Text by Priya Tripathy
Located on the Jaipur-Jaisalmer higway, the Samsara Dechu property is the perfect rendition of an oasis in the desert. The shrub-laden sides of the highway hold the promise of the desert all the way without offering more than just a peek at it.
A sumptuous breakfast of fruits and local flavours awaited me for breakfast after I had freshened up. I was still raving about the various signs placed all around the property encouraging guests to be more careful with usage of water when breakfast was served. The state-of-the-art resort offers every luxury and encourages guests to be responsible in their approach as well.
After breakfast, we had a quick tour of the complex – which serves as a part of the resort and as a lounge for guests who have been booked at the desert camp. Yes, the real fun of the Samsara Dechu property lies between the lounge and the classy desert resort.
They also have a sneak peek of the fun, right behind the complex. A huge sand dune for you to get a taste for things to come…
The first look at the camp is mesmerising. We had a round of dune bashing with some adventure junkies staying at the camp that night as well. Once at the property, we were led to our prepared tents with attached bathrooms.
I had absolutely no intention of leaving this cozy tent which was complete contrast to what I had expected! Just when I was considering a nap, I was woken up by the sound of… camels! Of course, I was in the desert and no camping experience could be considered complete without meeting the ship of the desert.
I contemplated taking a shower before I rode out in the desert and am glad I decided against it. I met Sultan, a camel designated for me and his handler, Fateh who is among the two earning members of his family of 8. Fateh told me that the influx of tourists helps to put food on his table and makes Sultan a prized possession. Fateh and his sisters care for Sultan every day and ensure that he is never put in any harm’s way.
Of the many things that Sultan was, he was also incredibly smelly. So, I am glad I avoided the bath before the ride because the desert was quickly into my skin and Sultan’s stench could not have been drowned out by any perfume. A quick shower, under the noticeboard suggesting reponsible use of water, and I was ready for more…
A tantalising spread presented by the chef using all local flavours and yet fit for an international palate later. I sat down to soak in the scene…
I lost track of time and as dusk started its approach, one of the staff members suggested I collect a shawl or a throw for the nights can be quite cold in the desert.
I found the tent to be even more cozy against the steadily rise cool outside. I rested for a while in the tent, listening to the activity outside. The camels were going home, the guest’s children were being finally taken into the tent and there were animated sighs and claps all around. I was soon requested to join other guests at a cultural performance.
I had an early dinner while watching the incredible performance and soon after found myself making my way away from the bustle until the folk songs became a buzz in the background under the clear night sky of the desert. It was surreal!
While the musical notes still playing in my head and the bright shiny constellations gleaming in my eyes, I put my head on my pillow in my tent and fell asleep.