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Camel Toe, Tigers, Taj & Turbans

Posted by on April 24, 2013

Jaisalmer
Always a step ahead of the rip off merchants, our jeep was awaiting us 5am as promised outside the train station. Off we scuttled into the back of the jeep thankful for the additional leg room it provided comparable to a tuktuk. The sky was clear, the air had a slight chill, and so did we as soon as the driver took off.

So it began, the sales pitch. Apparently, the company we had booked our desert safari with, and who had kindly arranged the pick up from the station were a set of con merchants, providing  rubbish ‘tourist’ safaris, not going deep into the desert, overpriced infact?! Hmmm, seems a little strange that don’t you think Danny? Slating the company he worked for? A few miles in, it was pretty clear he didn’t work for them at all, he didn’t even drive their jeep- we’d been kidnapped in some competitors vehicle and once he FINALLY accepted our ‘not so polite no thanks’  he dumped us at 5.30am in the middle of absolute nowhere- bollocks indeed.

It was dark, it was cold, and there were about ten pairs of beady green eyes staring at us from the bushes. The batteries had run out on Claires rape alarm and we hadn’t had a shower for a while. Slowly they prowled, heading directly towards Claire who was helplessly standing about like a weeble wobble with her rucksack on. Letting out a loud squeal, out runs India’s answer to Superman (minus the cape) wielding a blooming huge stick. Within two minutes the ten pairs of green eyes were back in those bushes, tails between their legs and still without breakfast. Cheers fella, now where exactly are we?

So, we did what you do at home and picked up the trusty mobile. Within fifteen minutes we were safe and sound in the guest house. Apparently, we had been picked up by ‘The Muslim Mafia’ so that was a close one!

Our so called ‘tourist safari’ picked us up at 8am and we were off for twenty four hours into the real unknown desert of Jaisalmer.

What you mean nose studs are only for Hindu’s?
India Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 175

Beauty and the Beast – Your callOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He’s only smiling cos he ain’t got on yetIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 174_01

A slight grimace on the face there Dan?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You never heard of safe stopping distance?!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoying the view of erm…sand
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Dinner was cooked up by these boys, we were gutted we left our biscuits behindIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 207

Filling up the humps at the water station
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This lad was over the moon with his orangeIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 227

BARMY out again, this time he came the whole way, watered and fed it slept at the bottom of our bedIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 216

After a good four hours wedged between two humps it was time for settling down. It had been an eventful day from start to finish. We’d been kidnapped, dumped for dead, attacked by wild beasts, a girl in our group fainted and fell off her camel, and there was even a desert fire (where someone had been told to set fire to their loo roll after use??) and needless to say, the cramps in our asses were starting to hurt a little. We needed a desert cold one and were looking forward to seeing our tent for the night.

Mines the ugly one with the hump and bad breathIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 173

Resting place for the nightOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sunset in the sandOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Claire relieving the crampOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tired but finally safeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After our tea had been cooked up once more by the boys and the nomad from the nearest village (5km away) had visited us with a rucksack full of ‘very warm overpriced beers for purchase’, we eagerly anticipated how they would build these tents. We shouldn’t have worried, it didn’t take long to lay the quilted saddles out flat, chuck a blanket on top and build a sand pillow- we were lucky, we had a double deluxe about 5 metres away from the next couple and to top it, there was an open air toilet- just choose your spot!

Our double deluxe in the foregroundIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 266

Spending the night ‘really’ under the stars was amazing. After a good old singsong, story swapping and a few kingfishers we laid in our deluxe double, making a wish on every passing shooting star.

Bed head with his morning chaiIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 263

Here he comes after taking advantage of the open air toilet, thankfully his mate didn’t get there firstIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 269

Say cheeseIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 232

Biggest head competitionIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 272

Jeez, we can honestly say we couldn’t blooming wait to get back the next day. After the kingfishers we must have slept in longer than expected so the camels had to run all the way back for two whole hours! Apparently though, this is normal and they love it- well, we didn’t. Literally falling off the dam thing for the final time, we have never felt so much relief to feel the blood rush back into our legs and Danny said that once again, he felt like a man.

A very ‘manly’ Danny researching the next port of callIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 295

The desert isn’t the only thing Jalseimer has to offer. Although a whistle stop tour for us, its a very beautiful little Indian town set around a huge twelfth century fort which amazingly houses three thousand people. We spent the whole day limping around the various sights like John Wayne with a bout of Delhi belly and then waited excitedly for our next Safari in Ranthambhore.

