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Rajisthan - take 6

USA | Sunday, 15 February 2009 | Views [727] | Comments [1]

I'll edit later: first have to make sure it gets saved

So much time has passed since i have last written - and my last entry got  erased TWICE  - but i know when  i return to the US it will be harder  to recreate in words all that i have experienced and being in the context is more inspiring....with a little caffeine to get me going:) And just so you all know I am heading back to the US on March 4th. I am going to spend almost a month with my family and then head back to the CO to my friends and where Kurtis and I will start to build the next step of our lives...which will somehow involve traveling regularly:) Its true what they say....its a bug that never leaves you!

Right now I am in Pushkar, the 6th place I have visited in Rajisthan. Rajisthan is a marvelouse place and it is so diversed with Indian culture, colors, people, spirituality, and thick with the colors, smells and taste of India! I am happy that I made the train to Jasilmer from Delhi....because after going to the wrong station ad having to run to the right one I was convinced if I didn't make the train that I would surely give up on India and get the next plane back to the US. (I was a bit tired - emotionally and physically - from delhi)Well, needless to say I am SO HAPPY I made the train...i literally set foot onto it and it started to move! It took me another hour to actually get to the right seat!

When I finally settled into the train I sat back and watched out the window while settling my breath...and my heart. The sights were the harshest i have seen yet. The slums along the rail was beyond belief. The piles and rows of homes looked like broken down cardboard boxes kept up by mud and sticks with roofs covered in plastic and dirty cloths and tires and rubbish and black tarps. the doors looked like an old sardine cans. All around were heaps and heaps of trash, dead and dry bushes and trees, goats and pigs and cows and dogs, and the dirtiest people you have ever seen with bright white eyes. Their hair was mangeld, their teeth rotted out, and they wondered around, went to the toilet, sat by trash fires, spit, stood in their doorways staring out, or just sat on the hill side watching the trains go by. The trees had dirty clothing hanging and drying, tangled kites made from plastic bags and the layers of rubbish all thorughout their homes/world that was beyond belief. I have seen many many poor places and homeless but this was the worst i have ever seen - i cried

I settled into the train and woke up a little more refreshed and a thought to switch my attitude. I knew I only had a little over a month left to travel and i wasnt going to let the tuff times of india and traveling alone as women bring me down and i was going to embrace and enjoy and keep my heart open. Get back to my usual self:) The night before i saw a single traveling girl in the next seat. we both smiled and just knew we werent up for chatting but grateful to know there is another single traveling women near by. Actually, I saw this women on my flight from Kochi to Delhi and on the bus. She wasnt approachable until this morning.

When the train stopped I hopped off and ran into an aussie travelor - johnny. Johnny is the person that gave me the extra push the night before to get on the train. By the end of the morning Johnny, The girl - gara: spanish, and myself were 3 single travelors joining forces and heading into Jasilmer to set off on the famous camel safari. But first we have to get to the town. Gara had a place set up with lodging safari and pick up so i joined her. It was crazy when we got off the train as we got swormed by 100's of indian men who were trying to sell us there camel safari and their lodge. It was like we were a fresh pile of shit and 100's of flies came at us. Layers and layers of men surrounded us as they pushed and pulled and shoved cards in our faces and screamed their business name in our ears. It was absolute madness and i am glad i started the day with a new attitude because i just stood thier and absorbed the madness and just laughed. Next time i will start to sign my name on pieces of paper for autographs - which i have actually done in Rajisthan!

