Last night we slept ‘neath the stars (refer to Victorian novels for advice on the compulsary use of “neath” when describing being under stars) in the Thar desert. We arrived by camel, which to me have legs that resemble large birds’ legs, think emu, rather than horse. We visited the ancient step wells that until 10-15 years ago were used by villagers for all their water needs. Now water is piped to modern concrete wells in each village. But the older wells, one for each caste, are quite something to looks at. They are monuments in sandstone to that most desert precious resource: water.

We are leaving in minutes on the sleeper bus to the south of the state, and then on to Gujarat. So just time to wish all in India a happy Republic Day, and to family and friends back in Oz a happy Australia Day!

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