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Lillylilla's travels notebook

Thar Desert. 'Doors to Pakistan'

INDIA | Thursday, 15 May 2008 | Views [2242] | Comments [1]

Thar Desert © Lillylilla / Flickr.com

Thar Desert © Lillylilla / Flickr.com

Namaste. Mid afternoon here...

I came back from the Thar Desert this morning after a whole day riding a camel called Shalya or so which means balance/equilibre. Isn't it funny?  This is the meaning a word, I asked to a chinese woman to write down on my camera when I was in NY few years before...

We took a jeep to go 50km away from the city. The three of us, Asia who arrived half an hour before we left and who I met in Johdpur before and an other girl from Shangai who wanted to joined us. Rajhastini music was on, windows opened, smoking cigarett and chatting with our driver...

He has two long nails at his left hand so I asked him if he was a musician. What a laught when he explained us these two long nails were very usefull when he wanted to clean his ears or his nose!

Come on guys, lets do it too!

On the road we saw the sign "No hurry No worry" and I noticed it to the others when our driver, him again, give us the complete sentence Indians used to play with because of speed on the road. So he told us : "No hurry No worry No Chicken No curry"...

That was like a great introduction to desert life...

Once we were arrived... Where were we? In the middle of nothing... No signs, only the road and on both part of it, The Thar Desert...

The Camels were there, already prepared, as Dadia who would be our guide for this trip...

Dadia was a middle age man with a turban, a moustache and a long blue cultar with a trouser of the same color... Quite elegant. So then You go on...

Once the camel stand up you told to yourself... Okay here we are. This is gonna be a great experience...

Dadia walked all the way in front of the camels or besides or behind to push them to go on, making noise with his mouth or shouting "Andai" or something like that, so quickly we started to try to make this noise too... We were leading our camel even if they walked as fast as tortles... so you really have the time to drink, smoke, make phones calls or drinking tea... No I'm kidding... You really have the time to see what is progressively surrounding you : not silence, not beauty even if the desert is something beautiful, but just a quietness of the simple things... Your body is moving on the rythm of the camel, slowly, in front of your eyes: dunes of sand or dry ground with small trees or grass, wind... You can see far away on dunes the drawing of Gazels ; "Tigers of Desert" -which are mouses actually- come out of a hall, run quickly on a short distance and disapeared in a new hall ; lezards you can also follow the tracks they let behind them in the sand... There is no time in the desert... so we went throught like this, deeper and deeper into it... No road, no others tracks on the dunes but Dadia, who born there 10km away from where we stopped for the night, knew perfectly the way...

There were several houses there, traditional one in the middle of no where with nothing around but us and the family who lived there, the one of the older brother of Dadia...

While he was cooking the dinner we went on the top of the dunes to watch the sunset... brrr argh brrr we had our appetizer there... On a essaye plusieurs techniques pour eviter de bouffer du sable car le vent s'etait soudain leve...

Impossible de rester assis au sommet d'une dune, ni de se mettre au pied d'une autre, c' etait pire on a vite ete recouvert de sable comme si un sale gosse nous avait agite sa serviette sous le nez a la plage... I could tell more than that... comme s'il nous avait balance son chateau de sable depuis le sommet de la dune... il fallait rester debout. De la, nous avons vu arrive deux chameaux au loin montes par deux hommes du desert alors que le soleil se couchait... How could I describe you that?

Back to the huts we settled on a wall which will be in few months a new house for Matar's Family, older brother of Dadia - We had blankets and we hate our dinner there outside with Matar and Dadia telling us stories of the desert while Matar's wife was around with children and came from time to time to listen too...

And suddenly I realized, it was dark but not a complete one, because of the moon... I explained them about the blue hour, l'heure bleue et ils ont beaucoup aime l'histoire...

Ils nous ont dit alors qu'a minuit le froid vient qu'a 3h00 la lune disparait et que c'est alors au tour des etoiles d'illuminer le ciel et puis c est le noir complet pour quelques heures... enfin a six heures, sun rises...

On a dormi dehors sur des lits en fer dont le fond etait tresse, emmitouflées dans nos sleeper bags... Je ne saurais vous raconter comme il est bon de dormir dans le desert ainsi malgre le vent le sable toujours le sable qui vous colle a la peau, sur les mains, dans les cheveux - 'bridget johnes style' for me, for those who know this sequence after her ride to the country side with Hugh Grant.

Jamais, never, ever, anywhere else I had seen the stars that way not only one or two or plenty but just a million of stars with a sort of white and light cloud around them sometimes always imagined constellations could look like...

In the morning we had fresh boiled eggs and toasts and tea... Before I took some photographs of the huts with the animals around goats, veals, cows... Actually a 'cocorico'/'Kirikiki' waked me up in the desert. Can you imagine that ?

And then we took the camels again, saying goodbye to all of the family and after few hours we reached again the road...

There, waiting for the jeep, we sang songs of our different countries to children... Great audience... I even showed them all how to play Marelle and some other guys who joined us played it too...

Back in the jeep with the music, a black coffee and cigarett when we arrived at the guest house, a giant brush teeth to take off all the sand of our bodies would have been necessary but we succeeded in doing that with a sweet cold shower...

I'll leave tomorrow morning for Bikaner to the north where I'll catch a train to Delhi.

Tags: camel, desert, goat, india, jaisalmer, pakistan, rajasthan, safari, sand dunes, thar desert

Comments

1

i am studying the middle east rite now

  juladfus Jan 16, 2009 4:41 AM

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