I have always wanted to explore the Thar Desert in the northern state of Rajasthan in India.
Luxuries such as toilets, showers, chairs, tables and beds etc.; utilities that urban lads like myself take for granted do not exist on this route. Nevertheless, I was going to do this! But I was apprehensive about the food.
I spent a whole week trotting through the desert on a cart towed by Mable, our female camel. Fred, the male camel towed our luggage and the food; we named our camels.
We would leave our night-camp at about 10 o’clock in the morning after a sumptuous breakfast consisting of delicious Aloo Parathas and the best tea.
Aloo or potatoes are mashed and mixed with salt, onions and wheat-based dough, rolled and flattened into Parathas.
We kept our total travel time to less than 4 hours, 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening. That way we could spend more time exploring the turf and all it’s flora, fauna and the villages that we came upon rather than just riding past them.
We’d find some shade and camp for lunch and the siesta that followed. Our guide did the cooking.
The camel-men helped him with the firewood.
Dried camel dung is also added to the fire. It’s a good fuel found throughout the route.
And the food? We’ll… there’s plenty of stuff!
Rice, wheat, potatoes, green tomatoes, chillies, ginger, garlic, eggplants, onions, carrots, peas and cauliflower!
Unlimited bottled mineral water is provided.
On some days we’d have rice and curry and on others, Roti with vegetables.
Everyday, our guide would arrange for fresh cow’s milk from the closest village. He even made us Rice Pudding!
After siesta, we’d find a new camp for the night, just in time to photograph the sunset. Dinner would follow.
INTERESTING FACT: Plates and other utensils are washed with natural detergent i.e. the desert sand.