Home > India > Camel Safari – treking through the Thar Desert

Camel Safari – treking through the Thar Desert

4 camels booked – we are ready to go. I did some research and found Trotters, managed by Del Boy, and thought that it must be quality – and this time it was. After a pickup from the hotel and some bag shuffling, we were off in the jeep into the desert.

 

 

 

the adobe villages - how they survive is beyond me

the fort - a bit like from the French Foreign Legion

En route, a couple of villages reminded us why living in the desert is not fun, the odd fort to make us wonder why anyone wanted to fight over the area, and before long, we were acquainted with our camels. We had specifically booked the safari that went remote, I had read that some dunes are more like a fairground with hundreds of camels and associated touts / children that hound tourists. And Del Boy was good to his word, it was our family, a lady from Zimbabwe and our two guides – that was it, not one else in sight.

the herds of camels en route.

desert oasis - full of animals

Before we knew it, we were on and after a big lurch forward and then back we were up. Kai, Elena and I had a camel each, but Theo was kind enough to share his with mummy. Elena was desperate to ride alone, but the guides were a bit nervous, so Elena went with the main guide with the lead camel, with Jo and Kai tied on in a train.

the only other person we met was a shepherd in search of a cup of masala chai

For two hours we bobbed and bounced trekking uncomfortably through the sandy savannah, until we reached the dunes, dismounting and walking around like a bunch of John Waynes with stretched groins. It was very funny. The camel drivers started up the fire and as the sun slowly sank and cooled, a cup of Masala chai and then an excellent dinner of dal rice and roti.

preparing the dinner in the kitchen

The kids had the time of their lives, complete freedom and more sand than they could shake a stick at, chasing the dung beetles around with sticks and jumping off all the dunes. We were happy too, one of the enterprising drivers was wise enough to bring cold beer. Supply and demand meant prices were high, but cold beer in the middle of the desert is the best.

The sunset sort of failed to materialise because it became quite misty, but it was still pretty special stuck in the middle of the desert on our own. Our camel saddles were a whole stack of blankets, which we then laid out on top of the dunes: huddled together we went to sleep watching the stars. A note of caution, I must say that the “soft” sand is pretty darn hard when you put a blanket on it, as was testified by the fact that Jo and I both managed to track the constellations over the sky – proving how little sleep we had. But this at least gave us time to savour the moment and realise how lucky we were to be sleeping together as a little family in the middle of the Thar desert under the stars.

just before dawn - still asleep on the dunes - animal tracks all around the blankets.

as the sun rises, a breakfast of toast and porridge.

Next morning, more chai, porridge and toast then we were back on our camels. Having passed our camel proficiency the day before, Kai and Elena were allowed to go solo and loved it. The ride was just as uncomfortable as the day before, but with us all now free to wander it made for a lot of fun as the camels decided to go their own way in search of the lady camels with two little children pulling furiously on the reins to keep them on track. But on track they were kept, and a very happy, if a little saddle sore, group of sandy dusty travellers made it back to the jeep for a ride back to the hotel and a well deserved bath.

Kai on Raj - the king (Elena's camel the previous day)

Elena taking her camel for a walk

Jo and Theo part of the camel train

This poor camel drew the short straw. With a good kicking I did manage to get him to go for a run.

 

If anyone is going to Jaisalmer – go and talk to Del Boy at Trotters – the experience was unforgettable.

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Categories: India Tags: , ,
  1. Vinish
    April 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Hi Alan,
    Wish you a Belated Happy Birthday. Hope you, Jo and kids have had a great time in Varanasi.I am aware that Varanasi could be really stressful on festival days( Navratri being celebrated for last nine days) as it is regarded as a holy city situated on the banks of sacred ganges river.One of the oldest and popular pilgrimage destination in India as well.I think it’d be an experience for you to learn about religious beliefs seen out there.

    The above images/narration looks straight from some National Geographic or Discovery channel. Absolute Adventure. Great to see you guys out there enjoying every bit of it.

  2. Jean-Bernard
    April 3, 2012 at 6:37 am

    We met in Varanasi.

    Best wishes!

    Jean-Bernard

  3. November 7, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Great information, i like this, thanks for sharing information. Royal Adventure Tour is right website to offer you complete tour covering all major historical tourist places.

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