04 Dec Jaisalmer
Here I am on my first trip to Jaisalmer.
What can I say – it’s hot. Our driver Ranjeet took us some 40 km west to a glamp desert camp where we went camel riding and had dinner under the stars while entertained by local dancers. We were the only foreigners and they made sure that we joined in.
The camel ride took us to the top of some sand dunes where we watched the fiery sun slip down below the horizon. I rode the camel one way, but came back in the jeep. My saddle didn’t seem to be tight enough and moved from side to side as we went along and I was constantly feeling like I was going to slip off.
The following day, in the early evening, Ranjeet took us to the lake and it seemed that most of the city were there. The lake was full and it was amazing how the water calmed and soothed everyone. We watched the sun set while locals took boat rides and lounged on the surrounding ghats – the wide steps that lead down to the water.
A gentle breeze brought some relief to the early evening.
The drive from Jodhpur took around six hours and I noticed the huge military presence between the two cities, the closer we got to Jaisalmer. The Indian Air Force base was located beside the Domestic airport in Jodhpur .
Running alongside the main highway, there was a high wall that seemed to go on forever, separating the military base from the local farming areas. It must have taken ages to build. It was obvious that we were close to the Pakistan border.
If Jodhpur is known as the blue city, and Jaipur the pink city, then Jaisalmer is the golden city. The colour of most of the buildings was a gold colour. It was smaller than Jodhpur and more a desert city with families of pigs and goats as well as cows wandering the streets. The pigs scavenged in the rubbish heaps and I learnt that the hair off these snorting creatures was used in the making of paint brushes e.g hogs bristle. Being an artist myself, I gained a new respect for them.
The markets in Jaisalmer were interesting and I managed to find a few bargains. I stayed two nights in a little place called Tokyo Palace with an upstairs restaurant, and then it was back off to Jodhpur.