vacated the rooms by 7pm. got into our car and headed towards jaisalmer in high spirits. well my pals were really in high spirits. we had stored tonics for every night. first it was russian tonics romanov. later it was royal stags.the roads are really awesome. we could cruise around 100kmph.the roads are straight as tha arrow flies.with brush on either side. we were all on the look out for blue bulls but didn't sight any on the road to jaisalmer. the route we took was through barmer - pholodi- satasar - morani. reached jaisalmer by 11pm ( 325 kms ). we had a friend's contact in jaisalmer. this chap had got the dates wrong and had booked us rooms for the previous day which we cancelled from jodhpur. he had located two hotels for us. we were greeted by motorcycle borne touts who spotted our out of state car at the city border. these fellows chased us and promised heavenly accomodations for pittance. they wouldn't leave us alone even after us telling them that we had accomodation.our contact arrived and took us to 2 hotels. they quoted exorbitant prices. we had to agree due to the odd hour and the cold. my wifey and satish are such cleanliness freaks that they were annoyed by the accomodation. well for me i will sleep even in a stable and happy to eat any where if the need arises.( got trained in this while at medical college where we eat in the hotels around the college which are horrible ). i slept well. got up in the morning at 6 am.vacated the damn hotel and hit the road for khurri. its a village 45kms from jaisalmer were we had planned to go camel riding into the desert.we selected this place as it was said to be desolate compared to sam which had heavy tourist presence.on the way passed several vehicles carrying revellers from desert camps returning to jaisalmer after last nights parties. reached khurri and went to a desert camp called dolatgarh. met the owner mr. v.p. singh who reeked of liquor( last nights hang over). a nice chap who gave us a complimentary coffee and arranged for three camels for rs 1200/ for our ride.
asked mr singh about lunch and he promised mutton prepared in some exotic desert style. my mouth was watering.he told that he could get it ready by the time we returned from the desert. thats when my dear wife went in behind the kitchen tent and had a peek in. she immediately refused to have lunch from there.and that was the end of the exotic rajasthani desert mutton meanwhile the camels arrived. first me & wifey got on bubloo. next my son & satish got on another one. next suresh had to run behind my daughter to catch her and get her atop the third camelthe handlers then asked us to hold on tight. we held on for dear life. its scary when the animal gets up with a jerk. the guys took us through small huts into the desert. the desert had lots of shrubs and looked green. when we pointed this to our escorts they told us that khurri had lots of rain in september. in fact some of the oldies were seeing rain for the first time in their life there were lots of kids in the village. some were playing cricket while some were fetching firewood.
thanks umang for the encouraging words.
after the camel ride we returned back towards jaisalmer. next we went to see the wood fossil park which is located 9kms away from jaisalmer. it houses fossilised wood that was present there millions of years ago. spent about 20 inutes there and left for jaisalmer fort. its a fort that has people living in it. and it shows. there is water leaking, open drains, with filthy water running.some part of the monument is crumbling. i feel it won't last much longer like this.
next went to see the patwon ki haveli. its a large house of a wealthy trader and a noble man of the kings court of the past.its a world heritage site.its opuleence and carvings are mind boggling.have a look
after the tour of the patwon ki haveli we returned to where our car was parked in front of the fort.then we went to buy 'camel dung' there is a shop in front of the fort, which is a government authorised bhang shop. when we reached there and the shop keeper showed us bhang which is available as powder, lassi or as cookies. on seeing the cookies my son commented that -is it camel dung ? see for your self-
we bought some of the stuff and started for bikaner by 5pm, which was 325 kms away.our stomach was protesting. we only had a heavy breakfast. we looked for a good hotel to have some thing. but non of them was up to the mark of wifey and satish. so we made a big mistake- decided to have food on the way. we bought some fruits and ate what we had stored in our car.the route that we took was NH15 via pokhran, ramdeora, phalodi, bikaner on the way filled the car to the brim.here are some of the snaps clicked on the way. meet some of the simple rural folks we met in the fuel station returning to their village after their daily toil . they were filling diesel to take to their village situated 25 kms away. the small boy in the first snap was so shy that he was turning his face away from my camera. i had to go around and snap his handsome face.it was almost sunset.
by seven thirty pm we were starved. thats when we understand what hunger is ? there was no much eateries on the way. by 8pm things were too much. we had reached a small village called latti. we stopped to get some thing to eat. we spotted a small guy selling omellette, poached eggs etc. he was majeed. oh boy those eggs tasted hevenly. i had 3poached eggs and an omellettte of 2 eggs. all of us had tummy full of eggs. talked with majeed. he was a local guy who hadn't heard of kerala. he hadn't gone much beyond latti. reached bikaner by 11pm.our stay was booked in padmini nivas. a nice small hotel. had 2 appetisers and our hunger reappeared. the cook of the hotel had closed the hotel by that time. but on our request made us a sumptous dinner.such nice guys.
after the tour of the fort went on to buy the famous bikaneri sweets. bought loads of them for our friends and relatives. the lack of space in the boot was the only thing that prevented us from buying all those stuffs. bought 2 pairs of mojris (chappals ) made of camel leather. also bought 5 camel leather vallets. all together costed rs 750/.next drove to deshnok where the famous rat temple is situated. oh boy saw rats, rats, rats. wifey was terrified of them and stayed out side.