Sam Sand Dunes

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Out in the middle of nowhere, 8 kilometers from nowhere.

Our destination was a camp near Sam Sand Dunes in the Thar Desert. Not long after leaving Jaisalmer, we were surrounded by desert landscape. But surprisingly, it was less hot than it had been in Jaisalmer.

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Madu, former camel boy, inspects his mount.

The drive wasn’t long to the spot where our rented camels awaited. Again I passed on the small, hard camel saddle and opted for the camel cart. Bharti and Mohit came on the cart with me, while Nirmal ran alongside for awhile taking pictures.

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Riding camels: more fun than a barrel of attacking monkeys.

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Even way out here, there were tire tracks and trash. It’s hard to find an unspoiled place anywhere in the world these days.

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I don’t care much for the desert. But we were here in the late afternoon, the best time of day for pictures. With a storm rolling in and the pinkish hues of sunset, some of it was pretty.

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Roughhousing on the dunes.

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One day Pushker will overcome his pathological shyness and become more flamboyant.

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After horsing around on the dunes, we reached the Sam Camp in the last moments of light. It was so beautiful, we should have been in a movie!

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Shahi, Bharti and I were welcomed with the placement of a tilak on our foreheads. Mohit was a little worried, wondering what that woman was doing to his mother.

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There was a halfhearted music and dance performance. The dancers kept stopping and starting, for reasons known only to themselves. It started to rain about five minutes into the performance, putting a complete stop to it. Dinner was good. I don’t remember what we had, other than a good time. We had brought our own beer and stayed outside drinking and laughing after the rain stopped. The guys knew that there wouldn’t be any available out here. They thought of everything!

The other camp guests had gone to bed after dinner. We were the only ones who had stayed out after the rain stopped, most likely because we were the only ones with beer. Since we were still outside hanging out and because the musicians knew Rafiq, they and the dancers came back and did a performance just for us!

Some desert camps provide tents as sleeping quarters. Tents can be impractical when it rains or gets really windy, so this camp built cabins. My women friends will want to know: the cabins were plumbed and had flush toilets. (The public toilets out by the stage were squat toilets.) The shower, however, didn’t have enough water pressure so I had to take a bucket bath.

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The cabins had no air conditioning, only fans. It was too hot inside the cabins, so we slept outside on cots brought to us by camp employees. I couldn’t believe anyone would need a blanket. Since I’m used to much colder temperatures and it was still fairly warm out there, I didn’t even want one touching me!  The sky was still cloudy so there weren’t any stars to wish on, but it was still fun sleeping outdoors.

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6 thoughts on “Sam Sand Dunes

  1. What a BLAST!!! What a great day! Camel rides, great friends, a most glorious sunset, a private dance performance, and a sleepover! With beer! Wish I could have joined you all!

  2. I think I’d have preferred the camel-cart too, as long as it wasn’t too close to a camel’s bottom! There is definitely something about wide open spaces that is so exhilarating! Sleeping under the stars, divine!!

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