I took a train from Delhi, leaving at 5:35pm, booked the best class possible (2AC, around 1800Rs), so only two bunk beds on one side, leaving me with more space which was great. What wasn’t that great was the fact the I booked the upper bed. One could argue it would give me more privacy which would probably be true, but the thing is that I was like 40cm away from a huge AC fan. And with jeans, shirt, hoodie, jacket and scarf on, plus covered with blanket, I was freezing. It felt like I’m somewhere in Siberia and the result of that came very quickly – cold sores near my mouth (thank god not on it directly! It will heal quicker).
Well anyway, we arrived to Jaisalmer with ONLY – and I really mean it – 30min delay. Which is incredible since the whole journey took more than 18h and we covered almost 1000km. Then again the tuktuk hassle started and surprisingly I managed to bargain a ride for only 20Rs to the city center.
I found my hostel, seen my room and diceded I will rather lose my deposit of 1,2$ than sleeping there (Backpacker’s Panda – don’t even try it, no windows there and it smelled terribly). But manager seized the opportunity and quickly offered an alternative – Lonely Planet’s recommended Shahi Palace hotel (above my budget so I didn’t even try to book it at the beginning) and he gave me a room for the same price of 450Rs, and quite nice one! And the conclusion here? Don’t book rooms in advance during low season through a booking app. Prices are high there and if you come to a hotel directly, you will manage to bargain a good price, because little money is better than no money at all for them
I showered the train ride off me, stepped outside, sweat covered me from head to toes so shower effect got cancelled immediately and went exploring the fort. Entrance fee to the palace was 600Rs with audio guide and it was quite interesting, going through the royal rooms etc. plus beautiful view from the roof over the city.
And then I just strolled around, had lunch here amd lassi there, then took a nap and went for dinner😅 Yeah I know, what a hard life.
But in the meantime I booked a camel safari for next day, leaving in the afternoon and coming back the day after. I went to the LP recommended Sahara Travels and prices have gone up since the book was published – 1500 for tour starting in the afternoon (1900 from morning – guide says 1500 for the longer one). What to do, bargaining not possible.
So next day I had a breakfast at a hotel rooftop and like 6 hours to kill before the safari starts. So I went to the fort again, sat in a restaurant and read a book. And had banana lassi, yum yum. Then had lunch, ate very slowly and then booked a bus ticket to Jodhpur for after I’ll be back from safari.
We set off with jeeps towards some ruins of an old village (30mins ride, 10mins inside), then to an oasis (another 15mins ride, 2mins there because it was just a dirty lake) and then another 30mins to the place where camels were awaiting us. Finally!!
I knew exactly which camel I want to ride, we had a connection from the first sight – pink blankets on him (her?) and it had dots on it’s skin, like a dalmatian. So special! Just like me. Haha, just kidding.. Or am I actually?😂 And the camel was very friendly and walked smoothly and I totally enjoyed the ride.
Just the group I was with (Turkish people) didn’t share my enthusiasm for camel rides and wanted it to finish as soon as possible, so after like 40mins we arrived to the dunes, desert guys prepared dinner and beds for us and we went to watch the sunset. Beeeaaaauuutiful! The sky changed its colors so quickly and it was magical. Then the stars started to show up amd again – wooow. Saw like 5 huge shooting stars and Milky way and Orion’s belt and so many more constellations! But up in the mountains the night sky is more clear, here we still had quite big light pollution.
Our guides and also the Turkish guys started to talk about weed and took out some bhang from its bags (I think it’s the whole plant smashed and crushed into a thick, pasty like ball). Guide said it’s better to swallow it, with chai or lassi but we didn’t have any so the guys decided to make a joint out of it which didn’t work to much. Bhang is quite wet. Well I didn’t try because I just don’t try new stuff among strangers.
But to explain more about bhang – it’s totally legal in Jaisalmer to use it and very close to the fort first gate, there is a bhang lassi shop-govt.authorized So if anyone wants to legally try marijuana lassi, go to Jaisalmer
So next morning I woke up in the desert A bit with shock cuz of some weird dream I had but otherwise to a beautiful sunrise that was just starting. I thought I would be super warm during the night so first I slept only in my underwear and covered with scarf, but then I put on my long sleeved shirt, then pants and then the bedsheet (blanket, still quite wet, was my mattress so that was out of question). And I was very moist/wet all over – hair, face, clothes, all unpleasantly sticky. But masala chai brought better thoughts and warmer feeling, and morning sun dried us up during breakfast.
Then we rode on the camels back to the camp and then back to Jaisalmer. And I could feel my butt from the previous day!
It’s also a custom to give some tip to the camel caretakers, so I gave mine 100Rs..
It was 9:30 when we arrived to JSM and my bus was supposed to leave at 12:30 so I went to the bus station and managed to get a seat at the one leaving at 10 – better! For extra charge of 50Rs. I booked the bus one day ahead in some travel office in the center for 250Rs.
I was sitting on the wrong side cuz sun was baking me through the windows and the bus got so unimaginably full!!! No AC and people just kept coming! Then suddenly we are 3 people sitting on two seats – skinny guy, fat lady in the middle and me. I looked around, saw I’m the only one who has it like that and decided to be more proactive ( – some people will get this internal joke). So I told to the guy to stand up and let the lady have the whole seat. First he babbled something, looked like he will do it but no action. So at the next stop I basically pushed him away, pushed the lady to the seat and finally could breathe again. I mean come on! I paid 300Rs. for this f*cking ride and others only 80 or how much, so I deserve my whole seat. Especially when seats behind me were occupied normally. No squeezing happening over there.
I arrived to Jodhpur after 5,5h and didn’t like the city from the start. Big, dirty, meh city with fort in the middle and 600Rs for entrance to the fort? To see sth similar as in Jaisalmer? Sorry but nope. I drove to the fort with tuktuk, took few pics and went to the train station to book a ticket to Mt Abu. Very snap decision but probably a good one. Finally some nature and more human temperatures are awaiting me Will stay there for 2 nights probably, looks like I might like it quite a bit – mountain, lake, forests, temples.. I could even have a morning run around the lake!