This morning we awoke to the call of 'Chai?!' Reverberating down the train carriage. I have to admit, I didn't have the best of sleeps, not because the small bed was uncomfortable but the incessant foot traffic repeatedly woke me. Especially since all beds are in 3 tier bunks and face directly onto the corridor. I did feel a sense of guilt at one point in the night as I realised I had inadvertently draped my blanket over the bed of the man below.
Shortly after disembarking we were brought to the most amazing hotel. It is comparable in style to the 'marigold hotel'. Though ramshackle & lacking in both windows and air conditioning, the hotel has an indescribable charm which almost has to be seen to be believed. From the front the building appears as a plain red fort, not particularly of interest. However, on meandering through the main gate, you enter into a large, green walled garden, lined with lanterns and completed by a makeshift chandelier hanging from the trees.
Unfortunately a swift departure was upon us as we travelled to our camel safari.
Possibly the most uncomfortable few hours of the trip so far, the heat combined with the rolling gait of the camel to ensure the rider is exquisitely uncomfortable. Having adopted the local trend of wearing scarves and shawls around ones head definitely helped alleviate any burning, if at the expense of increased heat.
Though uncomfortable, the experience was amazing as we trekked through the desert on our camels, local guides leading the way.
As the sun set we sat atop a sand dune to drink Mumbai chai tea whilst watching the horizon.
Dinner, as every night so far on the trip, was impeccable. A vegetarian meal again (as our guides are Hindu, & meat doesn't keep well on the back of camels through a hot day). Yummy yummy potato.
As I write we are lying upon hammock type beds on the sand, under the many, many stars above in the desert sky.
Hopefully none of the dung beetles we spotted at dinner will be rolling their goods under out beds whilst we sleep!