Page 4 of DavidandSara Travel Blog Posts

Asia » India » Gujarat » Ahmedabad November 10th 2018

Sara is feeling rather better. It's 8am and we decide to walk the heritage trail on our own, a round trip of about 3 miles. Just outside our hotel and opposite the Sidi Sayeed mosque are about a dozen beggars in their usual position seeking alms. There are people sleeping in the street and on charpoys, the whole place is incredibly dirty and smelly but still basically asleep. The first place we encounter is one of the great gateways into the Badhra fort. Sadly much of this has either been demolished or turned into government offices so there's not much to see. Next to it is a Hindu temple that is giving hot meals to the poor wretches who present themselves and sit quietly in two lines in front of the temple. Women gypsy beggars appear ... read more
Jamma Masjid, Ahmedabad
Teen Darwaza, Ahmedabad
Rani no Hajiro, Ahmedabad

Asia » India » Gujarat » Ahmedabad November 9th 2018

Sadly we have to leave the idyllic pleasure of the Taj Mahal Palace. As usual hotels worry about traffic and we arrive at Mumbai airport ludicrously early at 930am. The queues look horrendous with the hordes returning from their Diwali holiday, but Indigo have an enormously efficient queuing system for bag drop and we are through security by 10am. The security check ignores three bottles of water they find in our hand luggage, but confiscate one bottle – “Water not allowed sir”. “Can I keep these bottles though?” “Yes sir”. Hmmm....maybe he was thirsty. The new Mumbai domestic terminal is a huge improvement on the old one, efficient, light, and spacious. Indigo are also a revelation, a seemingly brand new A320 neo, with more cabin luggage space than BA business and plenty of leg room. We ... read more
Adalaj stepwell looking up
Adalaj stepwell
Gandhi's home at the ashram

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai » Colaba November 7th 2018

We had earmarked today to visit Elephanta Island, but David was not feeling his best and Sara realised that as it’s Diwali, the crowds were likely to be worse than usual. As the trip was going to involve five hours or more in the open sun, with a lot of walking and 2 hours of choppy rides on the ferry, we decided to give it a miss. The size of the queues for the ferry more than vindicated our decision! Instead, we walked south from the hotel into Colaba, a small peninsula in the very south of Mumbai. At 8.30 it was very peaceful, with empty roads and none of the shops open. We passed affluent house and hotels fronting onto the harbour, then headed down the main road. The map showed an area of docks, ... read more
Bell tower, Colaba docks Mumbai
The Afghan Church, Mumbai
Notches for rifles in the pews of the Afghan Church, Mumbai

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai November 6th 2018

It is not the most auspicious start to our seventh trip to India, 1.5 hours late departing due to a bird strike on our plane as it came in to land. Once on board BA seem to confirm that they are continuing their progression to a budget airline even in business class. What a sad deterioration in our national flag carrier. Arriving in Mumbai and driving in to the city with our driver, we are struck by just how massive the city has become. It is clearly affluent but the squalor of the slums cannot be completely hidden behind the fences and railings for mile after mile along the highway. Compared to Delhi the driving seems almost civilised and there is much less honking of car horns. It’s smoggy too, but not as bad as Delhi. ... read more
Gateway of India
Raj era building
Clock tower, High Court Mumbai

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Munduk June 18th 2018

We definitely want to stay longer in Munduk Moding! It’s a beautiful place to relax in but also offers a range of activities. Yesterday, Saturday, we trekked to two nearby waterfalls with a hotel guide. After setting off down the road through the village, we soon turned off onto a narrow concrete path just wide enough for a motorbike, which led into terraces cultivated with a huge range of different trees and plants, and tiny villages with homes hidden amid the trees, clinging to the slopes. Everywhere here is steep! The farmers grow a mix of crops together to maintain soil fertility – orange trees with carrots, cabbages with chilli plants and coffee trees and so on. Every now and then we had to step to one side as a pair of brothers made their way ... read more
Munduk Waterfall
Bulbul bird in African Tulip flower
Gunung Agung is currently taking a nap

