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Each journey begins with a single step... Two kiwis escaping from the island to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where thousands have gone before... . .

India 2 - to the end of February

INDIA | Wednesday, 14 February 2018 | Views [227]

Lucknow had interesting tombs and monuments to visit but is an extremely busy congested city. We stayed in the AirBNB of a lovely family who were so helpful to us and whose company we enjoyed whilst there. The monkeys and donkeys wandering the streets were more reminscent of my past journeys here but the number of people and cars in a small area is fierce. Two days there then a car picked us up to go to Kanpur where the wedding was. Dispite trying to organise being picked up on the Kanpur side of the city which we could have gotten to easily by train, the driver came to our lodgings through a minefield of traffic which we then had to travel back through once finally he found us and so a two hour journey took most of the day. As usual it was an interesting journey though over 4 lane highways with traffic going in both directions on both sides if the occasion warrants it in their mind.

And so began 4 days of wedding celebrations. We were put up in a very nice hotel in Kanpur which is another crowded dirty city. We met up with Andrew (groom) and his family and friends and Pragya's friends all Kiwis but from different places. Unfortunately the hotel held another celebration in an area directly below our room on the first night which meant no sleep until about 3am and since we hadn't slept well in Lucknow because of the noise we were becoming a little frayed at the edges.

As we were backpacking we only had travel clothes which, it became obvious, were not going to be good enough so we headed out for new wedding clothes. There were many gifts in our rooms from Pragya's family and everyone was very kind but we still felt quite out of place in the celebrations. Andrew's parents weren't given any sort of special treatment, we all just tried to go with the kaotic flow. So very different from our sedate marriage celebrations haha. The clothing worn by Pragya and other women was absolutely lovely. The food (all vegan) was wonderful.

After the wedding the NZ group went off on various tours and we (much to the almost distain of those seeing us off) headed to the railway station to continue our journey with one extra bag of wedding clothes.

We headed to a small town called Orrcha (Or-ra-cha) which had many architectural wonders and lovely countryside scenery and a river. We had a very nice hotel room and ate at the markets some great food. Only problem was the nights, we were kept awake with barking dogs on and on throughout. By now we were absolutely sick of not being able to sleep properly so we contacted a beautiful Lodge in the countryside which prided itself on being quiet and headed there to rest :)

The first two hours were just perfect! A lovely room, lovely view, and peaceful!!! Then after lunch the local temple (50 metres away) started up a 24 hour chant of the words 'RAMA SITA' over and over over their loudspeaker system. We discovered the village had pledged themselves to do this for 24 hours once every year - just our luck...

The hotel personel tried somewhat to sort things but there was little they could do. We headed next by train to Gwailior where there is an awesome fort on top of a cliff by the city which we explored.

The cities are easy to get about by taxi/tuktuk etc and restaurant food etc is easy to find and buy, not easy to find any western food but that was ok with us. Travel between cities though is now really difficult, everything is SO crowded, everyone is travelling so there's no room anywhere, most trains are sold out. We travelled cattle class (yes you can take that literally) and sat where we could. While we like to travel with the ordinary people of whatever country we are visiting in this country it was a real trial sometimes.

Our next place to stay was Vrindavin a little north of Agra and birthplace of Krishna. We had an apartment in a gated community so were pretty assured of a quiet time - you'd think, right? - well the guy in the apartment below decided to have renovations done from 5 - 10pm (cheaper rates apparently) and was knocking a hole in a concrete wall with a hammer. By this time we figured we were so pissed off about noisy nights that we were actually attracting them so it all was funny in the end.

Back to Dehli to stay a night with Simone and family again and say goodbye, hoping one day they will get over here to NZ! Then off to the airport to fly home.

We saw some awesome sights and had some good experiences but overall we didn't like our trip in India and don't feel the need to go there again or to encourage others to go. 


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