Lady Aloo and Dan of the Desert

Surreal does not even begin to describe the experience of mounting a camel and riding into undulating sand-dunes to spend a night under the stars in the middle of a desert.  It’s something everyone should probably do in their lives, at least once.  And here’s how it happened…

First up, it was a choice of camels in a range of stylish colours.IMG_3351 IMG_3352DSC04338 DSC04336Next was to make it actually up onto the camel. This requires a special balancing act of leaning as far back at possible as the spindly-legged creatures raise themselves off the ground.  IMG_3355 In eager anticipation of our camel ride, Ush and H-J had rushed off the previous day to a local Jaisalmer tailor to make sure that they were appropriately attired in flowing gear that would provide photos a-la- the Sex in the City movie where the girls go camel riding!  IMG_3357

IMG_3364Dan, Dan, Dan of the Desert (to the tune of George of the Jungle) was also attired in proper sand dwelling head gear thanks to his mate in Jaisalmer.IMG_3120 H-J’s camel, randomly enough, was named Aloo – an Indian word for potato!  How apt that her camel should be named after a food.  IMG_3359And with that, it was off into the heart of the desert.

IMG_3101 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_3127 Having waited until the hottest part of the day was over to begin our ride, the sun began to set over our little convoy of camels providing the kind of scenes that feel straight from a fairytale.IMG_3138 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_3146After an hour and a half ride, we arrived at what was to be our accommodation for the night, a flat patch of sand in amongst large, beautiful sand dunes.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We shakily dismounted our camels and ran around excitedly inspecting our new home and drinking well earned beers!  Yes, even here in the middle of the desert our guides had thoughtfully planned to bring beer for us to buy at an exorbitant rate!  Excellent!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_3174 Beds for the night were quickly ‘baggsed’ and then it was off to have a look around before night set in completely.DSC04294IMG_3149 IMG_3151OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_3384 IMG_3168OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_3155IMG_3157IMG_3147The middle of the desert seemed like the appropriate place to have a camp fire so Dan was off to gather as much dry material as he could find.   The rest of the crew seemed to think that finding fuel for a bonfire in the sand dunes was a bit of a pointless task in the desert…but no one complained when Dan’s efforts paid off and we were all rewarded with a small but toasty fire!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Chirag and Dan had thankfully purchased a decent amount of fireworks the day prior in between planning their outfits and exploring Jaisalmer.  Now seemed like an excellent time to make beautiful, big explosions – the wide open desert skies provided an unreal backdrop! Dan had it all planned!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the fire flickered to its grave and the fireworks were all exploded, it was time to settle down to dinner, desert styles.  Out of nowhere came our guides with all manner of curries and carbs.
IMG_3181 IMG_3178

And, being that it was dark and, well, we had exhausted all avenues of entertainment by this stage, it was off to bed to sleep under the expanse of stars.  Unfortunately for H-J the next morning she was told that the stars were at their most spectacular somewhere in the middle of the night, when she was clearly fast asleep.  Everyone else managed to catch it though!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALying in bed waiting to fall asleep provided ample time to reflect on the latest Life Lessons from India (sounds like a book title…any buyers? Haha):

1. Always bring more fireworks than you think you need;

2. That when you think you’ve booked desert dancers to entertain you in the darkening desert, double check that your guide doesn’t take “Yes, we’d love dancers to entertain us in the darkening desert” as “Maybe, well get back to you”.  Sigh…

3.  That camel riding can cause chafing of an extreme nature;

4. and, that, NO, you haven’t been bitten by a desert scorpion while squatting, its just your own pee stinging like a bitch on the way over raw flesh;

5. Bring extra money for desert beers 🙂

Another day down in India!

Categories: Cooking, India, Photos, TravelTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. as always, more amazing experiences! It’s nice to get to live vicariously thought your posts, until I can get out and do more adventuring of my own 🙂

  2. loved the shadow pictures of the camels! made me laugh when I read about the “scorpion bite”

  3. Hey guys, geez camel chafing! If I ever go on an overnight tweak I’m definitely wearing two pairs of bike pants, lol. One of my best pals was seeing a bloke who lived in Jaisalmer, she definitely mentioned things crawling in the desert at night (during her overnight trek!)

    Alas it didn’t work out (cause they’re on opposite ends of the world,) but she remembers her time fondly…and the curries too!

    • Bike pants and some good chafing cream, LOL. Sad but true. Surprisingly, no one else in the group seemed to have the same extent of, um, injury that we did. Or at least that they admitted!

      Jaisalmer was lovely but I think living there would be pretty hard core!

  4. ur safari sounded increds!!! hugs ♥ Bella

  5. Again, beautiful photography!

  6. Those silhouette and long shadow shots are amazing and yet another great story!

  7. beautiful! great posts.

