Road trip and off-roading in Jaisalmer with my Isuzu V-Cross

The vehicle is stock in terms of front and rear bumpers and as there were no trails, I had a friend who was given the job of spotting.

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There are certain vehicles that change your perspective. It's been two years since the V-Cross came into our life, and now I always look for opportunities to wander off. Each journey has something new to teach and this journey to Jaisalmer was no different, the first time I went there I did what every tourist/traveler does, the second time I felt like I knew the city, the people and the third time it was a charm and I felt like I was a part of Jaisalmer.

I selected another city ‘Jodhpur’ as I had to get the car serviced and I didn’t want to do the same route a third time.

We gathered a few things for the trip- Recovery rope , air compressor , d shackles , shovel , flashlights and a few camping items.

Day 1 - Bathinda to Jodhpur via Sardarshahar, distance: 588 km:

We left for Jodhpur at 6:00 am. Filled up the tank from Bathinda itself as diesel is expensive in Rajasthan as compared to Punjab. The fog was very dense , visibility was quite low and I had to be careful and slow.

Around 12:30 pm, the conditions changed and we had our first glimpse of the surroundings. Around 1:30 pm it was all warm and sunny , we spotted a nice picturesque place and drove off the pavement towards it . There was this elevated ground , parked the truck at the base and trekked up and had our lunch that we packed from home.

We spent an hour up at the top and again we were back on the road driving towards the destination. We reached Jodhpur around 6:30 pm , after leaving our bags at our place of stay we decided to explore the cafes in Jodhpur for dinner. We had our dinner at Cafe Ota by white wall.

The cafe had a nice view but the road towards the cafe was definitely not the best suit for a pickup truck. Went back to the place of stay and called it a day.

Day 2 - Jodhpur to Jaisalmer via Pokhran, distance- 280 km:

The first task was to get the truck serviced. The 20,000 km service was due , there was not much to be done, just a few things to get the machine back on the road . The Torque Isuzu completed the service in promised time and staff was very professional and helpful.

The car went in for service at 9:45 am and we got the truck back around 11:30 am. I was not interested in going to the fort or any other tourist place so had a nice cup of coffee at Frespresso , I totally recommend the place for a cup of coffee.

From Frespresso we went to take a look at the Umaid Palace as it was on our way . The palace is beautiful in and out and has a collection of vintage cars.

From Umaid Palace, we left for Jaisalmer. The road from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is mesmerizing . We had our lunch at a place called Hariyali Dhani, we discovered it by chance but the property was beautiful and the food was great.

The views are breathtaking at some stretches and the cherry on cake was the sunset. The straight stretch of road , the orange haze and nothingness was scene straight out of the movie. We reached Jaisalmer around 7:00 pm. We stayed at our usual place, The Helsinki house owned by a dear friend, Mr. Maru Khan. Had our dinner and called it a day.

Day 3 - Woke up with a beautiful sunrise and a cup of coffee:

We had been to Jaisalmer before and had been to all the places, so decided to stay at the hotel till noon and enjoy the warmth of the sun while watching the fort and its surroundings. Mr. Maru and I had planned a proper camping night at a very non commercial area of the Thar desert . We decided to leave for the desert at around 4:00 pm. The location was 30 km away from Sam sand dunes and unreachable without a four wheel drive vehicle. The moment I saw what was before my eyes I was awestruck , like a child going to the playground for the very first time.

There were dunes all over and no other vehicle or people. The V-Cross felt at home and was going over the dunes without much hustle, but as soon as the trail came to an end and we had to make our own way the vehicle got stuck a few times but I never had to tow it out. Just removed the sand around the tires with a shovel and reduced the air pressure in tires to 20 psi and the truck was moving again.

I had to carefully monitor the departure angle, approach angle and ramp over angle. The vehicle is stock in terms of front and rear bumpers and as there were no trails, I had a friend who was given the job of spotting. There were certain places where the truck climbed up the dune but the decline was too steep and could easily damage the front bumper so we had to find alternate routes. To sum up the off-roading part, it was amazing. We chose a random spot in the middle of the desert to stay at night. We brought cooking utensils, barbeque grills, mattresses and quilts for sleeping and everything that was required for the night along with us. We lit the bonfire and on one side we marinated the chicken and veggies to go on grill.

We went to our makeshift beds and called it a day.

Day 4 - We woke up around 6:00 am to witness the sunrise but the sun finally rose around 7:30 am but it was worth the wait.

We had our morning tea and then we cleaned the whole place and decided to move back to the hotel for a much needed shower . Around noon we went to the cafes nearby fort to celebrate our last day in Jaisalmer. While Jaisalmer has its own rustic charm but the cafes in Jodhpur were on another level , one will definitely miss their daily dose of freshly brewed coffee. We went to Gadisar lake in the evening to enjoy a cup of tea while the sunsets in the background. We were all tired from camping last night so we decided to have dinner early and call it a day.

Day 5 - Jaisalmer to Bathinda , distance - 600km:

There was not much activity. Left Jaisalmer around 10:00 am and reached Bathinda around 9:00 pm.

Jaisalmer is very close to my heart , I always feel like I am at my second home whenever I am in Jaisalmer. I don’t know when I will visit this place again but definitely I am coming back with something more adventures in mind.

Total Distance covered - 1670 km.

Average Fuel efficiency - 10.07 km (on mid).

Memories collected - Infinite.

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