“The desert takes our dreams away from us, and they don't always return. Those who don't return become a part of the clouds, a part of the animals that hide in the ravines and of the water that comes from the earth. They become part of everything . They become the Soul of the World”.
- Paulo Coelho, Alchemist.
For those who read ‘The Alchemist’ - When Santiago and the alchemist are taken prisoner by a hostile tribe, the alchemist barters for their release and uses as leverage the opportunity to see Santiago turn himself into the wind. Santiago then listens to his heart, which allows him to speak to the desert, the wind, and the sun, as he tries to learn how to transform himself. For those who haven’t read the 'Alchemist‘;Wild Desert Safari’ will make you go back in time when the gypsies moved and traveled across the 'Great Thar'. At HosteLaVie we only do the wild safari which stands different to all the safari’s being done at Jaisalmer. The true experience of Thar and to live the life of ‘The Alchemist’ One has to take the wild desert Safari.
Wild Desert Safari is a way of travel by the gypsy camel trader’s back in time, where they jaunted across the wilderness. This was the way back in time when Marco Polo travelled thru India. You travel and live in the open to experience something different. No shelter, no electricity and no mobile network. Eat the gypsy food and allow yourself to have the rustic experience.
In Jaisalmer, what sells and what every second person will sell to you is ‘Desert Safari’. But everyone outwits will take you across the known dunes, luxury camps with dance and musical night. Ours is different, HosteLavie is the only one who has its own private dune which means for a radius of 50KM; you won’t and shall not see anyone coming across. There is no music night or folk dance. This is a pure desert experience.
For we know what backpackers are looking for. We are travellers ourselves and know what you seek. We hate tourists and so does the touristic experience. We know what experience will turn you on. Wild desert safari is our speciality and we are the best who does it.
Complete Isolation, cause we know that desert means silence. No Wifi, only human connection. No belly dancers and fire spitters bring in your own instruments. Best company amongst backpackers and like-minded people.
There will be no dance shows or musical preface by a belly dancer. you won't find ay electricity there either wifi. You won’t get toilets and four-course meals. If you are looking for these things then we are not one of them. We won’t provide your comfort.
And if you are the other kind, come along, sit beside and listen what the dunes has to say. From tale of long forgotten history to your own past. You can see silk route merchants walk by, and the traders from far east traveling with their caravans back in 14th century. You can the your future 50 years from now and see how the growing world is eating away the deserts of the world. the desert will show you the secret to life, the blasphemy of the world and the hidden treasures to life happiness.
The desert will tell you everything when you stay calm.
The desert is ‘YOU’.
We leave from HosteLaVie Jaisalmer in our Jeep. Please carry all your necessary belongings as the ride is long and bumpy. From HosteLaVie we head to Kuldhara, witness the long abalones stretches of road. May be you wish to just peek out of the car and enjoy the wind. As your ride crosses through the desert national park, catch some sight of wild camels and deer.
As we reach Kuldhara, we go ahed to explore the 17th century ruined village. According to the locals the Kuldhara village is a haunted place. It is one of the unexplored places in India .The village dates back to the 17th Century and today most of it is in ruins except a dome shaped turret and a temple that is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The place has a untold story that will be descried by Polu in a detailed manner. But we urge you to take the steps yourself and listen what the dead has to say. The ambiance recollected me the scenes from the box buster Bollywood flick, “Kachche Dhaage”, where Aftab, a character played by the popular actor Ajay Devgan, smuggled goods across the Rajasthan border into Pakistan and Dhananjay, Aftab’s step brother, a character played by the ‘Chota Nawab of bollywood industry’, Saif Ali Khan, lived a corporate lifestyle. The story reels into the ruins of the Kuldhara village when both Aftab and Dhananjay were kept as hostiles. Nonetheless, the ambiance is a perfect place for photo shoot. This is also a good time to know the group (If you haven’t already made friend in Hostel)
From Kuldhara, we drive our way to Jaisi Oasis, the second largest water Oasis in Jaisalmer. This place goes way back in history when merchants from Afghanistan used to travel in harsh condition’s and Jaisi used to serve as a mecca for them. The water is still clean, thou it might not look but it serves as a water resource to all the local folks living nearby. Sit by the water and imagine yourself running back in time, like the merchant used to do.
From Jaisi Oasis, we drive down to Khaba fort. Similar like Kuldhara this has a long untraced history, Yet another fascinating and slightly spooky fort in Jaisalmer, Khaba Fort, was once inhabited by the Paliwal Brahmins. It was then suddenly deserted for mysterious reasons. The fort still has the ruins of the homes of some 80 families that used to live here more than 200 years ago. Khaba Fort still carries an abandoned feel with very minimal human activity in the area.
By 5 we start our wild safari experience from Kanoi Village. The jeep shall depart from here and the ship of the desert ‘the camel’ will take it’s place. Our camels are rough and are not decorated to impress tourists. They do have ugly face but well they aren’t supposed to be handsome. We start our camel safari across the desert national park for almost an hour and a half. You will be accompanied by local gypsy along the trail who will guide the camels. The journey might me back breaking but you will experience the best time of your life with your new friends. As the camels take’s it journey from the village of Kanoi, you pass thru the first barren lands across local gipsy village. Once passed the village, the dunes of Thar will beacon you. See how the camel glides on the desert. Surpassingly with in 15 minutes you cross a green patch of land completely opposite to the dunes. And gain back to the dunes, by now the sky starts getting romantic with its orange hues spreading by. Slowly the sun will weakening down to the horizon and you will move deep into the desert’s passing through thorn shrubs and other desert plants. On the safari you will spot some deer, rats and the sky will be dominated by a flock of eagles. Up down…up down…up down… the camel safari to the dunes of thar will be back breaking but worth it.
As you come cross the dunes you will see a milestone which states that ‘Life’ is 0KM. And here lies our HosteLaVie shelter. The only private desert shelter in all of Jaisalmer. No one, even the villagers are not allowed into this area. Get fresh, stretch your legs and get yourself some hot tea. But quick, as the setting sun is calling you. It will be tacit and romantic… an exceptional moment that will beat your pulse. Slowly the sky will start to change its colour…from yellow to orange and from red to dim. To the western sky the sun will be setting down and to the eastern sky, the moon will be app rearing to shine bright reflecting on the dunes that will slowly turn silver.
Get ready for a special dinner, we call it ‘crunchy dinner’ as the sand is mixed in everything. The bread/roti’s are called carbon chapati as they are made over wood fire. Enjoy some charcoaled mashed potato. When you are done with dinner, gather near the camp fire area where your beds are put. Play your favourite song or just play California over the guitar and listen to Polu playing the djambe. This night is yours and yours only. So make the most of it. Sleep by the fire or just don’t sleep at all. For the stars will guide you home.
Wake up with the sun and take a stroll by the dunes. Witness the battle marks and snake marks. The desert has no washrooms so find some sweet spots. Eat breakfast right from your bed. There is nothing fancy to the food, some boiled eggs, banana and toast. Slurp as much you want and get ready to bid adieu to the deserts. Remind yourself of last night when she sang a song to you. The camels are waiting for you after they finish their breakfast. Ride with them again and reach Kanoi village and end your experience.