A day in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

November 26, 2010

Jaisalmer is another town on the border with Thar Desert.

I arrived this morning on a train from Bikaner. At 5.10. So far trains have always been at least one hour late on scheduled time.This morning I would have slept a bit longer, and we arrived 20 minutes early. I walked in the dark with other travelers, chai vendors, cows and angry stray dogs. Everything was closed and I was afraid I would have had to poo in the street (which could actually have concealed in cows’ shit), but after some research I found a beautiful hotel, in a former palace, where I could use the bathroom and toilet paper. The cheapest room was 50€ per night, less than what I paid for the safari in the desert. I should sleep in one of these nice hotels before I go back, it would cost at least 3 times more in Europe.

Jaisalmer is beautiful. The whole town was built with bricks made of golden sand, and for this reason it’s called “Golden City”. There a nice fort on a hill, surrounded by walls and with tiny alleys and palaces. It would be even more beautiful, if it wasn’t for the hordes of tourists. This morning I walked for about 3 hours and I was exhausted. I’m glad I’m staying only for the day (my train is tonight again). From here you can also tour the desert, and at first I thought to come here to do my safari. Luckily in McLeod Ganj I met a girl that recommended me to take the tour in Bikaner instead.

There’s a place where you can buy the Bhang Lassi. Bhang is a cannabis, the only legal drug in India, I’ve been told, and this coffee shop can sell it, in the lassi. I didn’t go because I wanted a regular lassi, and they don’t sell it. I don’t need the Bhang, I’m stoned enough due to lack of sleep. So I came to this place cuper cool, a restaurant on a roof of a Haveli, a typical residence of Rajasthan, with an inner courtyard and full of decorations.

In the afternoon I decided to go back to the desert, on a jeep this time, to see the sunset from the sand dunes. Well, that wasn’t a great idea. There were about a hundred camels waiting to carry tourists, Indian, Chinese and from all over. I thought it would have been quiet, I wasn’t expecting to be alone, but not more than 50 people. It looked like a circus. Or a fair. Drums, flute players, little girls wearing a traditional dress with lipstick spread out all over the face, dancing at flutes’ rythm.