clumps of bushes with your toilet paper. After you finish you cover the results with a layer of sand and return. This is why you need the headlamp. I forgot to bring hand sanitizer but it was no problem to borrow some.
It was already dark by the time we ate and soon after we lay down on our beds. It was lovely to lie down and watch the starts and talk to your neighbor in a quiet voice.
I slept pretty well and the blankets were more than adequate to keep me warm. It helps to check the temperature in Jaisalmer before you come to know what to expect. Sometimes they cancel the camel ride in January because it is too cold.
Here is Jennifer striding off to Pakistan.
Getting ready to capture a sunrise.
Chai for the weary traveler and most welcome.
Taking photos of the sunrise.
The ride back is a little shorter and takes about an hour. The speed would be about 3 to 4 miles per hour. If you have had enough of riding camels, you can go back in the cart. Most of us got back on our camels.
My legs hurt at the end and my backside is still a bit sore. I will get the others to send me some of their photos and add then to the blog. Most of my fellow travelers are very good photographers.
It was one of those things you do that you will never forget. I can see why many people think it is the best part of the whole trip.