So we arrived in Jaisalmer at 06:45, and were met by a driver from the guest house where we were going to stay. For those who don’t know, Jaisalmer sits in the north west of the country next to a stonking great desert. This would be our only opportunity during the trip to see such an environment, and not one that we wanted to miss.
Our plan was to stay in Jaisalmer for four days with two hosts that we had found on Couchsurfing.org. During this time we would investigate options for an overnight camel safari which we could do on a final day before heading onwards. But plans very rarely survive initial confrontation with the enemy.
In this case our enemy was the desert heat.For most of the central part of the day, the temperature is up and over 37 degrees C. At night it would only get to a minimum of 27 deg C. Having learnt from my experience in Australia over Christmas, I was keeping on top of my daily water supply. Alfie hadn’t quite learnt that lesson, and this meant that by early afternoon he was suffering heat stroke and rediscovering his lunch.
The room that our host offered, had two double beds for the four of us, fans but no air conditioning. With Alfie burning up, Hannah pushed to try and get a room change, as we knew that there were rooms with A/C. Finally at about 19:00 we got a room change, to a same sized room which had a single A/C unit. We found that the unit was not able to adequately cool both sides of the room. We could draw a curtain between the two halves, and that would successfully cool one side of the room, but leave the other side at the native temperature which was stiflingly hot. That was not going to work for all of us, so we managed to negotiate to get access to another room, to put Alfie and myself in that could be chilled. Problem solved? Yes for about 20 minutes, when the staff then realised that they had six backpackers arriving the next morning, and needed us to move out of one of the rooms. This resulted in a further change with all four of us being moved into the last room, with Leo sleeping on the floor, and Hannah sleeping on the window ledge. But the A/C was working and we were happy.
Except that at night the manager turned the A/C off, which meant that by 4 am the temperature was back to uncomfortable levels.
The next morning, with Alfie still feeling weak, and myself suffering a recurrence of the toilet visits (courtesy, I think, of some food which the restaurant subcontracted to the local market), we decided that we would cut our plans short and get the heck out of Jaisalmer.
The next train with spaces on was that evening at 00:45, which meant that we needed to find a rock to crawl under for the day. Our best option was to move to a hostel, Abu Safaris, which had A/C rooms, and also a pleasant roof top restaurant, with great views of the Golden Fort and the desert.
And that is where you find us now, just waiting for the evening hours to pass. Leo is teaching Plop Trumps to one of the staff here, which suits him down to the ground.