Blogs from Rajasthan, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Pushkar July 30th 2014

Day11 - Moving on to Pushkar Up at 4.10am. Both Jude and I were up and about ok. We had done all off our preparation and packing last night, so we didn't have much to do. This morning we are travelling to Ajmer by train, and then we will change to a local bus for the 14 km drive over Snake Mountain to Pushkar. Udaipur to Ajmer train takes about 7 hours. The connecting jeeps took about half an hour. On arrival we had time to get refreshed, get something to eat, and a short nap, due to the early start. All these were very welcome! At 5pm we went on an orientation walk with Ankur. As always, he was very guarded with us all. He gave us instructions on how we should respond to the ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur July 29th 2014

So this past weekend was spent on a little trip. All of the groups that came to India were given a little weekend retreat, except for our group. So we decided to organize an excursion out to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, and Agra, the location of Taj Mahal. We had heard good things about trips like this. So we asked FSD to buy us some tickets and we headed out. Every week we have a meeting with FSD (the umbrella corporation that connects students with NGOs all over the world). Here we say what went on the past week, what went well, what went poorly, and what we would like to do for the next week. I could make a blog post on just these meetings. But I will just say that this past one ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur July 28th 2014

Day 9 - Bus to Udaipur Today we will continue our journey southeast to Udaipur, famous worldwide for its plethora of breathtaking lakes and Raj-era palaces. Most famous of these is the Lake Palace, an island-palace where the white marble buildings (now a hotel) entirely cover a small island in Pichola Lake. Originally known as the Jag Niwas, the palace took three years to build and was inaugurated in 1746. The city's lakes-Pichola Lake, Fateh Sagar, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar-are considered among the most beautiful in Rajasthan. An island in Fateh Sagar is even home to the Udaipur Solar Observatory, one of six stations participating in the international Global Oscillations Network Group (GONG), which studies the physical properties of the solar interior. So, we had another early start, we were up at about 5.45 so ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaisalmer July 27th 2014

Bonjour, folks! I hope you are well. Looks like the Brits among you are having a jolly lovely summer, I am glad: everyone needs a bit of sunshine. Does wonders for the mood. A quick update on my adventures .... My last post described my time in Bangalore with Bryn, looking at the use of wildlife in Black Magic. It was a crazy journey of the mind and gave me a fascinating insight into certain elements of India. Since then I flew back up to Rajasthan to spend my last few weeks in India with the camel folks that I fell in love with back in April. I’d always had a hankering to return, so this time I decided to make the hankering a reality. It was a good decision and I enjoyed it. I ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jodhpur July 27th 2014

Day 8 - bus to Jodhpur I was up at 5.15 this morning. I was pleased that I had packed my bags last night before going to bed. It was just a case if getting a quick shower; my clothes were also prepared, then off! Again, there were no late comers, so we were able to get straight onto the bus and away. After about 10 minutes the bud pulled into the local bus station. We had 20 minutes to allow the locals to get on the bus, get sorted etc. We took this opportunity to ha pave a cup of chai. I must say, I am not a fan of the chai, as it is far too sweet for me. My favourite hot morning drink would be a cup of black Earl Grey, or a ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaisalmer July 26th 2014

Day 7- Jaisalmer Fort- and shopping! Where to start? I have had the best day so far, but every day offers different experiences! Jaisalmer, known as The Golden City, stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, in the heart of the Thar Desert. Crowned by a fort containing the palace and several ornate Jain temples, Jaisalmer was positioned strategically and was a halting point along a traditional trade route traversed by the camel caravans of Indian and Asian merchants. The route linked India to Central Asia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. We met with the guide at 8am to be taken by tuk tuks to the Fort area. It is the only ‘Living Fort’ in the country. The fort is host to over 1000 families whose forefathers have been settled there by the Kings ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur July 25th 2014

Let’s see. So the last update I made was about 2 weeks back. So I have gathered all of my thoughts to try and write down as much as I could about what has happened in that time! First thing first is I took a really fun trip out to the village. During the day a little seminar was being run for the local school kids in the village. You have likely seen the pics on my facebook and the video. But first the young kids walked through the village carrying signs in regards to preserving traditional medicines, then many gunis were there to talk and teach them. It was a lot of fun. When we first got there and saw all the kids I wasn’t really sure what was happening. As we took off down ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaisalmer July 25th 2014

Day 6 train to Jaisalmer - The Golden a City Jaisalmer gets it's name, The Golden City, due to the buildings being made from yellow sandstone. I did intend an early night due to the early start in morning, but by the time I had got the bags sorted for the morning , it was as early as I thought! I set my alarm for 5.20am, thinking that would give me plenty of time. The problem I had is that I am so worried that I don't wake up, therefore I wake up about every hour to check the time! It's so pointless...lol. I actually annoy myself!! We were all out in good time for the checking out and taxis to the train station. We are catching the 7.00am train from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. India being ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Bikaner July 24th 2014

Day 5 return to Bikaner and the At Temple A good nights sleep was had by all. Kyla and I were talking to Anker (now I know his real name!) ; he asked if we had seen the,'toilet in the tent'. Neither of us had. We went over.... Amazing! The locals had rigged up a western toilet in a tent! A site to see in the middle of the desert! After breakfast ride camel carts back to the village. We transferred to the vehicles, it was a much longer journey than I remember going out! The trek home was in carts lead by a camel. It was much nicer than the trek in! I shared a cart with Hannah, ... And Patrick. Patrick is from Germany and he has the most wicked sense if humour. He ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Bikaner July 23rd 2014

Day 3 - Bikaner and Camel Safari The train journey was a welcome improvement to the ones that I suffered in China! I got on the train, made my bed, was then asleep within the first ten minutes. I was so ready for a marathon sleep. We arrived into Bikaner early in the morning and reached our hotel by 8am. W We were driven down in local jeeps to a village hotel called The Tamarind. We have a couple of rooms to freshen up and change. I had breakfast of cornflakes with yoghurt closely followed by toast and jam with a lovely cup of black tea! Anker explained that this hotel belonged to the late Mahataj Bhairon Singh, Prime Minister of Bikaner State. I really feel like I am in,The Best Exotic Hotel'! Bikaner is a ... read more
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