With the imminent closure of this trip, I have been stricken with some really good memories. I was dreading that I would finish on this low - consumed by the thought of home - but, to the contrary - it has been the opposite. I'll leave with the memories fresh. Knowing how real and raw travel is. Why is so so good. How much of a head-spin India is.
Just returned from a three day camel sarafi with these two awesome kiwis. The sarafi was tough - painful at times - the blazing sun overhead, the pain of riding camels all the day (especially mine: the youngest camel, Micheal Jackson, who was both stubborn and stingy). We slept under the stars in sand dunes, stared at sunsets and sunrises, and I, in my absent-mindedness, almost burn myself to death when a bit of amber lit up my blanket. A great trip - the Rajashatan desert is harsh, absolute nothing - reminded me of Mongolia at times. But it was the first time I experienced real silence in India - I sat one night, sitting on sand dune, not a sound to be heard expect the sporadic farting of a camel. The stars scintillated overhand, the sound of the wind had this almost meditative quality...god, it was beautiful. Our guides, too, were really really cool- though their stories were a bit sad. For one month they only make 1500 Rupees, which is about 45 dollars a month. And with that, they have to support their whole families. The sad reality that is India - an India dictated by the legacy of its Hindi caste system, an India where corruption and greed are omnipresent, and where the rich and poor divide is so so real. We have it too good in Oz.
The remaining few days are going to be sweet - going to continue hanging with these kiwis, heading off to Udipur in Southern R'jstan tomorrow, spent two days there, before heading back to Delhi for the flight home. Home - well, that is another story. I am excited, yes, but I am become so accustomed to this hermit lifestyle lately. As I keep telling myself, just have to go with the flow. I am already thinking about my next trip - China to Europe Overland. (via Central Asia!)
See you soon. Ed.