Keep Smiling's Guestbook



23rd March 2016

Wow
This looks like a great place to visit. Hope to get there some day!
23rd March 2016

That was 7 years ago...
...but Kerala, and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in particular, are still vivid memories. If you're at all interested in birdlife, the Salim Ali Sanctuary is a 'must' during any visit to Kerala - in much the same way as Keoladeo (Bharatpur) is if you go to Rajasthan in the north. Read about the latter in my blog from 2013 entitled 'A Birder Paradise in Rajasthan?' (https://www.travelblog.org/Asia/India/Rajasthan/Keoladeo-National-Park/blog-777525.html). India is a great place to visit for birds and other wildlife, culture, history, people, religions... It has it all!
25th February 2016

We loved the food, drinks, views and doggies at the Sunset Cafe :)
I couldn't believe the number of tourists (predominantly men) who were blatantly disregarding the 'no photos' signs at the ghats. Yes most of the women were fully clothed, but that's not really the point is it? The hippy culture is more alive and well in Pushkar than any other hippy place I've seen. We stayed in a hotel that was a 20 minute walk from the lake, so could get away from the tacky markets and kale smoothie joints, and experience a slightly more local culture. I know lots of people really love Pushkar, but I think once was definitely enough for us too.
26th February 2016

I'm pleased it wasn't just me...
...who found Pushkar a bit odd! I spent a lot of time on the roof taking in the local life, including the resident pigs and cows outside the door, langurs raiding the neighbours, kids playing cricket... That was probably the best thing about the town! Oh, and yes, the dogs are still enjoying all the attention at the Sunset Café.
25th February 2016

Never a dull moment!
Hello Mike, More great stuff from delightful India - I particularly like the Northern Pintail, but you already know that! Great pictures as ever and an ever widening circle of friends. We did meet a young couple whilst out on a walk in the wilds of Spain. and they turned out to be ardent followers of our Travelblog! David and Janice .....greyhairednomads
25th February 2016

The Pintail was for you!
I think there was another one on a previous blog too!
25th February 2016
Bar-headed Geese in flight

Photography
Hi Mike, how do you take such wonderful pictures of birds in flight? What is the secret camera setting?!
25th February 2016
Bar-headed Geese in flight

There's no secret!
Any camera will do - you just need a fast shutter speed. Fast reactions help too - these geese were already making a run for it! If it helps, I used a 100-300mm telephoto lens at 300mm, 1/3200sec, f/5.6, ISO-400 for this shot. Keep smiling!
25th February 2016

We had exactly the same reaction when we went to Pushkar! To add to your list of dislikes - all the cafes selling falafel (which I have nothing against in the right place) and badly cooked Western food. We had at least smuggled some gin and tonic in. And we did have a good laugh at the two transvestites who go round bribing people to stop them making a scene at weddings.
25th February 2016

I knew I'd forgotten something...
...the G&T kit, dammit! The hijra (transgender/transvestites) are a well-known 'third gender' throughout India and their antics aren't confined to weddings. I've encountered one on a train! They'd never get away with it in the UK, would they?!
25th February 2016

Travel Blog friends
We've met several of the people who blog on Travel blog and the friendship began by reading their blogs and commenting. As a matter of fact our friend Brendan who we are currently traveling with is one of those people. Like minded interest make for great friends. Your photos as always exceptional. Maybe our paths will cross.
25th February 2016

It's a small world...
...I haven't yet met any TravelBloggers (other than the Grey Haired Nomads - but relatives don't count!), but who knows...? On my flight from London to Delhi last month, I sat next to a young man who had just moved to a neighbouring town (where I used to work) from a town a long distance away (where I lived for 21 years) and who had uncles who lived within a few houses of the one in which I was born! It really is a small world
24th February 2016
Leaving the tomb of Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti

Great photos
You've really taken some great ones.
24th February 2016
Leaving the tomb of Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti

Photos?
I've used cameras for almost 60 years, so I've had a lot of practice - but I could still do with some more!
24th February 2016

Trying to love Pushkar
Your blog made me laugh. Some want to go back in time to experience something that passed them by before they were born and they'll never have it. In our travels we have found some towns just don't interest us as much as others and often times the ones we expect to like. Glad you are blogging again.
24th February 2016

I really did try... Honest!
If I'd been there 50 years ago, I'm sure I would have loved it!
22nd February 2016

As a woman of a "certain age"...
I, too, remember the Flower Power days, the smell of patchouli oil always brings it back. But it doesn't feel very charming now, and I can do without all the souvenir shops all selling the same tat. Really enjoy your writing and your pictures. I look forward to the next installment.
22nd February 2016

Patchouli
Yes, Karen, patchouli masked certain weed-like scents of those days! Alas, my travels around India for this year are about to come to an end - just one more blog to go. But, I plan to be back there in 2017 with the Grey Haired Nomads on a spiritual and wildlife quest that will take us from the source of the Ganges in the very north right down to its delta in the Bay of Bengal. Watch this space - oh, and keep smiling!
22nd February 2016

Hello!
Hi Mike! Yes, its good to be here & reading your blogs :) However, yes i have moved to Adelaide (South Australia) couple of months ago! Do you have any plan to visit? If so than it would be nice indeed! Take care
22nd February 2016

No plans to visit Oz unfortunately, but I hope you are happily settled there and that you may find time to blog from your new home territory! Keep smiling!
22nd February 2016

Nice remembrance!
It was nice to read about the trip which reminds me about the life of South Asian people. I'm from Bangladesh and used to face similar kind of experiences regarding their beliefs & religion. I think not only Muslims pilgrims are become commercialized, happening with others as well. Last year, I have visited "Kamakhya Temple" of Assam which is a renowned temple in India. It was widely known & popular due to black magic. However, that seemed very typical & commercial to me. And truly, i didn't feel any excitement rather that experience broken the images of my mind that I kept for for long time!!! Anyway, you explored a lot about India, unfortunately that I couldn't even my country was neighbor. Great! Keep going ... :)
22nd February 2016

Thanks Arif. Good to hear from you. It's a pity, but inevitable, that most pilgrimage places do eventually become a source of income for so many of their inhabitants. Commercialism in Pushkar certainly spoiled the spiritual experience for me. BTW are you still in Bangladesh or following your dreams elsewhere?
17th February 2016

A lonely man in Ajmer
More good stuff Mike. Love the panorama of the guys in the urinal. Thanks for sharing. David
17th February 2016

That's another unholy mess you've got me into..
Perhaps it's a good job I didn't take a photo from the opposite direction!

Tot: 0.165s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 29; qc: 140; dbt: 0.0671s; 1; m:jupiter w:www (104.131.28.133); sld: 1; ; mem: 2.1mb