Sunday, October 30, 2011

Desert Camp"ish"

Diwali break started with our flight to Jodhpur.  After arriving, Tiffany, Gretchen and I were picked up by a driver who'd take us out to Manwar Resort where we stayed for three days.

Along the way to the resort, we saw a huge herd of camels.  Our driver asked if we wanted him to pull over.  There was no need to even ask the question.

I'm sure to the shepherds and locals, we looked crazy.  Kinda like it would look as if somebody stopped to take photos of a herd of cows or sheep but to us, it was just beautiful.

Then we drove onto our resort.  We stayed the first night at the resort where we enjoyed some drinks and entertainment.  The entertainment consisted of several musicians and singers and dancers.  At one point we were asked to dance.  Tiffany and I reluctantly joined them.  We danced 'round and joined in until I was told not to spin or jump because I was too big.  That was my cue to go back to finish my drink.  Gotta love honesty.

The next morning we got up early to go on a jeep safari with our guide for the week named Jagswant.  He was really happy we were teachers and we talked a lot about the opportunities education provides for people.  He's a strong believer in education being the means to changing lives and prioritizes school for his children.  This connection actually helped us out throughout our stay.

After our jeep safari, we went back to the resort and enjoyed the pool.  It was nice to lay in the sun, work on a little tan and then cool off in the chilly pool.  Truly luxury.  Late that afternoon, we packed up all of our things and rode our in another larger jeep into the Thar Desert.

We spent the second night in our luxury tent.  Actually not just one tent, two.  Jagswant had arranged for us to have two tents.  Lucky girls!

The tent reminded me of what it might have been like to been in a caravan traveling 'cross desert.  The quiet.  The white.  The edges cut like like jack-o-lantern teeth.   But then there were obvious differences like the flush toilet, that quickly reminded me that I was in a different time and place and just happy to be where I was.

We watched the sunset, enjoyed some music and ate dinner under the stars. We sipped gin and tonics and margaritas.  We snacked on paneer and peanuts and chicken tikka.  The entertainment was the same as the previous night.  Same group, same songs but this time since there was a larger group of mostly French tourists who were part of a larger tour group, we weren't obligated to dance and could just enjoy the night's beauty and each other's company.  Whew.  I didn't have to be a careful dancer two nights in a row.

After dinner, we walked back from to tent #2.  I had slid off my Havianas and was in my bare feet.  The cool sand felt wonderful.  The cool air temperature, the peace and quick, the darkness.   Maybe it was the drinks but it seemed that there were so many stars that you could see galaxies.  Seeing the night sky period is a luxury when you live in Mumbai.

Luxury camping.  Hotel in the desert.  Desert camp"ish."  Whatever you wanna call it, it was perfect.  

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