I went on an overnight camel safari in the desert. It's one of the main reasons people come to Jaisalmer. Three Austrians, two Canadians and I set off in the back of a jeep for an hour's drive away from the town.

It's surprisingly easy to ride the camel - basically you just sit on it (no stirrups, so your legs are free), and it follows along with the rest of the camel caravan. It did respond to gentle tugs on the reins to go left and right, although on a number of occasions decided to go more-or-less straight through trees and bushes.

We travelled a short distance in the evening, breaking at a village and eventually stopping at the dunes to watch the sunset. Dinner was cooked for us, and we lay back and studied the stars. Eventually I got my Android app to correctly tell me where the constellations were (hint: make sure both time and location are set correctly)...

Next morning, watching sunrise, eating breakfast, a ride through the dunes and a stop at a watering hole were intermingled with some faster riding. I suppose it was just trotting or cantering (or whatever the camel equivalents are) but bouncing up and down was less comfortable than walking, and holding on seemed all you could do. No chance to take photographs like you could when walking, and you just had to hope the camel avoided the others.


It might sound strange for somewhere in the middle of the Thar Desert, but Jaisalmer was also where I went on a pedalo, in the Gadi Sagar Tank. It was very peaceful with just a few other boats around, and people walking on the surrounding ghats and promenades. The lake had these catfish in. They're really ugly! Their gaping mouths sticking out of the water, they look truly monstrous. Twice I ran aground... fortunately I could zip off my trouser legs, undo my sandals and push off into less shallow water.


I was walking in the fort in Jaisalmer when this man stopped me, seeing my height, and asked me to paint a line for him - the top part of the border around one of these strange-looking religious stone faces which are a common occurrence everywhere. I was happy to oblige him. On hearing I was British, he told me he had once met Tony Blair, in Sri Lanka, when the latter was just a junior aide to a politician of an older generation. I'd no reason to doubt this story, although I wouldn't have guessed this man who appeared to be a Jaisalmer local would have been in that sort of situation.