Page 3 of GregCath Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Jakarta » Kepulauan Seribu February 8th 2014

One thing is certain, my line of work has some benefits: I get to travel to interesting places, and meet interesting people, all in a day's work. As you will see from the photos, most of my time was spent in meetings but people were keen to engage and get to know about Australian technology and innovation. After I (Greg) left the girls in Udaipur, I traveled to Delhi and its surrounds, Hyderabad and its surrounds, Jakarta (in Indonesia of course), and Pelalawan in Sumatra. A lot of this was facilitated by Austrade, but more importantly facilitated by a series of really optimistic committed, young(er) people. In Delhi I was met by Anirban and we visited a dairy institute as well as the Australian High ... read more
ICRISAT path to impact from field work
Agribusiness entrepreneurship group: ICRISAT
Talking about forage crops: ICRISAT

Asia » India February 1st 2014

While work at Seva Mandir was generally 6 days a week, we found time to explore in Udaipur and surrounding areas. Often we traveled with other interns, making a multicultural interesting bunch of people to travel with. After I have finished 1 month work, Elise and I took 5 days to travel north and west of Udaipur, still within Rajasthan.... read more
Prakesh - our yoga teacher
Overlooking Fateh Sagar Lake, with Udaipur in the distance
Peacocks everywhere

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur January 28th 2014

I am doing a 1 month internship with the NGO Seva Mandir in Udaipur. Elise is doing a 6 month internship. Elise learnt of Seva Mandir as she researched her plan for a career in international development. My work at Seva Mandir is in the health section, as compared with the education, empowerment, natural resources, governance sections. The philosophy of volunteering here is that the work you do both meets of the needs of the volunteer and those of the organisation. My project will be to write a report on a pilot project of a new maternal and child health clinic associated with a village hospital. This is a new model of care for the area, building upon an existing system of traditional birthing attendants and maternal and child assistants (Bal Sakhis). Neither of these groups ... read more
A much welcomed child
Women and children at the clinic
Pregnant woman

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur January 24th 2014

The night was pretty long as we heard all the various groups of travellers leave for the airport at all sorts of hours. After the call to prayer at 0530 we could hear the large security guy of the guesthouse talking in the marbled lobby - big people find it hard to whisper. We enjoyed a Idly and masala breakfast with our German friends and then simply hung out until it was our turn to leave. I was a little concerned about a scene given that we had already asked a tuk-tuk guy to take us to the airport and now a taxi had been ordered instead. Somehow the scene never eventuated. I was actually glad because it is a long way to Kochi airport, and the weather was hot. Not perfect tuk-tuk conditions. Also this ... read more
Great excitment
Lake palce - from our haveli window
The trio at the city palace

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey January 22nd 2014

We left the Periya Hotel at about 0700 loading ourselves, and having our gear loaded into 7 seater Chevs. We climbed for a while in Eastern Kerala and apparently we reached something like 700 m. The landscape became lush again and opened out into tea plantations. Quite steep mountains and ravines with the high points often occupied by a church or church school - sounds a bit like Brisbane! We saw Fraciscans, Jesuits, Lutherans and Adventists. At the top of our climb we stopped at a large church that had been built by the locals, apparently more or less under conditions of slavery during the English time. Quite a simply decorated church with the symbols we have come to recognise in Southern India, for example a metal cross on top of the steeple incorporating a large ... read more
More tea!
On their way to school
OH&S for construction

Asia » India » Kerala » Thekkady January 20th 2014

It is often a surprise to have a good night's sleep without too many beeps or other annoyances. This was a good night. I woke early to arrange photographs of Graham Leach for Facebook, it being one year since his demise. Catherine and I loaded them at the last minute before we left the hotel. By this time we had also accepted that our blog entries were going to be a fair way behind real time - just too much going on. Today we were headed for Periya in the mountains of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Breakfast was a bit of a chaotic affair with a poorly lit buffet, and no concept of time-and-motion. People all over the place. We sat next to two younger men who were some sorts of sails executives in a major ... read more
Jumping through rings of fire
Rice picker

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu January 19th 2014

Most of this day was spent getting to Madurai. We left the Pondy hotel at about 0700 and went straight to one of the other french bakeries for breakfast. Nice coffee and muffins or french toast. Not excessive in semi-rural India. French bread sticks for lunch. A few hours later we were at the Villupuram Junction waiting for a train. There was going to be a bit of a wait so I walked the platform photographing trains and people and the interactions between them. We were excited to come across several teams who were vaccinating children against polio - part of the campaign that has achieved a polio-free status for this populous country. They seemed to stop every family with a small child, give them some information, give the child a few drops of oral vaccine, ... read more
Madurai temple west gate
Madurai temple detailed reliefs

Asia » India January 18th 2014

We rose early to join a yoga class at the hotel. It was run by an Indian guy who spoke some German and so he said, had worked in China in hospitality. He set the class appropriate challenges incorporating chairs and wooden blocks into the practice so that people felt they were achieving enough. We did modified versions of upward and downward dog, warrior #2, shoulder stand incorporating a chair, He was actually quite helpful for me as he pointed out some leg muscles that we not carrying sufficient load. Jorg and Hans (now affectionately called Steinbeiser) were part of the practice and were particularly funny. Hans in particular was breathing inappropriately heavily and entertaining the teach and all. After the practice, Catherine and I went to a German bakery that we had seen the night ... read more
Rice transport
Working cattcle
Vision of Auroville

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram January 17th 2014

Actually it wasn’t a bad night. The carriages are air-conditioned – evaporative systems one of the germans later explained, and pretty sound-proof, so little clackety clack. The biggest problem was the jerking starts and stops. Let’s not mention the washrooms. By the time we got ourselves awake, lightly fed and packed we had arrived at Chennai station. This is the end of the line so DJ was not so concerned. Catherine and I shouldered our backpacks and followed the group out to the carpark and to the next minibus. Chennai station had more of the hallmarks of Indian stations as we have seen them elsewhere in the country. Dirty and smelly, with plenty of street people milling around to beg or whatever. Chennai is a major military post and so beggars and dozens of fit young ... read more
Pancha Rathas structure
Within Pancha Rathas
Shore Temple

Asia » India » Karnataka » Mysore January 15th 2014

15 Jan: Masinagudi to Mysore Alarm went off at about 0600 for all in the room. This was probably a bit of a relief as the bed was hard and we were fully rested. We joined a guide, 2 others and Anne from the group on a bird watching tour. We walked around the 17 acre property and saw: · Drangoes (or drongoes?) · Shrikes · A pair of malibar horn bills · A crested eagle hawk · 2 owlets · Tracks of a mongoose · Evidence of a slothbear breaking down a termite nest · And elephant poo We also saw painted cattle for the first time. Back to the retreat for a hearty breakfast. We settled our bills and the various tips and got back into the minibus headed toward Mysore. We followed ... read more
Family group visiting the temple
Temple crowd

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