Jaisalmer: whoa, that’s a lot of camels
We had decided to meet Kevin in Jaisalmer instead of Jaipur on a whim, as we had a few extra days and noticed that the Desert Festival would be on. It sounded better than struggling for breath in Delhi… Camel races!
We arrived a day ahead of Kevin, and got to enjoy a music performance with “laser show” over dinner at yet another mediocre rooftop restaurant overlooking the main Fort gate. The next morning we also watched/joined the opening parade before he landed.
In the end the camel races and camel polo match were a bit of a let down, but more than made up for by the three days of local passion for the desert culture. The festival was more a local event by people who really didn’t know what foreigners would be interested in. The English commentary used the same florid language to describe camel riding and women balancing water urns on their heads… such grace and beauty…
Our hostel was run by a crafty guy who never quite got together a plan for a camel safari, but did manage a group trip to the dunes complete with kamakaze Jeep ride and sunset camel walk squeezed in between the races and musical extravaganza. We haggled, but let him overcharge by at least 40%. We also had issues with the hot water, the room lock, sigh. We have developed a theory about hostels in India.
We did get to share our experience with Kevin, dragging him across town and through the fort for a dose of local colour. It was great to catch up and check out a tourist town just miles from the Pakistan border. Cows, sand, kamakaze scooters in narrow laneways, empty non- rooftop restaurants with great food.