Published: January 20th 2013January 20th 2013
Less than two weeks until I fly and I'm feeling comfortably ready. Despite the surprisingly pricey month I've had gathering insurance, cash cards and equipment, I'm still going to be travelling with £7.5k carried on 2 separate bank cards. This should be more than enough for everything I plan to do, with a little left over for some indulgence in Thailand, and a few good nights out during Freshers 2013, and beyond.
The unwelcome sight of snow piling up on the garden furniture outside (as I write, probably about 5 inches) is stopping me working at my Chinese delivery job, and if the long-term forecast is right it won't be thawing for at least a week. Touch wood, Heathrow will be fine by the 1st of February.
Aneirin and I are looking to do a fairly unorthodox loop in my first (his only) month in India. The Kumbh Mela - a Hindu festival that, every 12 years, sets the record for the largest gathering of people in the world - is taking place throughout February and is bound to be a real 'once-in-a-lifetime' spectacle. 83 million Hindus are projected to swoop down on Allahabad over the 55-day bathing period, and we are planning on joining the hubbub on the 11th - the most holy day to bathe; this should be a good opportunity to see the country's most holy Brahmins in all their eccentric glory.
From the Ganges, we'll head up to Nepal for a short trek (probably in the most popular Annapurna region) and then rejoin the tourist trail, finishing in Delhi via Agra to view the Taj Mahal at the full moon on the 27th!
Life feels very much in limbo at the moment, so roll on February and my first taste of the backpacker's India!