Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bishnoi Village Safari, Jaisalmer and Camel Safari

We are now in Udaipur - such a beautiful place! Often dubbed the venice of the east and staying in a nice place that has a magical rooftop restaurant with amazing food, pizza's approx NZD $2 and such friendly staff.

We took an overnight bus from Jaisalmer to get here (only option) and even though we had a double sleeper it was a pretty cramped and freezing ride becuase our window wouldn't close properly and the roads are terrible! Constant head bashing against the walls and fearing the bus would roll - Alex had a small hissy fit at approx 11pm when a large number of my belongings were rolling round the cabin... "Why don't you ever put anything away!???!!" (head bashes against the ceiling as the driver carrers round yet another corner) "ARGHHH this driver is a LOSER!" whilst I laughed hysterically rolling about. Thankfully we had a toilet stop soon after where we refreshed ourselves with some delicious crackers and squat  toilets. Arriving at 5am was also fun as the temperature was 7 degrees, pitch black and no hotels/cafes open so we sat at the bus stop for 2.5hours eating biscuits and chai winding up rickshaw drivers who were trying to persuade us to come with them to their hotels.

 Alex with a man we visited on our village safari - through the Bishnoi villages near Jodhpur. He spinned up his turban for him after he prepared one of his daily opium fixes in front of us (first photo). Our guide tried to make out as if we'd just stumbled across this family going about their daily business but they chatted away as if they were old friends and most of the time seemed as if they were on a set plan of what to show us. The chai was delicious though!

 Boy doing dhurrie weaving (carpets) at his village - these rugs take up to a month, if they weren't so ugly we might have bought one! I'm sure they must appeal to lots of people though as they even had credit card facilites in their huts and solar panels!

The guy in the middle just started chatting to us at his shop about the world and we ended up at his house having chai and watching his new wife (right) making bags for his shop. She had only moved to Jodhpur a week ago, which was also the first time she had seen white people so you can imagine how freaked out/embarrassed/excited she was when we appeared at the door!

Sitting on the rooftop at our hotel in Jaisalmer

No sooner had a cow pooed on the street than this little girl sprinted out and started scooping up the hot, fresh poo with her hands into the plastic bag. I felt quite mean taking a photo so it's not a very good one but we had a jolly good LOL at this... RUUUUNNNN it's as if it was a race to see who would get the poo first. One time we were in the inside of a train station and there was cow poo and piss all over the floor - people just going about their business as usual.

Start of our camel safari in the great Thar Desert

Us on our camels and Sylvia and Peter - a cool Slovakian couple who we went on safari with

 On my camel with my guide (forgotten his name unfortunately) but he was such a happy wee thing singing along the way and kissing the camel

 (above) Collecting firewood for our campfire, and Alex's artistic shot at sunset - the most beautiful, perfect sunset I have ever seen.

 Making chapati's on the campfire. The food was pretty good considering they had hardly anything to work with and a tiny fire! Sylvia was also extremely prepared with a mountain of delicious chocolate biscuits, powdered drinks to help my stomach and antiseptic for Alex's feet - his shoes, which he spent an entrie afternoon searching for, bargaining and evaluating broke. They are also Bhuddist so our campfire discussion involved Alex asking a million incredibly hard-to-answer questions about Bhuddism but resulted in a good Bhuddist reading list for us.

 Baby at a gypsy camp whilst on safari - even in the middle of the desert we had gypsies asking us for money and chocolate. Our Bishnoi village safari guide described them well saying - "Gypsies used to charm snakes but now there are no more snakes".

Early morning in Udaipur chasing birds and waiting for the Cafe to open, if it says 8am it generally means 9am. Heaps of people come to feed the birds in the mornings as apparently it brings good Karma. One lady came down with her husband and a bag of rubbish and proceeded to dump it in the lake. Quite a contradictory country our India.

View from restaurant where we are going to treat ourselves tonight, the best view in all of Udaipur I think. And altogether it will probably cost only $25 NZD. I'm looking forward to a wine.

This is just a door I really liked the look of.

Chillies for sale. These men said it was OK for me to take their photo then asked for 10 rupees afterwards tisk tisk!

Mountains of poppadoms! They actually call them Papad's here, but poppadom's a cuter name I think.

These absolute cuties entertained us on our way home making us take millions of photo's of them. They didn't understand how the camera worked so were amazed everytime they saw things through it.

 We just missed the sunset! But this is the view from our hotel's rooftop restaurant in Udaipur - just fabulous!

Breakfast on the lower level this morning.

 Thankfully I'm almost cured from my endless illness! (touch wood) feeling a lot better so hopefully I can enjoy the last couple of weeks completely! We've now booked all transport for the rest of the trip - such a relief as it takes so long to organise anything here! And are heading to Mumbai on the 21st for 4 nights then back to Delhi for 2 nights and off to Thailand after that. 

I'm off to enjoy the sun! xxxx


  1. Emily!!! This is amazing and thanks so much for doing the post! You look like you are having the most amazing time! U go girly this is awesome :) Love lots and hi to Alex too xox

  2. Amazing, and bringing back all the memories of travelling in India.....BLOODY HARD!!
    You will have learnt and experienced so much.
    Best of luck for the rest of the trip you travellers you.