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Graham Williams & Louise Jones Travel Blog This is our journal logging our trip through Central and Latin America from July 2005 to the present date. We update it and add new pictures every two to three weeks. At the moment Will is travelling in South Africa, while Lou is living in Buenos Aires.For more background reading on our travels go to - http://journals.worldnomads.com/will/

Northern India and into Nepal

INDIA | Saturday, 24 February 2007 | Views [973]

From Jaipur we went to the bird reserve at Bharatpur and had a pleasant day cycling and bird watching.  But the fabled spoonbills, Siberian cranes and other migrant water birds have deserted the reserve due to a lack of water.  This is a big issue in India where farmers, households and small industry all compete for water supplies.

We then visited Emperor Akbar's model 16th century city of Fatehpur Sikri, designed to mix Hindu and Mughal architecture, and built in striking red stone.  Then on to the beautiful Taj Mahal, in nearby Agra.  A marvellous contrast to the grubby streets outside and just as impressive on our third visit.

A train took us up to Delhi where the major change from ten years ago is the superb metro.  Here we arranged flights, stocked up on books and visited the grand Lutyens buildings of governmental New Delhi.  The house where Indira Gandhi lived most of her life, and where she was shot in the garden, is now an interesting museum with photographs and personal items on display.  Some of the rooms - including a comfy library - have been preserved as they were before her assassination.

We had three long days of train and bus travel to get to Pokhara, in Nepal, with its lovely setting by Fewa Lake with the Annapurna mountain range behind.  Nepal is quieter, cleaner and more relaxing than much of India and, after some years of violence in rural areas associated with the Maoist insurgency, it is now relatively problem free for travellers. 

We spent a week trekking in the mountains, walking between villages and staying in tea houses.  An unusual amount of snow made the higher sections of the trek slow going but very pretty.  When we were here ten years ago tourists were predominantly European; now the majority are Asian, mainly Chinese and Korean.  As European tourism fell, the Nepalese cleverly relaxed visa requirements for the Chinese.  On our trek we met many Chinese, some on their first foreign holiday; they had good jobs, spoke English and were keen to visit other countries.  This is probably one of the future trends for world tourism. 

Tags: On the Road

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