We officially reached the desert as we entered Jaisalmer or the “golden city” in the far west of Rajasthan. This, other than my Delhi belly episode, ended up being one of my favorite spots on our tour.
Some of it was that this part of India we experienced being the most “laid back”. It was also Dewali the night we arrived and we were able to eat dinner on an amazing rooftop restaurant overlooking the fort with fireworks going off all around us. Even Mr. Puri was in a celebratory mood as he joined in the local band/dance entertainment which we again were requested to show off our massive dance skills (ha ha). The next day we toured the fort which was the only we saw where people still live and work. Our guide lived in the fort and we walked around the city, shopped for jewelry (E), and mixed with the locals. I wasn’t feeling the best that day after our lunch stop the day before at a “not so clean” restaurant – E’s lemon soda had some “floaties” in it which we returned but…! I enjoyed being able to take pictures of what seemed to be local Indian culture with it’s sights, smells (read cow dung offerings), and sounds. After our tour though is when the bug finally got me. Of course it was our wedding anniversary night, but I was out for the next 24 hours. I will spare you the details of that wonderful time ; )
The day after the horror of Delhi Belly, we drove out to the desert to stay and go for a camel safari. I was still a little weak but feeling good enough to ride a camel in the evening and morning. On our evening ride we had an older man and a young boy riding with us. We rode out about a kilometer into the desert and then they dropped us off and rode away. E and I looked at each other and wondered if they would come back. Eventually they did and our young guide especially was keen on laughing at our worry.
We enjoyed this place quite a bit as there were many Indian people vacationing who were more than happy to engage us and were very kind sharing their Indian treats and snacks. I even met an Indian teenager who thought cricket was “boring and stupid” and instead played basketball!!