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Munduk June 15th 2018

We spend three nights at Siladen doing nothing. My sister Angela would be horrified at such a waste of time as she spends her time here diving backwards off boats and taking pictures of fishes 100 feet down. But we enjoy our time of idleness! On our last day there we take the boat back to Manado where the resort bus is waiting to take us e to the airport. Suddenly all the oncoming traffic starts to flash at our driver. He stops and checks the tyres. We have a puncture. Our chance of getting to the airport on time suddenly seems very slim. But he stops at a roadside ‘garage’ – the sort that sells petrol in bottles for motorbikes – and uses their airline to reinflate the tyre. Won’t do the job for long, ... read more
Tirta Emmpul temple purification pool
Presidential palace behind Tirta Empul
Gunung Batur, Bali

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tomohon June 11th 2018

A day that started well, went downhill but recovered. After a night disturbed by the sound of loud music from very nearby that went till after midnight (‘It’s the Baptists, you know, always celebrating something’ muttered the hotel owner, somewhat mysteriously) we said a sad farewell to the Gardenia Country Inn. It has been like staying at a friend's home, and we have chatted twice with Leonard the owner, a retired pathologist. We are still the only residents. A nervous young man who is always desperate to please has been hovering our room since around 630am (we are making a 9am departure) with a red wheelbarrow. We realise Lesley the manager had deputed him to move our luggage when we were ready to check out and he did not want not to be there when the ... read more
Bats and bat wings for sale
A slice of python for dinner...
Lake Linow

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tomohon June 10th 2018

We are, of course, the only guests at breakfast. Fruit juice so thick it’s more like puree, a plate of fresh cut fruit and a club sandwich appear. The latter seems an odd item for breakfast, but as that seems to be it, we tuck in it. It’s very tasty. As we take our last mouthful, a plate of fried rice arrives. It is followed by bacon, a large omelette and some deep fried savoury balls with an unknown but tasty filling. We definitely can’t eat all this! We set off at 8am with today's guide Modi to Gunung Mahawu (pronounced “Ma –how”). Everyone is off to church today in their Sunday best, the ladies especially, first service apparently at 0530hrs. We drive through winding roads and across flat cultivated land and paddy fields, stopping on ... read more
Gunung Mahawu crater
Gunung Lokon showing crater
Lokon eruption in 2012

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tangkoko National Park June 8th 2018

Another early departure and flight from Makassar, and we are met at Manado airport in North Sulawesi by Jemy, our driver, who takes us to Tangkoko Lodge, about two hours away. This part of Sulawesi is much more densely forested than where we have been in the south, palm trees abounding and waving in the fairly breezy wind. Also very prominent is a plethora of churches, in various architectural styles, some traditional and some very modern. A lot of new churches are going up too. Jemy is a pentecostalist, and tells us there are many denominations around here. Tangkoko Lodge is basic. We decide to think of it as a homestay not a hotel. But at least the bed is reasonably comfortable and there are chairs to sit on! We have a couple of hours rest ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Makassar June 7th 2018

Today we have a 9 hour drive back to Makassar. It’s every bit as wearing as that sounds, broken only by a few comfort breaks at petrol stations, a cup of tea in a cafe with a spectacular mountain view, and a very tasty lunch pre-arranged in somebody’s home (we rather enjoy these lunches the travel agent has arranged, so much nicer than a roadside cafe, not that any are open in Ramadan). We’re grateful to get to the hotel and have the first chance all holiday to use the swimming pool and relax for a little while. As we had lunch at 11.15, we head for the restaurant at 6.30. The hotel has two, one on the 20th floor with good views. We arrive to be told it is full with a 2 hour wait. ... read more
Our tuna being prepared
Such a range of colours
Our ferry out to the island

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