maharajah of the road

Day 8

Maharajah of the road

Muscle cars


Day 8

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From Kumbhalgarh to Siana

Siana is a village in the Jalore district of Rajasthan.

Two important tourist destinations of Rajasthan Mount Abu and Jodhpur are 125 km and 180 km from Siana. Siana is a small village situated in south west Rajasthan, south of Jodhpur and bordering the great Thar desert. The terrain is a unique mixture of granite hills bordered by sand dunes and agricultural lands. This part of Rajasthan offers a rare and fascinating insight into an intact traditional way of life: it is also the best location in India for leopard sightings, and boasts other species such as caracal and blackbuck.

Friday 23rd January 2009

All timings according to Indian Standard Time – IST


We wake up today, to a warm and sunny day. The weather is perfect for a drive. Today we are driving to Siana, a camp in the middle of the desert. Most of us haven't ever stayed in a tent in the middle of the desert before, so its not surprising that were all looking forward to this experience.


All our bags have been shifted out to the production vans, and were all getting into the vehicles. The distance isnt too much, around 150km - 160km, so were expecting a pleasant easy ride today.


We are driving by these hills now, and its looking so good on camera, that were doing the road up and down the hill a couple of times, to get some really good shots. This isnt such a great thing for the cars though. Kyle's car overheated and all the anti-freeze spilled out of it. We have all gone up and down this hill so many times that we are worried that more and more of the cars are going to keep overheating, one by one. Fingers crossed.


Finally, we leave the mountains, and were back on the road to Siana. Its mostly flat bush-land now. But it is better for the cars like this. So we keep moving on.


Were stopping briefly for lunch, and then back on the road.


Were in total bush land now. This could be anywhere in the world right now. Africa, California, Australia... Its quite fascinating how similar all bush lands look... the highway stretching on endlessly for miles and miles. Peacocks and camels keep walking out on to the roads and its quite surreal for most of us city folk. Its getting rockier now too...


We just left the tarmac road, and have swerved into a dust road. We seem to have entered the dune country now. The rock formations are all gorgeous. Its like driving trough a Dali painting. were hoping to make it to the camping site before sunset, so we can be there and see the sun set on the dunes. Something were told is a very gorgeous sight.


We finally taken the turn for the camp site, and just in time. We have made it for the sunset by the skin of our teeth! As we are pulling into the camping site, there is a perfect rock formation, like the little hills children make in their school landscape sketches, and thanks to the cloudy sky, the light gets diffused, and we have something of an extended panorama view of the surrounding. The welcoming community is eclectic to say the least. We have horsemen, camel men, and a 3 piece folk band (playing the local folk instruments). Quite amused, we move into the camping area to park and go check out the camping tents.


This is beautiful... Were in a surreal, otherworldly terrain, with no human settlements or signs of civilization for miles and miles away. The tents are like hotel rooms, and we have everything we would need, bathroom, side-table, study desk, shower, etc. So this looks good. Twilight time, and were all going in to freshen up, and re-group for dinner and a little tribal song and dance performance.


The night sky is breathtaking...there must be more than a billion stars in the sky tonight, and here, on the dunes, they look larger, and more reachable, than another place. Franco had a clever comment for this. He said, so far we have been staying in such fancy 5 stars so far, but today, we are staying in a Million star hotel! And it is the best so far...

Maharajah of the Road

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