  8. so many blogs to catch up on! I love it!
    Here is my feedback in many nutshells 🙂

    1. Seoul Tower = pink sky tower.
    2. Hello Kitty cafe. LOL. Were the boys bathrooms pink too?? Or the one corner of blue.
    3. I want a disco sink from the toilets for Christmas please!
    4. I LOL AT PSY! That’s so fuckin funny… in related news –
    You have to watch til about halfway through to experience the full horror of it. It’s actually rather entertaining tho.
    5. is AWEsome.
    6. That statue of the man reaching out is… bracing.
    7. Food street looks awesome, he said, munching on his bacon and egg pie from the dairy next door… Although that crab you said was so delicious looks like someone took a really runny dump on it… Lol. Sorry to ruin future crabbing. Just try not to think about die-0-ree-a (I really should look that up).
    8. Mmmmm, Laksa…. Haven’t had one of those probably since I left wellington… crazy.
    9. I like little red riding hood in the street art – but they’re all pretty cool. Actually, yeah, scrolling down I can see HEAPS of cool shit.
    10. There’s ANOTHER Times Square?? Surely that’s just wrong. Unless you took a day trip to new york…
    11. Scrolling down the photo of the christmas tree was hilarious. I was expecting… bigger. lol.
    12. I better be on that fridge somewhere… or there will be hell to pay.
    15. I hate you and your eating. It’s completely unfair, he said, muching on a Chicken pie from the dairy – yes, two pies today. I’m gonna eat them ALL so there’s none for you when you get back.
    16. I’m with Janie. Fuck the heights. i don’t even think I would have gone up.
    17. LOL @ passport dilemma. Glad you got them back tho!
    18. I’m sighing in jealous preparation as I begin “A humble dinner in singapore”… prepare to be hated just a bit more.
    19. LOL @ butter and rock salt.
    20. GASP @ ludicrously fancy Joel ra-de-bla restaurant.
    21. …Sorry. I underestimated. I hate you ALOT more.
    22. I actually can’t even read Merlions and Fishballs… is this torture really necessary???
    23. Cool buildings! That one that looks like … i dont even know… some kind of fish half in the water… anyway, that’s cool. And the one that looks like someone parked a really thin boat on top of three buildings. I want one for Christmas please.
    24. I wish Auckland looked half as interesting. Fuck we’re a boring lot with our buildings!
    25. YAAAAAAY! USH! I do LOVE that photo of you guys!
    26. LOL @ dogs and pile of trash view! I want one for Christmas please!
    27. Cool Mosque! I want one for Christmas please!
    28. mmm, chai.
    29. Aaaaw, you and Ush just look so cute in every photo!!!
    30. Someone should tell India that I think their power lines might be a safety hazard… Just puttin it out there…
    31. Lol @ fort accommodation.
    32. In fact, Ush looks like she is having the time of her life! And Aaaaw, her brother’s shown up! Cool!
    33. Nice blue indian clothes! I want one for Christmas please.
    34. Wow… Amazing architecture! Funny cows… I want one for Christmas please. Does that mean there is cowshit everywhere too?? Or are their cowshit fairies similar to our rubbish fairies?
    35. who are those other people at your indian rooftop? are they part of your intrepid travelling, or just randoms you met.
    36. nice camel shadows!
    37. fireworks in the desert… now THAT is AMAZING.
    38. and sleeping in open air desert… pretty amazing too. I want one for Christmas please!

    Nice work guys! I am super jealous and weirdly proud that my besties are being so awesome and write so well about their awesomeness.
    Much Munta love.

  9. What an absolutely amazing experience. Do hope the chafing has healed over!

  10. Absolutely great story – and what an adventure! Loved your recap, particularly the camel-riding-chafing-peeing episode. Been there, so done that. So what’s next? All the best, Terri

  11. How the heck do you guys manage to post about all your adventures out there? Cyber cafes??? I’m always so excited when there’s a new post because the photos + commentary are always beautiful, funny + warm!!! I love H-J’s cute Potato! And nice work on the salwar kameez attire, ladies. You look gorgeous in the desert!

    • Not even we are that capable and awesome, haha. We tried to blog while traveling in India but were hindered somewhat by lack of consistent enough Internet, not to mention the fact we were so busy traveling, eating and adventuring to blog. We are now settled in one place again and poor from traveling, haha. The perfect combo for assembling our thoughts and photos from an epic trip!

  12. CUTE BUG!!!! 😀
    That’s pretty wild! Hope you had enough sunscreen~

    p.s. I’ve nominated you for a blogging award! n_n

  13. Catching up on all your India posts now, they’re absolutely amazing. Stunning photography as always! On a side note, never knew camels could have spots, I just find that so weird haha

  14. This is quite an experience and amazing pictures love it!!!

  15. Excellent post with amazing photo gallery.
    The golden desert is looking very, post is so much important for the tourists which want to travel in Rajasthan.

    • Rajasthan is a pretty easy place for us to promote – its so beautiful, with many diverse places. The desert trip for us will forever be one of the most memorable adventures of our travels; rising up over a sand dune on the back of a camel into a sunset is a fairytale for most of us!

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