Myles Harrington

Jaisalmer and Udaipur: A Hospital Visit and A Shave

In India on May 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

The night train to Jaisalmer was like sleeping in a sand pit. The desert tracks and wide windows were not a good combination. Luckily we still had the extra strong sleeping pills from Shimla but we woke up looking like we’d rolled down a sand dune.

We stuck to our commitment to the dice

We had plans to rent motorbikes and drive out to a small village or to the Sam sand dunes about 40kms away. Minja was tired so she checked into a room on the 1st floor of the train station while Filip and I booked train tickets and picked up the bikes. Minja was still tired when we returned at 9am so we went back into town and had breakfast. It was then when it happened.

I would like to say I was pulling wheelies along the highway when an elephant came out of nowhere being chased by a tiger, I swerved crashed into a fruit stall and grazed my knee. The real tale was more like this; I snatched the clutch on the third time I’d ever pulled away on a bike, narrowly missed a rickshaw and fell off the bike to the side. I did graze my right knee but sliced open my left leg on something sticking out of the motorbike. Luckily a rickshaw driver saw the incident, along with half the population of Jaisalmer that were hanging around the main square, and he drove me off to the dirtiest hospital i’ve ever seen.

The fresh gash

Such a happy chappy just doing his duty

Stitch up

After the incident we just chilled out for a bit while I got drugged up on paracetamol and then headed out on the open road to grab a deal on camel rides at the Sam sand dunes. En route we stopped off at the exclusive Thar Vilas so the other two could have a dip in the 5000 Rs a night hotel pool.

When we arrived in Sam, extremely windswept but invigorated by the freedom of the open road, we haggled with a few of the hustlers for a good deal. We wanted accommodation in a hut, dinner, evening entertainment, breakfast and a camel ride all for 1000 Rs in total (£5 each). We managed it and also got a 20% discount on beers in the local beer shop.

Minja showing the locals how it's done

The entertainment was good fun but went downhill when us westerners thought it was a good idea to do an impromptu acoustic session of Hit The Road Jack. It was only when we were up there, on stage, that we realised only one of the English blokes we’d met knew one verse. It was a low point when the owner of the camp said “do another one or let the band carry on”. I think they were expecting too much of six drunks.

The next morning, suffering slightly from the legal bhang and the strong Kingfishers the three of us hit the dunes on camels and luckily for my arse the ride was only 20 minutes long.

Camel trekking in the Thar Desert

Back on our arses again we returned to Jaisalmer via a couple of Pepsi stops in local villages and got a luxury bus that afternoon to Udaipur. The town is probably most famous for its floating palace and featuring in the Bond film Octopussy. It was here, a month after leaving Blighty I decided it was time to scrap the beard. How else would you go about doing that in India then with a trip to the barbers? The sleazy Mexican look was my moustache of choice.

I can guarantee the closest shave you'll ever know.

We just had a lazy day in Udaipur with a ride on the city’s ropeway, a couple of Kingsishers in a park, a rushed DVD burning session and a long goodbye at the train station. I was now alone again, Swedeless, and off on a three day journey to Kolkata.

A trip on the ropeway. I had to upload a pic of the new look too

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