Over the course of this trip (which is now into its last week), we have found ourselves in many situations I would never have expected going into this trip. Last weekend we flew to Jaisalmer to spend the weekend in the Rajasthani desert. Only six short weeks ago, I had never even heard of Jaisalmer, but now it was my most anticipated part of the whole trip, and it lived up to my high hopes! From having drinks with royalty (no more context will be provided), to watching Stirling try and determine how despite being so careful, he had still stepped in camel poop (somehow…), to watching one of my groupmates fall off a scooter in the busy streets of Jaisalmer, there have been unexpected but always entertaining events around every corner.
One of the most interesting parts of our recent trip to Jaisalmer was exploring our accommodation. On Friday night, we stayed in tents in the desert dunes, which was an awesome and surprisingly fancy experience. Then, on Saturday, we stayed in Jaisalmer itself inside a very old building named the Nachana Haveli (Srishti tells me nachana means dancing!). In our room, Stirling and I were surprised to find a ‘secret passage’ leading out of the bathroom. It was locked sadly, but the doors could swing just far enough to give us a sneak peek into the mysterious passage!
Another random thing we found while exploring the Mandir Palace in Jaisalmer was a massive cast iron cauldron! Naturally, Joelle, Emma and I decided that this cauldron was the perfect musical instrument and began tapping away to an improvised beat! We soon moved on to check out the historic palace, including some amazing sights like this!
At the start of this trip, I did not expect stargazing in a desert to be an activity on the agenda, but somehow it was! Investigating the night sky in the Northern hemisphere for the first time was an amazing experience, lying on a desert sand dune surrounded by new lifelong friends, spotting shooting stars and inventing constellations. This was also only possible due to a high-speed ride in the back of a Jeep through the dunes to get to this spot, and it was an awesome experience.
We also ended up chatting with a few Jaisalmer locals and fellow tourists as we pedalled our way across the lake in Jaisalmer, having rented a small foot-powered boat to get a nice sunset view of the city. It was our dodgy steering and narrowly avoided collisions that tended to start up conversations with the other boaties pedalling or paddling their way around the picturesque lake. Nearly smashing into someone’s boat turns out to be a great ice-breaker!
Lastly, this needs zero explaining. CAMELS!!!
Be sure to check back soon for my final blog post on the people that make this trip awesome!