Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

































It’s takes a lot to awake from a 17h sleeper bus and utter the words ‘wow,’ but here did just that. It’s a gorgeous little town built inside a 15th century fort in far West of Rajasthan. It feels nothing like the India we have seen so far, it’s more like ancient Rome meets Marrakesh, in the middle of the desert. The Pakistan border is only 100 ish km away, and everything looks and feels more Middle Eastern.

We come here to ride camels in the desert, which, all be it good fun, makes us eternally grateful we booked the 1h trek and not the 3 dayer. Let’s just say it was painfully legs akimbo. We watch a nice sunset over the sand dunes just three of us, including a nice girl called Ivy (China). We are about 50km from Jaisalmer having done most of the journey by a supped up 4×4 jeep, stopping at a few gypsy settlements on the way where the kids sprint out of their stone compound hut houses and beg us for school pens.

You can choose to sleep out in the desert under the stars, but with the memory of our freezing cold night of Full Moon Party still haunting us, we figure this is one of those things that sound much better in our imaginations, not when the temperature plummets. Plus we need to get back.

The 8th March marks the Festival of Holi; the celebration of colour. The WHOLE of India takes to the streets to sing, pray and light small fires at 4.30am. This is followed by the world’s biggest paint fight. I’m talking that chalky/powdery stuff you used to have at primary school, mixed with water balloons thrown from the rooftops and point-blank range at everyone and everyone. Dogs, cows, children, everyone. Take all this, add the setting of A FORT and you have pretty much every child’s fantasy. Although they warn tourists it’s dangerous and to stay locked up in their guesthouses, we have an army of seven of us from UK, Wales, Germany, and Spain. We take to the streets and after 2 hours are absolutely covered from head to toe. We look like characters out of Avatar but instead of blue we are an assortment of psychedelic pinks. We all just about survive some pretty violent ambushes whereby locals rubbing hands stray from the traditional area of our cheeks, over to our eyes and inside our mouths. We girls also get a few nasty gropes from over friendly local men and teenage boys, all high on whisky and Bang Lassie weed milkshakes. We have to throw a few punches and scream a few choice words at them. On the whole it’s quite a nice, fun experience with everyone calling out ‘happy Holi’ from the crimson stained streets. I think we’ll all be washing dye out of our hair and fingernails for a week.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

March 2012

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