A sunset view. A camel ride. Sand dunes. And festive music.
Who wouldn't want to skip this lovely combination?
Prior to my trip in India, I have only seen a camel once in my entire life... and the poor animal was just confined inside a zoo. So when I learned that India has the 18th largest desert in the world called Thar Desert or The Great Indian Desert, I knew that I had to include it in our itinerary.
Most hotels in Jaisalmers will try to sell you desert safari packages but thanks to our guide Har Govind, we skipped the usual touristy package. Instead, he got us direct bookings to two camel guides. (TIP: locals get cheaper rates than foreigners so ask your guide to book camel rides for you)
Here is my camel guide. He has a very complicated name so I forgot it as soon as he pronounced it. He does not know how to speak English so we ended up communicating via sign language. I learned from my mother's guide that my camel is ten years old.
The most exciting part is after you mount on the camel-- when the tall creature gets up and you get to experience being a giant princess on a magic camel ride :-P
Be sure to catch the sunset here. The colors of the sky are amazing! Plus the silhouettes can get dramatic ;-)
Some camels have better #OOTD than most people. But I'm not sure if these animals are enjoying their bling blings :(
And yes, the sand dunes can get crowded during peak season so better pick a good spot before the much-awaited sundown.
Dismounting can also be exciting, especially if your camel is tall. I have an embarrassing video of myself being lowered down by my wonderful camel but it's better if you don't see it to preserve my dignity :-P
After about 20 minutes of riding, you may let your camel rest and wait for the sunset.
As for me, it was the best time to be a kid again!
I jumped and ran up and down the dunes. I ignored the fact that my shoes were getting heavier with sand :)) Thanks to my Mama for documenting my craziness :)
After about 100 jumps, I was able to influence my Mama to be a kid too! (Best way to kill time while waiting for the sunset, yes!)
And finally! After counting too many camels and jumping like crazy hoomans... it was the marvelous sunset's time!
TIP: If you want free festive music and if you want to experience how locals groove, position yourself near a fun group with a band :))
After saying goodbye to the sun and our camel, we went to a desert camp for a local dinner and dance performance.
They welcomed us with music and we had our foreheads marked with orange liquid (tilaka).
The setup was lovely— bonfire at the center, a local band playing traditional Rajasthani music, and carpets and seats around the stage for chilling.
But as the sky got darker, it also got colder! I wish I brought my blanket with me.
There were several performances— from fire dancing to traditional dancing and singing.
Anybody will agree that I have zero dancing skills but I did not want to pass the chance of trying Rajasthani dance moves and being crazyyyy!??
The buffet dinner was ok. Not spectacular but I loved the dal and parathas. The spicy flavors were also perfect for the chilly weather!
Overall, Thar Desert did not disappoint the kid in me :) Next time, I will definitely try desert camping ;-) ⛺️
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