So first some "Let's Get Real" talk on how it's been the last few days in between all the really good stuff.
We woke early hot!!! There are lots of nice open windows and fans in our rooms here at the fort but no air-conditioners. I am ok sweating all day but it is the most difficult when you need to sleep. There are lots of windows with air flowing in and there are two ceiling fans in the room but it's just not enough to prevent you from sweating. The fort seems to retain the heat it collects all day in its walls. I shower/rinse off at least two-three times a day in water that is neither hot nor cold. It's kind of pointless as you just sweat again. Plus you always feel you have a layer of something on you daily from sweat, sand, dirt, sun lotion or bug spray. This is everyone and we try just to make jokes and laugh it off. I like what Megan from Australia keepings saying jokingly "I'm finding myself" For example we kid about how on the second day we realized it was pointless to have brought make up because it just sweats off your face 10 min after you apply it. "Finding myself" Ha! We also drink about 4-5 liters of water a day easily which also explains where all the sweat comes from. Luckily a liter goes for anywhere from 15-30 rupees so that's 25-50 cents a liter. Water is my god here.
On to animals...
So Monty took us to this lake just outside the fort with temples for worshiping.
The lake is low now as the monsoon is late arriving here. Remember I said that later too...
We saw the most ugliest catfish hoping in the water as well as rats and and a little snake. Fun right? Thom thought so :-)
So adding to that list of animals we have seen so far cows, goats, sheep, camels, lizards, pigs, dung beetles a donkey, and some kind of antelope. Oh and today I saw peacocks as well. Monty says we will see elephants too at some point on this trip. All life is important to Hindus.
So after lunch I bought a scarf to use for the camel safari and we packed a day bag for the night.
We drove out to the Thar desert which took about 40 min. The Thar Desert also known as the Great Indian Desert) is a large, arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent and forms a natural boundary running along the border between India and Pakistan. With an area of more than 200000km2, it is the world's 18th largest subtropical desert.
When we got out the Muslim camel drivers were all there waiting for us with all the camels sitting just chewing and relaxing.
Thom immediately went over and shook hands with the men and checked out some of the camels.
There were four sitting together, Laloo, Raj, Rajastan and Michael Jackson HA!!!
I picked Laloo and Thom got Michael Jackson.
All the camels are male. You can't put a female around them or they will become too aggressive. These camels have only one hump and how you would steer a horse by a bit placed in the mouth, camels have a small bar through their nose. Now you get on the camel when it is sitting but when it gets up it gets up with it's back legs first so you need to lean back because it pushes you forward.
Monty took all our bags and rode on the camel cart. He also took pictures for us and will send them to us so we didn't have to worry about holding our cameras. I'll share those when I can. We rode for about two hours. Some people rode them without guides others were tied together and led by handlers. Finally we got to the dunes and cots were laid out where we would be spending the night. A fire was already started and there were porters making dinner. They brought over water, soda and beer as well as some snacks and we took a few pictures and relaxed.
As we sat there though we could see clouds starting to form. Monty said we should wait it out because it could just pass and not even hit us. So I relaxed on the cot and started to doze off for a little while Thom drank a beer and chatted with Monty. I awoke not too long after by one of the porters handing me a plate of vegetarian Indian food. It was dark now so we dug out our headlamps. Thom sat next to me and just as we started eating it started raining of course!
It was a hard rain coming in sideways from one direction with lots of wind. Thom and I cuddled close under one umbrella and held the sides down around us so it wouldn't blow inside out. About 20-30 minutes later it stopped. It was kind of fun. Monty informed us that because of mother rain and the chance if it happening again we couldn't stay because of the risk of scorpions and snakes. Ummm no arguments here! But before we loaded back in the jeeps to head back to the hotel Monty and the guys set off some fireworks for us. Now when we were walking around Old Delhi we saw a sign that I have a picture of but it isn't loading at the moment so I'll just try to describe it. It said "The Best" and then in really big type "COCK" and then really small "Fireworks around" and their logo small and off to the side is a rooster...
So of course there were a lot of jokes to be told during this display.
That night after another shower I went up to the rooftop to hang out with Monty and some of the other travelers. Lex a wonderful geography teacher from Manchester UK had been sick in her stomach all day yesterday and today still so she was up there too getting some water. Later Monty was explaining stories about the caste system and arranged marriages and how it is still happening today in India and even in other countries when people leave and move out of India.
That night I tried to sleep in our room but it was too hot again so I drug Thom and our pillows up to the rooftop and we camped out up there along with a few others including Monty. It was so much cooler. I woke early by a local masque calling people to prayer.
So right now I am writing this on my iPad as I sit on a bus for 5 hours to Jodhpur and will probably already be there by the time I post this. There is a rumor that our rooms have air conditioners...
P.S. It's later and they do!!!!!