It may have taken us 9 hours and 600km to get here but Jaisalmer is easily the best part of India Charlie and I have explored so far. A pretty easy statement to make considering we’ve only actually visited two other places but Jaisalmer has made an impact on both of us and we’re both fairly certain that this place will be one of our highlights.
Our first taste of Jaisalmer was a camel safari where we were introduced to our two camels Humphrey and Geoffrey (aptly named by Charlie and I). Humphrey and Geoffrey were to take us 5km into the desert where we would watch the sunset and then return to our accommodation for dinner and a ‘boogie’.
I won’t lie, camel riding isn’t too dissimilar to horse riding except you’re slightly higher up and a camel takes much longer strides, I don’t really know why I was expecting more but either way it was awesome to just be sat on a camel. We trotted through the hazy desert getting completely covered by sand as we drew further into the desert.
With promises that our camels and leaders would be back after the sun set, we watched Humphrey and Geoffrey disappear into the distance.
Now, everyone knows I love a good sunset, but even I will admit that this one was slightly disappointing. After watching the sun slowly descend for 45 minutes, just as we thought it was going to get spectacular, poof. Gone. Nada. It was so windy that sand completely blurred the horizon therefore diminishing any chance of seeing the sun actually set. But it was fun to just be in the desert and around the camels, we even got serenaded by a little boy. Naturally, we had to pay him afterwards.
15 minutes later I started to think that they had abandoned or forgotten us in the desert and my angry stomach growled at their lateness.
We arrived back to the guests of the hotel gathered round to watch and listen to some traditional Indian dancing and music. I will never know how belly dancers dance. It’s like their legs are separate to their body! So weird.
We were then presented with the choice of sleeping outside or inside. Whilst our room was adorable, it was also stifling hot so we decided to sleep outside. And it was amazing, well worth waking up to an eyeful of sand and half the desert in my hair.
Our guide (my bad for forgetting his name) first took us to Jaisalmer palace. Charlie and I almost missed this because we’re doing the ultimate budget tour and it cost a whopping Rs500 (£5) to get in. £5 at home would barely buy you a McDonald’s meal but here in India, it could easily pay for two meals. So try not to judge us too harshly! After much debate, (me thinking we should pay, Charlie thinking we should skip) I figured that we didn’t come all the way to India to cheap out on some of India’s best sights. So myself and a very miffed Charlie proceeded into the palace.
I can assure you that the view from the top of the palace was worth the rs500 alone.
After a morning of exploring castles and forts, we were exhausted. Even without all the walking the heat and humidity really drains you so we decided it was time for lunch. If you’re ever in Jaisalmer you HAVE to go to Surya Guest House. We didn’t have high hopes for this restaurant as a lot of the restaurants we have been taken to have been very overpriced and not that great. Our hopes weren’t heightened when we were lead to a pretty dark and gloomy door. We followed the waiter up several flights of stairs until we finally reached a brightly lit room filled with pillows, sitting mats, low tables and a truly stunning view of Jaisalmer. Good food, spectacular view, you can’t really ask for a better lunch.
Like I said, Jaisalmer is easily one of the best places we have visited so far but this is slightly ruined by the amount of litter that covers so many of the streets which creates a truly unbearable smell. It’s so sad to see such a beautiful city being treated so carelessly.
We were then taken down one of the most beautiful streets I have ever seen. As we were told many, many times, this street has been awarded for the most intricate buildings in the world and is recorded in the Guinness world records. It’s easy to see why, the detail in each building is astounding and took around 60 years to build.
P.S. I will try and do a separate post on all of our accommodation, some of the places we have stayed have been incredible!