The magnificent FortOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Who lives in a Haveli like this? A fine example of the local housingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Entrance to the FortOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danny, avoiding the Boby laundry shop and the local traffic jamIndia Jodhpur, Jaisalmer 298

Gadi Sagar Lake
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Any free space is a cricket pitch over here
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Waiting for the train in the rooftop ‘Mozzie blood’ barOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ranthambhore
After waiting (and whittering) for nearly two months, we finally made it to the only place in India Claire wanted to visit. Like a tubsy kid at a Willy Wonkas all you can eat chocolate fest, I don’t think Danny has ever seen her so excited. We’d only been there five minutes, she’d bought the book to research which Tigers we ‘probably wouldn’t see’, she’d bought the ‘slightly tacky’ tiger t’shirt AND even roped Danny into a ridiculous Tiger safari hat. We looked like a couple of Americans visiting Walt Disney land- but she was happy, completely disregarding the fact that everyone we spoke to hadn’t seen one glimpse of these elusive stripy cats.

To up our chances (and keep the missus happy) we booked three whole days of safari. Unfortunately, this meant waking at 4.15am to stand in a queue for two hours, followed by a three hour safari, followed by two hours sleep then another two hours in a queue etc etc, I think you got it. Although completely exhausted, it turned out to be exactly as Claire had dreamed- if not better.

Whoop whoop! Entrance to the parkIndia Ranthambhore 008

Two very excited GEEKS!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The landscape of Zone 5 Tiger ReserveIndia Ranthambhore 028

Yeah yeah, spotted deer now wheres the Tiger!?!
India Ranthambhore 058

Banyan Tree, the national tree of IndiaIndia Ranthambhore 022

Blooming heck, they have these in Cawthorne Park! Now wheres the Tiger???India Ranthambhore 017

Michael Jackson Monkey- Doesn’t matter if i’m black or white :OIndia Ranthambhore 049

Even the magpies look differentIndia Ranthambhore 010

Danny posing with the Jeep- the right one this timeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Landscape when entering RanthambhoreIndia Ranthambhore 091

Tiger territory, the classic National Geographic shot- unfortunately the tiger wasn’t in the windowIndia Ranthambhore 199

Got any Pearl Drops?
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Like two Geography Teachers on a field trip jeez……..OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The stunning Fort within the parkOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Twat in the hatOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After the first unsuccessful morning safari, the beaming smile was slowly diminishing from her cheeky face and it looked like the reality was settling in. Although the park was absolutely beautiful there was no tiger insight. Instead, we had to look at yet another spotted deer and male peacock. Nevertheless, we had five more trips so fingers and toes crossed!

The afternoon safari was in the same zone of the park, we’d seen this landscape for three hours that morning however, we were still like two excited meercats popping our heads up for every slight rustle in the bushes. Low and behold here she is! Granted, there’s been better photos of the Yeti but we were very happy indeed!

Whoa whoa whoa- Look who’s here!!!India Ranthambhore 099

Yikes, We’ll stick to the Tigers thanksIndia Ranthambhore 220

4.15am the following day we were up again. After seeing the stripes behind the bushes the previous day we couldnt wait to get back into the park. This time we were in zone 6, which is like a desert minus the camels. Infact, it was like a desert minus any animals as the scariest thing we saw were the female toilets. Disappointed, we fell into our beds snoozing till we had to stand in another ‘so called queue’ of bantering Indians and boy, it was worth it…….

Zone 3 triumph! Tiger number two tick, she was chilling out by the lakeIndia Ranthambhore 157

Tiger lookoutIndia Ranthambhore 109

Landscape of Zone 3, we really were in Tiger territoryOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Literally over the moon from the previous afternoon, we really couldn’t wait for the final mornings Safari. We set off mega excited that this time we would see one up close and personal.

Looks like Tiger breakfast to me
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Nice photo whilst searchingIndia Ranthambhore 344

What have we here? The jeep bangs into third gear and we follow the tracksIndia Ranthambhore 143

Emerging through the sunrise- Claire was right, the hats were lucky!India Ranthambhore 242

Star male (it said so in Claires book)India Ranthambhore 263

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He walked straight past the jeepIndia Ranthambhore 252

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Amazing, lets hope these beauties are still around in five years timeIndia Ranthambhore 280

Off he goes, never to be seen againIndia Ranthambhore 299

After the ‘best day of Claire’s life’ we slowly retreated from the park and left the Tigers to it. The park is absolutely stunning, not just the landscape but obviously the Tigers too. With only thirty seven Tigers left in this 1350 sq km park we were exceptionally lucky- maybe it was the hats, or maybe it was the shooting stars? Needless to say, I think Danny was more over the moon to see one than Claire- At least tomorrow he could have a lie in.

