Pretending to be Nomads in the Thar Desert

The light was starting to soften and the breeze picked up as we zipped up our jackets and tucked in our scarves. Although Summer was just around the corner, it was still definitely wintery as we strode across the ochre sand of the Thar Desert.

We had driven about 40km further west out of Jaisalmer, and 40km closer to Pakistan, to enjoy a night in a ‘luxury’ desert camp and the obligatory sunset camel ride. This was all part of our Webjet package tour and would prove to be one of the more memorable activities during our visit to India.

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Webjet Deals – Are They Too Good To Be True?

You may have seen the print and other ads for the Webjet tour business and wondered if they were too good to be true. The prices seem incredibly low and chockful of meals, entrance tickets and other add-ons, making you wonder, ‘how can they do it’?

Well, they can AND it is well worth doing…

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India Steals Our Hearts

The Indian adventure continues…

Each day brings exciting, and sometimes challenging, new sights, sounds and smells.

We are now down in southern Rajasthan at the romantic white city, Udaipur. In the last week we have:
• been stunned by the living city inside the Jaisalmer Fort,
• ridden camels across the sand dunes of the Thar Desert and walked bow-legged for a while afterwards!😉
• listened to soothing chakra music in the imposing Mehrangarh Fort and
• stood amused and confused in the colourful chaos of the old Jodhpur bazaar.
• bumped and jiggled and rattled over the back roads to soaring Jain temples,
• edged slowly through, joyous singing and dancing weddings and
• had more selfie photos taken than I have had hot dinners!
• Laughed at the traffic and the ability to fit a complete car chassis in the back of a small tuk tuk,
• Visited a small desert school to drop off some school supplies. The children stared at us as if we had dropped in from out of space, but hopefully the pens and pencils will be useful.
• Stared open mouthed at the opulence of the City Palace in Udaipur, and
• Watched the golden walls of the Palace glow at sunset as we bobbed around Lake Pichola.

What an amazing country!

Rolling Through Rajasthan, India

We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

More accurately, we are not in little ol’ Mudgee anymore. Instead we are in a car driving through the depths of dusty Rajasthan, India.

Today will be day five of our Opulence of Rajasthan tour and I am struggling to put into words all that we have seen. India is such a land of contrasts – from gobsmacking beauty to heartbreaking sadness, and always an eye opener.

Our little traveling party of three women, and our patient driver, left New Delhi on Monday. We have been working our way eastwards and arrived in Jaisalmer yesterday afternoon. As we have travelled, the terrain has become increasingly desolate and now we are well and truly on the outskirts of the Thar Desert. To the point where this afternoon our plan is to pull on our johdpurs, mount up and head off on our camels out over the sand dunes.

In the meantime I will try to share a little of what we have seen so far. Even in the middle of nowhere there is something to look at, even if it just the crazy traffic.

Asif, our driver, is great company and is happy answer all our crazy questions and sometimes even he has his camera out taking photos too!

Enjoy the snaps below. I will try to be a better blogger over the next couple of weeks, but no guarantees!

Chandi Cowl market in Old Delhi

Through the streets of Jaisalmer

Sunset over Jaisalmer

Views from the car

Making new friends at Ramdevra Hindu Temple

The inhospitable countryside as we edge closer to the Thar Desert

Happy pilgrims on their way to Ramdevra

Transport in India!!

Thousands of rats at Rat temple at Phalodi

A rubbish mountain (the photo really doesn’t show its true size) at Bikaner

Beautifully painted houses at Mandawa

One of our hotels…

Road conditions are a little basic in places..

Fabulous Amber Fort – when too much splendour is never enough…

I have been reluctant to write this post as it means that my first Indian adventure is truly over.

Note that I used the word ‘first’, as I think I left behind a little of my heart in the elegant surrounds of the Amber Fort in Jaipur.

One day I shall return to collect it…

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Serenity is possible in India

Rattling into Udaipur on a public bus, tired after around five hours of weaving through random traffic and over broken dirt roads, it was hard to believe that Udaipur was the beauty that everyone raved about.

Our bus coughed and wheezed into the chaotic public bus station and we stiffly stepped out to be swamped by the usual hoard of enthusiastic tuk tuk and taxi drivers. This is one of the huge advantages of travelling in a group with a guide. Ankita haggled and hassled until we had our four tuk tuks lined up and we were soon back, weaving through the choking traffic once more.

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Where is the Thar Desert?

Yes, I have a lot to learn about India, but I suspect there are a few of you out there who also have never heard of the Thar Desert.

There is nothing like an Intrepid tour to take you slightly off the beaten track and at the same time, open your eyes and your mind, to new places.

The Thar Desert is certainly one of those eye-opening spots.

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