i’m playing catch up again but in my defence I’ve been having adventures. Jaisalmer is a quintessential desert town with this golden old city rising up out of the flat lands surrounding it. All tortuous little streets, dusty corners, hawkers and flat roofs – oh and camels everywhere.
When I was a child and sick, my father would put Ravel’s Bolero on the “Hifi” and I would lie there with my ear pressed against the speaker grill and create exotic visions. I didn’t know then – or for many, many years thereafter, what he actually wrote the music about but my child’s mind envisioned a desert oasis or walled town with people watching from the ramparts as a camel caravan slowly came into view. That dream has stayed with me my whole life and perhaps coloured my love of travel and the far horizons….Well Jaisalmer is that childhood dream. I can’t begin to explain the emotions coursing through me as I watched the sun set and turn the walls into gold. Magic indeed.
So then onto Reggie Singh’s camel camp in the middle of the Thar desert. Stayed in tents – Barb just about froze to death – I fortified with a great deal of very good whisky and we all had a lot of fun. I got my camel safari and the others rode around in jeeps and visited a local village. We had chilled wine standing on top of a sand dune and watched the sun set and my mahout showed me how camels dance – if you really stretch your mind and think of dressage its kind of like that!
We then listened to some extremely fine folk singers and met Reggie who owns and developed the camp, owns the local town and is cousin to the Maharaja of Jodhpur I believe. That’s where the copious quantities of whisky came in – see Reggie is a scotch drinker as well and then his friend the “Colonel” joined us and we embarked on a “solve the worlds problems” evening. Thoroughly enjoyable and i didn’t mind the subsequent fat head too much.
Off to Jodhpur where Mary and Henri have left us to return to Delhi. Barb and I spent a perfect day at the fort here, definitely see a family resemblance in some of the portraits – Reggie could easily have lived a couple of hundred years ago with fierce mustaches and a sword in hand. We also had our palms read by a lovely and quite accurate court astrologist. Uncanny.
Top to bottom photos; Anil our driver – such a cutie! The old part of Jaisalmer; one of the kids who live there – funny how all children no matter where they come from – can have great fun with a cardboard box; locals at a festival for Hanuman who is the monkey god – they appear to be just as interested in us as we are in them and finally my dancing camel Mumtaz..