Road trip and offroad in Jaisalmer with my Isuzu V-Cross
The vehicle is stock at the front and rear bumpers and since there were no trails, I had a friend who was given the spotting.
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There are certain vehicles that change your perspective. It’s been two years since V-Cross came into our lives, and now I’m always looking for opportunities to step away. Every trip has something new to teach and this trip to Jaisalmer was no different, the first time I went I did what every tourist/traveler does, the second time I got the I felt like I knew the city, the people and the third time around it was a charm and I felt like I was part of Jaisalmer.
I chose another city ‘Jodhpur’ because I needed to get the car repaired and I didn’t want to do the same route a third time.
We’ve collected a few items for the trip – Recovery rope, air compressor, D-shackles, shovel, flashlights and some camping gear.
Day 1 – Bathinda to Jodhpur via Sardarshahar, distance: 588 km:
We left for Jodhpur at 6:00 am. Filling the Bathinda tank itself as diesel is expensive in Rajasthan compared to Punjab. The fog was very dense, the visibility was quite poor and I had to be careful and slow.
Around 12:30 p.m. the conditions changed and we got our first glimpse of the surroundings. Around 1:30pm, it was warm and sunny, we spotted a nice scenic spot and drove off the sidewalk towards it. There was this high ground, parked the truck at the base and hiked up and had our lunch which we cooked at home.
We spent an hour at the top and were back on the road to the destination. We arrived in Jodhpur around 6.30pm, after leaving our luggage at our place of stay we decided to explore the cafes of Jodhpur for dinner. We had dinner at Cafe Ota by a white wall.
The cafe had a nice view but the road to the cafe was definitely not the best for a van. I went back to the place of stay and called it a day.
Day 2 – Jodhpur to Jaisalmer via Pokhran, distance – 280 km:
The first task was to have the truck repaired. The 20,000 km service was scheduled, there was not much to do, just a few things to get the machine back on the road. The Torque Isuzu completed the service within the time promised and the staff was very professional and helpful.
The car was serviced at 9:45 a.m. and we picked up the truck around 11:30 a.m. I wasn’t interested in going to the fort or any other tourist spot so I had a nice cup of coffee at Frespresso, totally recommend the place for a cup of coffee.
From Frespresso we went to have a look at Umaid Palace as it was on our way. The palace is beautiful inside and out and has a collection of vintage cars.
From Umaid Palace, we departed for Jaisalmer. The road from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer is fascinating. We had lunch at a place called Hariyali Dhani, we discovered it by chance but the property was beautiful and the food was excellent.
The views are breathtaking on some stretches and the icing on the cake was the sunset. The straight stretch of road, the orange mist and nothingness were scenes straight out of the movie. We arrive in Jaisalmer around 7:00 PM. We stayed at our usual place, the house in Helsinki belonging to a dear friend, Mr. Maru Khan. We had dinner and called it a day.
Day 3 – I woke up with a beautiful sunrise and a cup of coffee:
We had been to Jaisalmer before and visited all the places. So we decided to stay at the hotel until noon and enjoy the warmth of the sun while looking at the fort and its surroundings. Mr. Maru and I had planned a real night of camping in a very non-commercial area of the Thar Desert. We decided to leave for the desert around 4:00 p.m. The location was 30 km from Sam’s Sand Dunes and inaccessible without a four wheel drive vehicle. The moment I saw what was before my eyes, I was amazed, like a child going to the playground for the very first time.
There were dunes everywhere and no other vehicles or people. The V-Cross felt at home and crossed the dunes without too much fuss, but as soon as the trail ended and we had to make our own way, the vehicle got stuck several times but I didn’t never had to tow it. . Just removed the sand around the tires with a shovel and reduced the air pressure in the tires to 20 psi and the truck was moving again.
I had to carefully watch the departure angle, approach angle and ramp angle. The vehicle is stock at the front and rear bumpers and since there were no trails, I had a friend who was given the spotting. There were some spots where the truck climbed the dune, but the grade was too steep and could easily damage the front bumper, so we had to find alternate routes. To sum up the off-road part, it was amazing. We picked a random place in the middle of the desert to spend the night. We brought cooking utensils, grills, sleeping mats and quilts and everything needed for the night with us. We lit the bonfire and on one side we marinated the chicken and vegetables for grilling.
We went to our makeshift beds and called it a day.
Day 4 – We woke up around 6:00am to watch the sunrise but the sun finally came up around 7:30am but it was worth the wait.
We had our morning tea then cleaned up the whole place and decided to head back to the hotel for a well deserved shower. Around noon, we went to cafes in the nearby fort to celebrate our last day in Jaisalmer. While Jaisalmer has its own rustic charm but Jodhpur cafes were on another level, one will definitely miss their daily dose of freshly brewed coffee. We went to Lake Gadisar in the evening to enjoy a cup of tea while the sunsets in the background. We were all tired from camping last night so we decided to have dinner early and call it a day.
Day 5 – Jaisalmer to Bathinda, distance – 600km:
There was not much activity. Left Jaisalmer around 10:00am and reached Bathinda around 9:00pm.
Jaisalmer is very close to my heart, I always feel like I am in my second home whenever I am in Jaisalmer. I don’t know when I will return to this place, but I’m definitely coming back with something more adventurous in mind.
Total distance traveled – 1670 km.
Average fuel efficiency – 10.07 km (halfway).
Memories Collected – Infinite.
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