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Old 30th April 2008, 17:08   #1
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Default YetiBlog® - The day the Yeti almost died (No Pictures - sorry!)

YetiBlog® - February 1999

It is a good time in my life. I’m single, self-employed and wonderfully young. While the urge to live the YetiLife, full throttle, isn’t quite fully developed yet, I am quite enjoying travel and adventure to the best of my limited financial capabilities.

I am in Rajasthan, with my girlfriend. Little do I know that she will eventually become my wife a few years later. Even littler do I know that she will then progress to become my ex-wife a few years after that.

We’ve already been through most of Rajasthan - Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur and are approaching the final leg of our trip through Rajasthan that has lasted about a month. We have already spent a few days in Jaisalmer and want to take an adventure trip through the desert,
Not wanting to take the beaten path we choose to travel through the sand dunes of the great Thar on camelback.

We did not want to visit the overly touristic Sam sand dunes (pronounced as some) and earlier, Haji (our mentor and guide) had suggested another sand dune area merely 70kms away from the border of Pakistan. He had mentioned that it would be ideal to spend the night there under the stars like the nomads.
We’re very excited at the thought. There are 2 ways of getting to the destination – one was to travel in a 4X4 Mahindra jeep to the nearest village and rent camels from there – OR go the whole hog and travel 9 hours on camelback in that day.

I am eager to keep it as realistic as possible. The plan is that we are to be accompanied by an experienced desert traveler who will accompany us to the rendezvous point in the desert. There will be other tourists there, but we are the only ones who have chosen the hard path.

We leave at about 6am. A quick ride to the nearest village and we are dropped off. 3 strong camels are chosen. 2 males, 1 female milchcamel. I am informed that the female camel will be handy in case of emergencies etc and of course ideal to make some camel milk tea. This is looking very good.

It is quite a new experience to ride the camel for so many hours. We are unable to maintain the rhythm properly, though. Unlike horse riding where one is fairly upright and posture is important as you follow the rhythm of the canter or gallop, a prolonged camel ride requires one to droop and be loose allowing the camel to bounce you around. The arms kind of flop around and this posture even allows the desert nomads to sleep. Out of the question for us. While the general motion is like a swaying ship, the camel canter is not something gone can get accustomed to easily.
3 hours later we are in bad shape. While both of us have already taken motion-sickness tablets, the lady is not doing too well as her back and chest are aching. We need a break.
We find a cactus patch and settled down for 30 minutes. It is impossible to stand as the motion of the camel is deep-set and even though I am lying down, it still seems like we were moving. I am walking all funny, lol.
We eat a little and have some piping hot camel milk tea which is delicious.

Later in the afternoon we are a little more comfortable. Another massive difference between horse-riding and camelback are the reins, which are to be kept tight and strained. While on a horse this means to stop, in the case of the camel, it keeps him going straight.

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A necessity in a region where the geography is so identical all around, if the camel makes a turn, you won’t know.

After 2 more stops, by early evening we reach the rendezvous point. Here we meet and are introduced to an Israeli man (seems like a lot of fun and quite weather-worn), 2 Spanish girls and a British couple, Dominic and Faye. They are in far better shape than us, having opted to traverse the most difficult part of their journey by Jeep instead of camel. They too have arrived on camels, but the distance covered on camel is merely over an hour in comparison.
We drag the beddings off the camel and set up camp on the sand dunes. We are going to spend the night here.

To be continued.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 30th April 2008 at 17:10.
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Old 30th April 2008, 17:20   #2
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Aaaaaaargh! So what happened next?

The title gave me a scare, and I thought something had happened to you today!
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Old 30th April 2008, 17:22   #3
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Nice to see the Yeti with a lot less hair on his head
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Old 30th April 2008, 17:27   #4
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Cant believe thats actually you in the pic Sam.

Originally Posted by spadival View Post
Nice to see the Yeti with a lot less hair on his head
While the hair on the head grew longer, the pants shrunk half their size.

The camel looks very happy with Sam's full pants too.

Last edited by n_aditya : 30th April 2008 at 17:42.
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Old 30th April 2008, 17:38   #5
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Originally Posted by spadival View Post
Nice to see the Yeti with a lot less hair on his head

And something below it. Sorry, Couldn't help it.

Was wondering as to what happened when saw the title !
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Old 30th April 2008, 17:43   #6
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Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
Aaaaaaargh! So what happened next?

