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THE world trip his journal is to let all those i know and care about (hello!) get a little bit more info about what im doing, and where. Also, its a gesture to calm my poor mums nerves whilst her first born child explores the big wide world. Hopefully it wont back fire

Holy Cows, Everywhere

INDIA | Wednesday, 15 August 2007 | Views [986] | Comments [1]

Hey from India!

My last update was from Bombay/ Mumbai, and though only about 12 days have passed, alot has happened and been discovered, as I will begin accordingly below...

Firstly, I LOVE India. Id heard alot of negative things about this place, both from friends and travel books, but i have found that any difficulties we have had have been far outweighed by the the amazing time we are having. The main things im finding hard to get used to, and probably wont get used to, are the amount of unashamed staring we have to put up with, especially in the more rural areas, and the clash between some of the wealth here, and the grating poverty that seems to be everywhere. Also not a fan of the principle that some people here have, that, as a foreigner, you will happily submit to paying extra random charges ie putting your bag in the back of the bus will unoficially set you back a charge not included in the price- its not a lot, but its the principle of the matter!! Though i do find the amount of cows (sacred, dont you know- they know it, you can tell by their content faces) popping up from around corners and leisurely walking down the street very amusing, and so many people here are genuinely excited to talk to English people.

But where have we been? First stop after Mumbai was the blue city of Jodhpur. We only spent one day and a night there, which was enough to get caught up in the little winding streets amid electricity cut outs, and to admire the beautiful fort, but it was such a laid back place that i could happily have stayed longer and continued monkey spotting. After there, we got a bus to Jaisalmer in the Thar desert, not somewhere we had heard of before, but somewhere which  the lonely planet had good reviews on, and we were lured by the prospect of a camel safari through the desert. So glad we went; our guest house, Moti Palace ( which had been prearanged from our guest house in Jodphur, a particularly good move as the touts as you are trying to alight the bus can be pretty intense) was in the fort- not very ethical, as the old, golden stone fort is struggaling to cope with the pressure now, but the views out of our room ( the honeymoon suite, for three people!) were amazing, and the fort is breathtaking. The camel safari was interesting, and very very hot- glad i did it, but my bum could not have coped with it any longer than for 2 days!!

After Jaisalmer, we headed to Bikaner. Bikaner is a place that could easily be seen in a day and a half, with a fort that has amazing carvings and museum pieces inside, and the Karni Mata rat worshipping temple, complete with fat well kept rats hanging out everywhere, was an experance, but apart for those places and the uninspiring Camel research centre, there was not much more to do. And unfortunalety for us, we had to spent 3 nights there, due to bus timetables. We finaly left on the third money, with the help of our friendly hotel manager who took us to the bus stattion in his car, and got our tickets for us so we didnt get ripped off, we left Bikaner for Mandawa via the rickety government bus. For a  pound,  you cant go wrong for a 6 hour journey, though being treated like zoo exhibits at every stop by the people outside did get rather grating.

We reached Mandawa in one dusty piece though, and set up shop at the 'Hotel Heritage Mandawa', a wicked ' Haveli' ( old traditional house) whcih had been freshly painted with lots of Hindu and daily life pictures, and where you can negotiate a pretty good room down to a reasonable price- but you didnt hear that here. Mandawa and the district around it are noted for there rich Havelis, but i found most in a sad state of repair. The town itself consists of a few dirt roads, and teh prefered mode of transport is by donkey or camel cart. Perhaps its new to tourism, but the stares reached new heights here, though its always irritating rather than threatening. Another very slepy place, with not a lot to do, so i was very excited to find myself yesterday on another government bus bumping ( And i mean REALLY bumping along the road) towards Dehli. From what id heard, i was expecting a seething hecti sess pit, getting pulled everywhich way by hawkers. Not the case at all!! From what ive seen so far, Dehli is like a haven of piece compared to Mumbai, and after the deserts of Rajastan though really enjoyed, its so nice to be able to get back to a bit of the cosmopolitan. We are staying in the main Bazar, a shopping Mecca for tourists ( like Thailands' Kho San Road), but still vibrant and bustling with lots of locals.

The plan is to stay a few days here, as we are picking up Clare and Linzs friend who is flying in from England to meet us here, tonight, and then start the tourist trail proper, and head down to Agra and the Taj Mahal. Half way through my Indian leg, and evem though im loking forward to going home, i cant belive how fast the time is slipping away. On that note, must dash, as im going to get a suite fitted!!

Tags: Misadventures




Hello Rebecca,
Thank you for the latest post card.
You seem to be galloping along with your tour; when you wrote the card you were heading for India, and now you are half-way through that country!

We have had your cousins, Carly and Liam staying with us for a few days, also Owen. They all came for the Festival Of History weeken at Kelmarsh Hall.

Betty has been ill for nearly two weeks, so I am head cook and bottle washer at the moment, but no one has starved or been poisoned! (Yet.)

Enjoy the rest of your tour. We look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Love and Best Wishes.

GD and Betty.

  F.West Aug 17, 2007 6:28 AM

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