It took a 19 hour train ride from Delhi to reach Jaisalmer. We were lucky to have seats reserved on the train which you could then pull up into beds. This also meant the 19 hours passed really quickly.
Compared to the doom and gloom of Delhi, Jaisalmer is an amazing place. It was built in the 12th century and is a beautiful yellow sandstone Fort rising out of the desert. We had a hotel within the Fort. My room had a window seat overlooking the city and a lovely Morrocan feel to it.
We visited a few Jain temples which have amazing architecture and carved sculptures. I did go a bit mad photographing them but the detail and extent of the carvings are hard to beat. There is a definite skill I dont have!
This place is great for shopping, provided you can barter well. It is famous for it's wall hangings and my already full rucksack is now a little bit tighter! Interestingly though it is not just wall hangings you can get, as one of our group were offered "Chai and sex at 4!"
As part of visiting this place, we were able to dress in saris and go out to a fab restaurant. Whilst the saris are beautiful, it is odd to wear them. Not sure that I felt that comfortable especially with all the added attraction it created. Fun for a night but do not think it will be added to the wardrobe any time soon.
Due to it being in the desert we were also booked onto a camel safari. This was amazing, riding the camels for 2 hours through the peaceful desert to then be able to camp out under the stars. The camels took a bit of getting used to but luckily no spitting occurred- although there were near misses! We arrived at our campsite just before sunset so were able to climb the dunes and watch the sun set over the desert then see the stars come out one by one. Really magical.
The site did have quite a few desert beetles though which kept trying to crawl over people and sometimes into trousers. Caused quite a stir! Finally with the sun down we were served dinner whilst watching locals sing and dance. Pretty but one of the dancers was quite scary! Very severe expressions. She kept trying to make us dance, and after strongly tugging pulled some to join her. I managed to escape thankfully as the dancing then got quite physical! Hmm.
Finally we settled down on the beds to watch the stars and sleep. Perfect apart from a stray dog rooming into the camp and then a subsequent dog fight. Bless 'em.
An hour camel ride back ended our soiree into the desert. Next stop Jodphur....