Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Camel Caravan

Exciting part of the Jaisalmer trip. The camel ride. Wide and zig zag desert and you and your camels. You are put into some kind of a rythm on the camel top (Wasnt great, took some time to adjust). Its very interesting to see how they bow down for you to set you on top. I realised that they can run very fast too. I can be very 'ass-paining' time if it makes a run.
Far in the back ground is the camping ground arranged in the midst of desert. Noo, we are not staying there. Our accommodation is still far and more in the villages. This is for the more enthusiastic and the more planned. (We realised that if you dont have prior bookings, it can be very expensive to get one room in the desert camps).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Little boy and his home

I am just continuing from the previous post. We reached Sam Sand dunes around 4 pm in the evening. We took a hut on rent. We negotiated with the grumpy old man on an amount what we thought right for the place. He promised authentic Jaisalmer food and folk dance show and music in the evening. Also a ride to sand dunes was to be part of the package. Once settling with our baggage we went out to see the sand dunes and more importantly the sun set from desert.

We got a nice friend on the way. He was some 10 year old. His name, I cant recollect. He was herding the camel from our hut to the sand dunes, some 2km away. The small camel ride winded through a small village. It was interesting to see how he was fighting with a girl who called him swearnames. The girl was actually mentioning something about his cast, later he told us. On the way back we visited his little home. The wide courtyard kept very clean and small rooms with hay rooftops, all maintained within whitewashed mud walls. Arun got their address so that he can send those photos back to the boy. He hoped that that will give him a sense of world outside. I dont know if he has done that actually. But I still ridicule his sentiments for the little boy and his saying 'if i were born in this small village what would have happened to me?' My usual unemotional approach yielded only a momentary laugh, as if nothing of those boys can change in this hopeless system.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Top Class

On a bus top on our way to Sam Sand dunes some 40km from Jaisalmer. Its almost on the boarders of Thar desert. The bus was so crowded that me and my co traveller agreed to travel on bus top. Believe me, we enjoyed the that part of the journey more than anything else we had in Jaisalmer. The dust colored faces, bushy landscape, long straight stretch of the road half eaten by the sandstorm, occasional huts and villages and camel caravans.. the journey wide images were as exciting as the destination. Daytime is still chilly in those winter days of Jan 2004. I have managed a traditional head gear from Jaisalmer which I didnt know how to make, therefore kept in the same shape as it was made for months after our trip !!

Sam Sand Dunes are situated at a distance of approximately 42 km from the city of Jaisalmer. Located in the midst of the Thar Desert. Watching the sand dunes in the faint orange glow of the sun with the ballads of the legendary lovers playing in the background leaves us completely speechless. Even the desert comes alive with the sound and light show, and dance and music that re organized there.

Little Ones !!

A baby elephant at the Kodanad Elephant Kraal. Taken in March 2007. There were some 5-6 baby elephants caged or chained like the one in picture. Its a pleasure to watch them bathe in the dry mixture of mud, hay, palm leaves and dry leaves. The one in picture should be less than 12 months old and less than 6 feet in height.

Kodanad, a beautiful and charming semi-rural village situated on the south bank of river Periyar, about 50 kilometers east of Kochi(Cochin), Kerala, South India. Kodanad is the only elephant training centre in Kerala specialised for training stranded baby elephants from the forests across the region. This itself has become a unique attraction in recent times as at least 5-8 baby elephants are brought in and trained every year.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Twelve Apostoles

An off site trip from Melbourne during January early this year. The lonely rocks caught the imagination of early settlers and the road builders. They named them aptly as 'Twelve apostles' reviving the idea of apostolic missions made some 2000 years ago.

The Twelve Apostles are located along the spectacular Great Ocean Road. They were originally named the 'Sow and Piglets'. Located near Loch Ard Gorge, the Sow was Muttonbird Island, with the piglets being the smaller surrounding rocks.

The Great Ocean Road (known as the Surfcoast Highway between Geelong and Torquay) which stretches along the South Eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Geelong and Warrnambool is one of Australia's great scenic coastline drives.

The Twelve Apostles were formed by erosion of the original coastline. The constant action of the sea on the limestone slowly wore down the rocky cliff, gradually leaving individual rocks. The cliff is still being eroded at a rate of about 2cm each year, and in the future is likely to form more 'Apostles' from the other rocky headlands that line the Victorian coastline.