Camel Safari, Rajasthan, India – The Smug Monday Series, Ep.7
Today, we hopped in the car for an eight hour journey with Joni our Indian driver, towards Jaisalmer. However, we did not go to Jaisalmer, we went to the desert near Jaisalmer to go on a camel safari instead. Once we got there we named one camel Jeff, and found out the other camel’s name was Leelu.
Leelu the camel was the same age as Evan, but was much, much bigger than Evan. To ride a camel, you first have to get it to sit down. You then hop on to the saddle, and then get it to stand up. Its getting up procedure is that it first puts its bum high in the air, and then straightens its front legs. This makes you jolt forward and then lurches you backwards. My Mum nearly nearly fell off on her first go, and then bellyflopped onto Sam. Riding the camel isn’t very comfortable, especially when it starts to run. The getting off procedure is basically the reverse of getting on.
As we were walking along, Leelu the camel tried to drink the wee of the camel in front as it trickled down the camel’s legs. I guess that you’ve got to get a drink wherever you can in the desert!
At home, all our sand dunes are small and located on the beach. In India however, they’re located pretty much everywhere. There were some dunes that were as big as hills, and at about 85 degrees, were almost vertical. Whilst in the sand dunes we got covered in sand because we buried ourselves in sand, and Evan rolled down some of them. Some of the sand had formed a thin crust as there had been a heavy rainstorm the night before. As we climbed the dunes the crust splintered into a million tiny pieces.
After the camel rides, we saw some local entertainment. There was a guy who played with four bits of wood to make a percussion instrument and a lady who danced, stood on nails and cups whilst balancing a big flower pot on her head. At one point she took two rings off her fingers, put them on the floor, then bent over backwards and picked them up with her eyes. At the end she got all the girls in the audience up and do some dancing Mummy tried to get them to do some Gangnam Style dancing, but sadly, nobody joined in.
After the dancing, we went out to help pack the beds and blankets onto a cart attached to Hindenburg, our fantastically flatulent camel. We hopped onto Hindenburg’s cart, and rode off into the night. Hindenburg was extremely strong and easily pulled the cart into the desert.
The sun was a bright orange ball of flame falling beneath the dunes. The sky was blue all around, but as a he sun disappeared, it melted through all of the colours of the rainbow before setting on a not very starry night sky. The full moon was a planet of ice, way up in the dark sky casting such a bright light that you could not see many stars, but we had moonlight shadows as long as giraffe’s necks. We were serenaded to sleep by Hindenburg the flatulent camel singing a lullaby with his bottom.
When we woke up, the wind was icy cold, but we soon warmed up once the sun climbed over the dunes. We repacked Hindenburg’s cart, and plodded back to the village.
- They have big squidgy feet, so they don’t sink into the sand
- They are very flatulent
- They drink other camel’s wee
- They make a noise like tauntauns off of Star Wars
- They are really big, much bigger than Sam expected, and way bigger than a horse.
- They eat the leaves off bushes
- The Indian army has military camels and drives them around in trucks
- Nostrils prevent entry of sand, and its thick lips allow it to eat prickly plants without pain
- They have hairy ears, even on the inside, to keep out sand
- They can drink 146 litres (32 gallons) of water in one session and can survive without water for a week.
- They can survive several months without food
- The hump stores fat, and is used up in case of food scarcity. If you see a camel without a hump then it hasn’t eaten for a long time
- A camel’s body temperature varies from 34.0 to 41.7 degrees C throughout the day, which helps the camel not to sweat, which saves water