Oct 20, 2016

Memoirs of Rangoli ... (p38) - Osiyan ... the desert safari

Osiyan Desert, Jodhpur
Rajashtan, India
February 2016

upon departing, i was informed that we'd be experiencing the desert safari in Pushkar. obviously, i was really looking forward to visit this part of India as i heard a lot about the place, especially its annual camel fair that happened in November. i've seen a lot of photography works made about this region, and if i've not mistaken one of the national award winners of Sony photo award few years back, was about the camel mahout of Pushkar.

we were briefed that our desert safari in Pushkar would be a very basic experience. there'd be no glamping etc. and we could opt to sleep underneath the stars or in the basic tent. we even told that there'd be no toilet and we had to get ready for our nature's call in own way. of course, knowing that, nobody was in mood to have a big meal for our lunch as we were back from visiting the blue city of Jodhpur.

but we were then updated by Syib that, we didn't have to worry as our desert safari tour would have a proper toilet facilities etc. that had put a lot of relief on most of us faces, as knowing that answering nature's call would not be a major problem now. it was only whether we could survive sleeping in the tent, in the middle of the desert.

we checked out from our hotel in Jodhpur, and then hired the auto-rickshaw to bring our all of our luggages to the bus that waited for us at the main street of the city. once settled unloading all the stuff, we left the city of Jodhpur and heading to Osiyan, where we'd be experiencing the desert safari thing.

the journey took a while and most of happened to be in our own rem throughout the journey. the bumpy road woke us up as we were approaching Osiyan and we could see the dry land on both sides of the road. the bus made a turn, and we could see sand dunes at few part of the land, while riding. Osiyan apparently is famous with this desert safari tourism, and it is actually an oasis of the famous Thar desert that occupy most of the part of western Rajashtan. we could see a lot of signages of desert safari camps as we were ridin towards our destination.

Osian (Osiyan) is an ancient town located in the Jodhpur District of Rajasthan state in western India. It is an oasis in the Thar Desert, and has been known as the "Khajuraho of Rajasthan" for its temples. The town is a panchayat village[1] and the headquarters for Osian tehsil. It lies 69 km (43 mi) by road north of the district headquarters at Jodhpur, on a diversion off the main Jodhpur – Bikaner Highway.
the bus made a turn and i saw a big sign of Safari Camp Osiyan. syib suddenly stood up and made an announcement with a big smile. it was a surprise for us! as apparently we'd be experiencing what i could quote as a luxury glamping in the middle of the desert.

we were greeted by the camp staff, and then were given a welcoming drink and hot towel to freshen up ourselves. the bags were taken by the staff to the tents that was nicely set up and arranged at one side of the camp. as we entered our tent...voila! it was like staying in a hotel room as the room was complete with comfy beds, bedside table etc. and also a proper toilet with shower etc. the only thing that was not there was the tv! and the air conditioning.
we were told that our camel ride to the sand dune to watch the sunset would be around 5pm. so we had ample time to get ourselves a good rest. most of us, continued to be in our rem cycle.i had a quick nap, then stayed awake until the we were called to gather at the camp entrance. we saw the camels and the mahouts already waiting for us.

so it began! the camel ride to the sand dune.

it was the first time for most of us, and obviously, we were in between of excitement and fear. the difficult part of camel ride was to balance yourself as the camel stand up, and vice versa. without a proper control, you could easily get yourself thrown away.
it was fun 20 minutes ride, and we then finally arrived at the sand dune part of the camp. well...as Osiyan is part of the oasis of the Thar desert, the sand dune apparently is not a dominant part of the land. the one that we went was small, and obviously for me, the size is comparable to the arid part of the pantai klebang of melaka. but then, a camera trick would do and make it looked like you are on a big desert.
still, the fact didn't spoil our mood or expectation etc. we were off the camel, and then started to memo-graph the mahouts and camels with sand dunes as the background etc. until it was time for sunset.
there was another group of tourists, came from other camp/resort nearby that spent the time at the same sand dune, waiting for the sunset too. well...we were greeted by them and then conversation struck to fill in the time while waiting for the sunset.

guy : ah..where are you guys from?
us : we are from malaysia. what about you?
guy : we are from ISRAEL.

muahaha. some of us that was asking, suddenly stunned with the answer and became clueless to respond. i heard their conversation, and just chuckled to know that it went silent for a while when the guy told us that. hehehe. but then it was about time to go. we bid farewell to the group and the rode the camel back to our camp.

tbc.

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