We found the car that Gara reserved and hopped in. After the 3 of us settled into a room we wondered into the fort of Jasilmer. 3 single travelors witht the same passion and best friend - our camera. Jasilmer was picture perfect. It was like wondering inside a huge, intricately detailed sand castle with smotth turns, carved designs, beautiful colors, and wonderous people dressed in colors adn turbans and jingleing sparkling jewelry (as i am now!) WOnderful musical instruments playing, great little alleys and buildings to explore, and a feeling of magic while walking through the inside of a story book or fairytale. As we wondered and enjoyed the shades and shadows of the sun moving we found ourselves in the gutters of the fort. No one else was there and it was magnificent and peaceful and straight out of a national geographic movie of another time and place that no more exists. We soon realized we were stuck and the only way out was through a small hole in the fort that led into a stable filled with cows. A climb through, some dodging and hoping to miss a pile of manure, we climbed out the other side (difficult for short legs) and cleaned our feet off. The owner gave us a smile and a curios look and we made our way out to a main gate. We wondreed through the markets trying fruit and veggies and such and realized we had no idea where we were. As we asked the locals a man knew where our guest house was and we hopped onto a motorbike and 4 of us drove off into the sunset for 20+  minutes. How did we all fit on a motorbike? Well, the driver sat on my lap!!!!!

The next day we set off for the camel safari. 2 days and one night in the desert. 6 travelors, 5 indian men, seven camels, and a young boy. We took a jeep to meet our camels. My first camel was rocket. Lucky for me rocket was in heat and at the smell of a female he would make this wild sound - like chewbacka from star wars - and his tounge would fall out the side of his mouth and blow up like a pink balloon covered in slobber while giving off the smell of a 100 year old dog's breath. Aside from that the scenery was beautiful as we saw herds of sheep, camel, rundown old villages, and colors of green and purple and sage and white and yellow, The breeze was perfect and riding a camel while it is trotting is pretty bumpy but a fun way to pick up the pace after strutting along for a few hours. We had a lunch break under a beautiful big tree and i help make Chapattis (indian bread) and ate great food with my new camel safari friends from France, hong kong, australia and spain. AS we continued on we rode for a while to reach the sandunes. I had a surreal moment as i was trotting on a camel through the desert with an indian boy on the back while approaching the sandunes and seeing the flowing patterns and hills of pure smooth beautiful brown orange sand while the sun was setting...in india. it was like a dream. This is where we would spend the night.

We wondered about and made fresh prints on the sand, took many photos of course, did log rolls and watched the sun set. It was beautiful but i will admit that they did not compar to colorados sandunes!

The evening consisted of delicious food, great laughs, a camp fire, indian love songs, and the stillness of the desert. Laying outside on the soft sand under the stars was absolutely stunning and so peaceful. A great break from the madness and sounds and chaos of India. As the moon set behind the dunes the stars had quite a show to put on as each second another one or two fell. In the morning I awoke and wondered up the dunes and watched the sunrise as I sat in stillness with the desert.

The second day on  the camel was a little rougher b/c of a soar body but the sights were incredible. The sage greens against the deep purples with a brush of yellow and wondering herds of fluffy white sheep. I have never seen such landscape and i was absolutely awwed at the ever changing beauty among the hills and valleys of the desert - one of the many times in the past 6 months that a tear was shead for the magic and beauty that mother earth shares with us.

We rode our camels through the hot day...sometimes i rode sideways...and found our way into villages and then back to the jeep that would take our soar bodies into Jasilmer. We all celebrated with a nice Indian meal and some sweets! The next day I awoke and knew it was time to move on from Jasilmer. Although the town was very beautiful, there is a tourist side of it pushing you to buy all sorts of dazzling things...i knew i would have plenty of more chances. Gara decided to stay one more day to get a good night sleep and Johnnie and I hopped on a train with purchsed tickets of "special seatring" and head to Jodphur.

ok - this is the 3rd time writing all thjis so hopefully it will save this time.

more soon.....



LJ!! I am in Rajastan traveling alone too!! I'm in jaipur. I head to Pushkar on 2/24, then to Bikaner, to see the rat temple. Perhap we can meet up along the way? I'm staying in the Pearl Palace Hotel in Jaipur, room 309 if you call it is 237-3700. i think the code is 141. 141-237-3700?? My blog is http://journals.worldnomads.com/zoejoy

And email [email protected] It is still my first week here!!
Much love.

  Zoe, David's Cousin from Boulder Feb 17, 2009 2:38 PM

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