After three hours jiggling on a jeep, these are very convenient
India Ranthambhore 348

Just in case you Tigers lovers aren’t sureIndia Ranthambhore 347

Agra
With little time for rest we were up early again and off to find the Taj. Five hours later we screeched into the station at Agra Cantt. It seems the further north we get, the busier and the weirder people are. We managed to finally get out the station, dodging the roaming cows and strange half dressed men with big poles and exceptionally long beards.

Ooo upgraded to Air conditioned Chair cars
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Told you the people were strange up north- This is what greeted us in the hotel
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The shower to share with a friend, share with a midget more like, no way was Danny fitting under thisOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Karl Pilkingtons Hotel from An Idiot abroad, this was the plushest place we saw, no idea what he was complaining about!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

View from hotel rooftopOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A little bit excited when we first arrivedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Early bird certainly did catch the worm, another 5.30am start but worth itIndia Agra 104

Tarn on Tour at the TajOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Reckon this one might make it onto the mantel piece Mum’s?India Agra 124

Lady Di ‘anny’India Agra 089

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Our guide insisted on taking the worlds corniest shots, here’s one of themOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The day was topped off with a celebratory rooftop aleIndia Agra 139

Apart from the Taj Mahal there’s nothing else in Agra. its true, the place is a dump but its certainly got a gem of a building. The place is rife with tourist shops and of course, we couldn’t resist buying a sixty pence marble copy of the masterpiece. Talk about up selling  these guys apparently see ten thousand tourists per day and yet still out of now where Claire was asked if she needed a toilet roll – If only she had known what was to come…………..

Mohali
Absolutely shattered we were off again this time to Mohali in Punjab. We were here for one reason only and that was the cricket. We arrived at the stadium after buying every possible souvenir waved in our direction, the only thing we gave a miss was the face painters as, lets face it, you never know whats in that stuff. Unfortunately, Claire had spent the whole day on the bog with her head in an adjacent bucket, making sure she didn’t miss the match she put on a brave face and ventured out, Imodium’ed’ up. Once at the gate the queue was unbelievable, It seems like every turban in the state had come to the match and we we were at the back of them all. Waiting patiently, Claire took a turn for the worse and fainted- What do you know, two free bottles of water later and we were ushered to the front of the queue! Result, we had the best seats in the house and miraculously after a Pepsi Claire was jumping up and down bangra style with the rest of em. It took twenty four hours longer for Dannys food poisoning to kick in, after the first over he spent most of the next thirty nine in the squatter!

Slightly pale but ready for some dancingBlackberry 529

Mingling with the Punjabees
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Yeah, he finally got to see a full overBlackberry 523

Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings, Mohali StadiumBlackberry 535

Blackberry 532

Claire celebrating alone, Danny was on trip number nineBlackberry 534

Despite Claire dropping to the floor and Dannys guts dropping into his pants, the cricket was brilliant. Twenty twenty is the biggest sporting event in India and jeez do they make a song and dance about it. I don’t think we have ever laughed and enjoyed a sporting event as much and the Indians certainly are a funny bunch. Leaving the ground we were attacked by a swarm of turbans all wanting photos of the ‘white couple’. We’ve never seen anything like it before! It was like Posh and Becks getting bombarded by the paps! Funny at first but after fifty shots Dannys bowels weren’t holding up and it was getting pretty scary, escorted by some concerned elders we jumped into a crammed tuktuk (eleven including the driver) and sped away from the snapping turbans- hoping there wouldn’t be any tunnels about.

We’re sorry we don’t respond to all your comments, please don’t be put off writing them, we love reading them and it spurns us on to keep this blog going. Keep em up and catch you all soon x

Our route on this post:


Destination Arrival
1 Jaisalmer, India April 1, 2013
2 Jodhpur, India April 3, 2013
3 Sawai Madhopur, India April 3, 2013
4 Mathura, India April 7, 2013
5 Agra, India April 7, 2013
6 New Delhi, India April 9, 2013
7 Chandigarh, India April 9, 2013
8 Mohali, India April 9, 2013

6 Responses to Camel Toe, Tigers, Taj & Turbans

  1. dad

    With a ‘runs rate’ like that you’ll be opening bat next game danny

  2. Margaret Nightingale

    Love this danny read it while lying at the side of the pool in egypt was alarmed at the first paragraph but then couldn’t stop laughting dad had to tell me to be quiet, then he read it and was as bad.speak later. Love mum and dad

  3. Mark

    Shame the Kings XI are one of the worst teams in the comp eh Danny?!

  4. cynthia

    A great post did you need a peg on nose when on camels .So glad you saw tigers pics are brilliant what an amazing place.hope feeling better love your mum&dadxxx

    PS wrong about the mantlepiece they are all on conservatory wall

  5. Booithy

    Best one yet! 20/20 even better than Yankees v Angels? Surely not eh Claire…

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