Published: January 26th 2009January 5th 2009
Hello to all of you who we’ve been out of touch with since our return from our year long travel of 07. We took root once more in Seattle, WA and have been employed with a start-up consulting firm. The travel bug biting throughout the year persuaded us to bank our vacation time and escape for some worthwhile time in India. As with most trips we did very little planning and the entire trip was in question with the recent terrorist attacks and potential danger looming, but we decided to shrug off the warnings and continue on with our big adventure.
There is really too much to write on this amazing country and cultural highlights within but we’ve included some fun pictures and I would invite everyone to experience India for yourselves if ever given the chance. It’s a country full of amazing people, history and sites unlike anything we’ve ever come across. We spent nearly two weeks touring the Northern state of Rajistan with our trusty guide “Baba the transporter”. We spent hours glued to the windows of our roomy Ambassador car as we took in the streaming sights of everyday life in small villages. Baba would stop, allowing us
a chance to talk with locals in the fields and children skipping along dirt roads to/from school. We were always greeted with smiles and gestures of hospitality and respect…a warmness rarely felt from total strangers in other countries.
Now, some fun highlight from the North...easier to just list:
Holy Cows…everywhere!!! Roaming street and sidewalk…and the Holy Sh*t that is left behind to dodge or to dry and burn as fuel.
Modes of transportation...family of 5 on a scooter. Camel drawn farm cart, jalopy trucks built from spare parts.
Food-this is not American Indian food! Forget beef…it’s all holy. Best to go vegetarian.
People-can’t stress enough the warmness of the people. Women in the fields were the hardest working individuals we’ve ever witnessed. These farm wives could be seen pulling rice roots often while carrying children, and fully adorned in jewelyr and bright, beautiful gowns and with perfect make-up. I had a special respect for these women and all were quick to flash a smile and a enthusiastic wave. Amazing!
Temples- Too many to mention but the much deserved famous Taj Mahal is worth the drive to Agra. The monkeys of Jaipur make the hilly temples an amazing experience. The remote
feel only adds to the magic.
Safari in Ranthambore-Bengal tigers eluded us but leopards, monkeys, and crocs made it worthwhile.
We promised ourselves some real R&R on this trip and planned for a week in the South. Knowing that the Goa region is packed with tourists this time of year, we decided to head further South to the lesser travelled Kerala region. This region is known for the beaches, jungles and winding backwaters where the wildlife abounds. Our time was spent on the beaches of Cherrai, strolling the Portugese colonial town of Fort Cochin and finally settling in the hippy beach town of Varkala. This town has avoided the large scale development now invading much of the pretty coastline in the South. With it's high bluffs protecting the coved beaches, accessability or lack thereof has preserved much of the character here. We dined on fresh seafood straight from the town's small boats each night followed by conversation with folks from all over the world while sipping dollar beers.
Some fun memories:
The beautiful green jungles and reflective waters throughout. The colors are so vibrant.
Mango and Pineapple served up fresh on the beach.
Sitting atop the bluffs
of Varkala and watching the sun rising while enjoying a real espresso....not nescafe for once.
Avoiding the local men who feel completely comfortable staring at a bikini clad women...from 3 feet away! Never dangerous..but certainly annoying. Local women are sparse on the beaches but one bathing female tourist can draw 30 local men to the shore to view.
The hospitality of hotel staff was amazing...some of the best service we've seen anywhere in the world.
Dining by candlelight...the electricity to the tiny town would be cut for an hour every night. Just the sound of wind through the palm trees and the hundreds of lights of distant fishing boats in the distance..such a calming experience.
We bid you farewell until our next adventure.
There are more photos below