Travel

Recreation, Tours, Country and city

We take the bus to Rajasthan, the beautiful desert state

Posted by: 2013-09-07

We take the bus to Rajasthan, the beautiful desert state where cows are replaced by camels. The air is sweeter and everything more colorful. Here is a microcosm of all that is India. The people are genteel with a humility if spirit and still light up at the sight of foreigners. We are continually wave through our windows to say for those who stare with curiosity and seem, "why did you come here?" As a fan of the third world, this place is on my dream list for years. I now vividly enter that element of travel that provides me astonishment.
We have come to attend the annual camel fair in Pushkar, which took place for more than a thousand years. As the world's largest, it has attracted at its peak 50,000 camels with 200,000 traders.
We pack our camp called Exotic Adventures. Our spartan tents have private toilets but toilet paper was at a premium. It was a 24-hour guard, who stingily rationed our quota. In the desert, cold nights and afternoons are sweltering. I trusted guest of the American Embassy there that I like being in an episode of the felt was "Survivor". She laughed assured me that it was all worth it. Soon my shock turns to awe as I enter the fair grounds.
Set on miles of shifting sand dunes with decorated camels and a flood of pilgrims, the scene looks totally surreal. It's like a state fair on steroids. There is a flood of horse, ox and camel races, decorating contests for milking, animal, turban tying, tattooing as well as snake charmers, free carnival rides, mystics, astrologers and dazzling stalls of handicrafts at bargain prices. The ground reverberates with activities.
Thousands of Rajasthan woman arrived dressed in their finest clothes in near neon colors. I watch trained monkeys, painted cows and cobra dance. No words can adequately describe how this helter skelter overwhelms my 5 senses. Others can have Europe with its cathedrals and museums. For me, this exotic exposure and immersion is the ultimate journey into the culture!
Covered with dust, we returned to camp. Every night there is entertainment under the stars with musicians, folk dancers, puppet show or fire eaters. No alcohol is allowed and all meals are vegetarian buffets. An Ayurveda Center offers us treatments cleanse body toxins. We disclaim vomiting, enemas, nasal drainage and blood letting.