Monday, December 5, 2011

Travel TidBits: Desert Sunrise

Sunrise over the Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India

After experiencing the sunset in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India, we decided to go back the next morning for an early sunrise.  We were staying at a tented camp in Osian on the Western end of Rajasthan, a very rural area with small villages dotted along the road.  This area is close to the Pakistani border.  Although this is a desert that heavily depends on the monsoon rains once a year, it is also known as a ‘green desert’ due to the abundance of farmland and animal husbandry.  If not cultivated the desert supports typical low shrubs and acacia trees favored by the camels as it is favored by giraffes in Africa.  Between the desert landscape and cultivated fields are sand dunes raising up 100-150 feet from the flats.  

We had ridden up to such a sand dune on our camels the evening before and then marveled at the view towards wide horizon all around.

The next morning by 5:30am, we were up and getting ready to jump into the 4-wheel jeep to meet the sunrise on one of the sand dunes.  Our driver, a young Rajasthani, took us half-way up and then it was on us to climb the remainder in the darkness.

We each selected a favorite spot and with my camera on the tripod, I waited for the sun to crest over the far horizon.

It is amazing to see how the camels purse their lips to just take the leaves without poking themselves on the heavy and pointed thorns!  The Acacia leaves must taste very good since the camel drivers always tried to lead the animals far from these trees lest they were ready to stop and see them munching away.

As the sun rose and the light came up, the red soil of the desert dotted with the yellow desert blooms offered another beautiful view towards the West.

Now ready for breakfast, we joint our driver and jeep at the bottom of the sand dune for the ride back to camp.  Later we would come back a village not far from the sand dunes for a great opportunity to observe the village life – but that is another story for next time.

Til then,

New:  Join me for the next great photo opportunity 
to "See the Elephants" in March 2-4, 2012!
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