It is monsoon, you are in India and you need a break.
As much as you love rains, getting stuck in a landslide is not on your list so the Himalayas are obviously out of question. And so is staying back in New Delhi, where even the rains are too shy to stay for long. And budget. Yes, you definitely need to look into the expenses and cannot impulsively just book a ticket to Goa or the Andamans.
What is left then, you may ask? Well, Rajasthan, of course.
In a dilemma for long since a holiday was to be planned in mid-August, we finally narrowed our choices down to Jaisalmer and Udaipur for a 5-day trip.
Even if monsoon is not the ideal time to visit Jaisalmer – Udaipur is just heaven though during rains – we selected the place to save time, money and ourselves from the crowd. Living in the capital for long certainly makes you want to escape people time and again – in my case, all the time.
We boarded the Delhi-Jaisalmer express on August 15 and reached the city after around 18 hours by noon. From the station, we took a cab (Rs 1k for 7 people) for Sam sand dunes, 45 km from the main city, in the Thar Desert. In between, we picked up stuff – snacks, drinks, Bhaang, cash from the ATM – from a market in the city since the desert is, well, deserted.
The ride from the city to the desert was like a movie scene – the Sonar Kella (Jaisalmer Fort or the Golden Fort) stood in front of us in all its glory shining brighter in the sun, houses on both sides of the road slowly paved their way for sand and mud houses and vehicles soon vanished to be replaced by camels and Oonth Chaalaks in traditional attire.
Upon reaching, we surveyed a few camps (here, tents are fully equipped with ACs and coolers) and dumped our bags at the Rojani Resort Desert Camp. Since we were too tired because of our delayed train journeys, we could not explore many tents and chose to live at the start of the desert. Travellers are advised to go further down the road where they may get cheaper and better options.