The title gave me a scare, and I thought something had happened to you today!
even i thought that something might've happened today..!
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Old 30th April 2008, 17:50   #7
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Took your own sweet time, didn't ya, Sam?

Anyways, I am hooked. Now where was my Indicom datacard? Need to access this page while on the move....
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Old 30th April 2008, 18:15   #8
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Wow another yetiblog...awesome. Am waiting
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Old 30th April 2008, 20:32   #9
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Ah..this looks like fun. Something to stay rooted to,for the next few days/weeks.
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Old 30th April 2008, 21:01   #10
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Default YetiBlog® February 1999 - continued

We spend some time, all of us in the desert, marvelling at the quiet beauty. The 2 spanish girls are fun, one of them is hyperactive and quite full-on, not necessarily in the best of senses.
One needs a bit of respectful peace in the tranquil desert and though she's a nice person, that bit is a bit lacking.

Amongst the various things packed for us is some whiskey. Looks like fun. The evening is a bit cold, as the desert is always around that time.

The Israeli man and the spanish girls want to light a bonfire. The camel guys have all gone away and are planning to spend the night with their camels around. We are left mostly alone on the dunes.
I am the only one that speaks fluent hindi and the camel guys had already discovered that I was born in Rajasthan and we were getting along famously.

The boys advise us against a bonfire, telling us that it's a terrible idea. They explain that the creatures that normally live under the sand by day would be attracted to the bonfire. The firangs do not listen and finally the boys go forth and get us some brush, dried cacti and some twigs they find. Enough to start a small bonfire.

Soon we collect around the fire, passing the bottle around and regaling each other with stories of travel. I'm carrying my massive maglite with me. The one that's about half a metre long, lol and I'm shining it into the desert marveling at how far the light carries. What fun!

The whiskey is almost over and the full-on spanish girl is a bit drunk. Soon the rajasthani men come by to check if we're OK and they sit down near us. The Israeli man ask them if they know any desert songs. They oblige and both burst into a beautiful nomad tune in Marwari. It's fun and we all clap along. The spanish girl gets up and starts dancing around the fire all alone with a beautiful look on her face. The flames look like they're licking her face. She is a little drunk and obviously enjoying herself. Well, why not?

I'm chatting with Dom & Faye, they are truly a lovely couple.

Suddenly I feel a quick movement near my hand and reflexively pull back turning around. It's a HUGE desert beetle, one that looks like the scarabs from the movie "The Mummy" (YetiNote: Of course, the movie wasn't made then, lol) . Not nice. Suddenly I realised that many people were jumping up from where they were. 1, 2, 3, 4... We counted almost 6 such scarabs crawling instinctively to the fire. They were truly huge. The spanish girl looks a little bothered by the beetles and sits down a little further away.
We quickly throw sand on the fire, putting most of it out.

These don't bite really, there's no reason to be afraid, but it feels a little funny to have these crawling amongst us.

Suddenly the Rajasthani boy jumps up and slams his chappal clad foot on something near the fire. Bichchu he yells and we look curiously. A little scorpion, no bigger than my pinky finger. He's killed it with his foot and quickly picked it up, throwing it into the embers.

I see another small scorpion and slam my maglite on it killing it. Not nice of me to do that, it's their desert, not mine.
Everyone is quiet. It's best we move away from this bonfire quickly.

It is dark, we walk a bit towards where we've kept our beddings. We have no pillows and sheets and we're taught to sleep on our hands, to keep the ears off the ground level.

The sky looks truly beautiful and I am able to see multiple layers of planets and stars.

To be continued.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 30th April 2008 at 21:04.
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Old 30th April 2008, 21:13   #11
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Waiting for the rest. I had an inklink what this was about since you had mentioned about this experience in one of the other threads. I rode a camel once for about 10 minutes and it was NOT fun. And you did that for 9 hours!!
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Old 30th April 2008, 23:21   #12
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Sam, that title is eye catching but really scared the $**t out of me. Now waiting for the rest of the travelogue.
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Old 1st May 2008, 00:04   #13
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@ Lord, camels can be fun. I had a hard time recognising you. Is it the marriage thing as little knowledge can be dangerous and littler even more so.
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Old 1st May 2008, 00:17   #14
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hushed silence in the house as the guys wait with bated breath .
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Old 1st May 2008, 11:07   #15
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Like others I too was stunned to see the title but Sam Bhai...there you are ..and like any other soul on this forum waiting for the story back in time.
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