Traveling to India -
During my short stay in Pushkar, I managed to arrange a camel safari on the spot.
I booked through the hotel I stayed at in Pushkar - Hotel Oasis.
Price: Rs 450
Price vary from guesthouse to guesthouse, and from agent to agent. Other travelers have paid Rs 500 for a day trip.
I booked the afternoon trip because I wanted to see the sunset. And frankly, it's so hot in Pushkar that making it through on a day trip would have been too much for my skin.
I could choose between two routes. One that went through central Pushkar and another route that went outside Pushkar, visiting villages. I went for the village-option. I had already seen the town, so it was more interesting to see the countryside.
The manager of the hotel told me that I would be picked up from the reception. And so I did. They were also on time.
Two minutes later I was in front of a store and a beautiful camel was waiting for me.
I was the only foreigner there, and I was skeptic to begin with. But what a hell, I went for it.
The ride started and there was a younger local boy who steered the camel.
In the beginning, there was a lot of desert. Endless desert. It was very cool to ride a camel! :-)
After maybe 30-40 minutes I started to see civilization. A young child with her school books looked at me when we passed her.
Then we entered a village with small houses. It was so quiet and peaceful. Almost scary.
Suddenly the landscape changed a little; from plain desert to green crops with animal life.
Farmers were working. I also witnessed some cave homes that were made of sand and branches. It's impressive how to they manage to survive on so little. This shows that villagers in Pushkar can live out of almost nothing.
Yet again, I witnessed the swastika symbols on several doors. When you're backpacking in India, you're going to notice these swastikas.
In fact, the Swastika is an ancient symbol that's common in India. To Indians, it symbolizes good fortune. It can be seen on temples, houses and doorways.
We continued on to more desert and passed female shepherds and local men hammering at the mountain wall.
Then I saw several camels. I guess we closed up on the pit-stop. The camel boy said that we would watch the sunset from this spot, and leave after that. There were several backpackers on the scene, and they were all eagerly waiting for the sunset.
I finally got to know 'my' camel. Special patterns were shaved in their hair. Mine was very friendly and to me, they look like they're smiling all the time. In my opinion, camels are fantastic animals.
Sunset was finally setting in and it was picture time! I hopped on my camel and we continued back to Pushkar town. This time, all the camels went together. The camels were now racing. Painful for my ass, but still fun!
Conclusion: The camel safari was a nice once-in-a-life-time experience. The highlight was passing villages and observing the village life; how they live, work and play.
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