Page 11 of RENanDREW Travel Blog Posts


Asia » India » Rajasthan » Madhogarh January 26th 2015

HE SAID... We woke early and prepared our packs for a long travel day, as we were leaving Agra and travelling west to Madhogarh, a small rural village in Tehsil Bassi. We had a four and a half hour road trip in a public bus and a 45 minute trip in a jeep to our hotel. We headed to the hotel restaurant (Hotel Taj Resorts) at 6am and opted for the buffet breakfast. We wouldn’t be stopping for lunch until at least 2pm, so I prepared myself for the day with juice, coffee, mango shake, porridge, masala omelette (spicy omelette with red onions and green chillies) and jeera aloo(potatoes seasoned with cumin seeds). It was pretty good (and there was nothing else available in walking distance from the hotel at that time of day anyway). After ... read more
fort madhogarh
fort madhogarh
fort madhogarh lunch

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra January 25th 2015

HE SAID... We were leaving Delhi and travelling south to Agra, and we had a very early start. I’d set the alarm for 3.45am, as we needed to leave the hotel by 5am to catch our 6am train. However, we overslept and didn’t wake until 4.30am. We managed to shower, pack and be in the foyer by 4.55am – it’s the fastest we’ve ever moved in the morning. We jumped into a taxi and made our way through the city’s thick morning fog to New Delhi station. We arrived at 5.30am, walked along the busy platform and waited for our train. When it arrived we clambered on board, found our seats and jostled for space to store our packs in the overhead racks. We lurched out of Delhi at 6am and travelled through thick fog for ... read more
agra red fort
agra red fort
agra red fort

Asia » India » National Capital Territory » Delhi January 23rd 2015

HE SAID... We were leaving Kochi and heading north to Delhi. We woke at 4am and prepared ourselves for the day ahead. We left our tranquil homestay in Fort Kochi at 5am and made our way to Kochi Domestic Airport in a taxi for our early morning flight to Delhi. The taxi driver was from another universe. He looked way past retirement, and he drove accordingly. He was on the wrong side of the road for the first few minutes until we pointed it out to him. He then slowly and methodically negotiated the roadwork mayhem from Kochi to the airport. Every now and again he would summon the courage to pass a crawling truck laden with logs, only to pull in and slow down in front of it, so it was forced to overtake us. ... read more
kochi airport
butter naans and missi roti
jama masjid

Asia » India » Kerala » Kochi January 22nd 2015

HE SAID... We were leaving Kerala Backwaters and heading north to Kochi. It rained heavily during the night, so our sleep was broken, but we woke around 6am feeling reasonably refreshed. We showered, prepared our packs and sat down to idlis(steamed cakes made from fermented rice and lentil batter), coconut curry and hot tea for breakfast at 8am. I had a slight scare with the netbook, which had lost all mouse and keyboard functionality. No matter how many times I re-booted, it remained unresponsive. I hadn’t backed up, so I felt pretty dejected. I’d resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to buy a new laptop in Delhi, and that I’d lost all the travel notes I’d typed over the past two weeks. It was an awful realisation. We left our home stay in Karumady ... read more
kerala backwaters sunrise
kerala backwaters homestay host
kerala backwaters homestay breakfast

Asia » India » Kerala » Alleppey January 21st 2015

HE SAID... We were leaving Thekkady and heading west to Kerala Backwaters. We woke early and grabbed a chai(tea) at a local coffee shop (Coffee Day), before checking out and jumping into a minibus at 8am. We had a four and a half bus trip and a one and half hour boat trip ahead of us – we were heading to River Side Retreat Homestay in Karumady (Ambalapuzha). We slowly wound our way downwards out of Thekkady through tea and coffee plantations, stopping at the slightly bizarre Pattumala Matha Pilgrim Shrine at 9am before continuing our downward journey on the narrow winding roads of the Silk Mountains. This was a breathtaking trip, as we occasionally met public buses driving at breakneck speeds on hairpin corners with sheer drops off the roadside with no guard rails. We ... read more
pattumala matha pilgrim shrine
kerala backwaters
homestay lunch

Asia » India » Kerala » Periyar National Park January 19th 2015

HE SAID... We were leaving Madurai and heading west to Thekkady. Ren woke early and headed out to buy water and a few packets of electrolyte for me as I had been ill during the night. I hydrated, packed and made my way down to reception. I wasn’t feeling too bad, but I was looking forward to the destination more than ever. Ren was coming down with a cold/flu, so we weren’t travelling well. About an hour into the trip I started feeling back to normal, but Ren was getting worse. We were making our way westwards across the bottom tip of India, so we were travelling through rural landscapes filled with rice, palm, banana, sugarcane and cardamom plantations. We had a brief stop in Theni to buy some throat lozenges for Ren before we started ... read more
abraham’s spice garden
abraham’s spice garden
abraham’s spice garden

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Madurai January 18th 2015

HE SAID... We were leaving Pondicherry and heading south west to Madurai. We woke early and walked to Hot Breads bakery to pick up some snacks (croissants and savoury rolls) for breakfast and lunch. We left Hotel Surguru in a minibus at 9am and headed to Villupuram Junction. We waited at the train station and jumped on the train as it slowed – we only had two minutes to get on before it lurched off again. We had a six hour trip to Madurai ahead of us. We shared our berth on the sleeper train with four Indian army officers who were very friendly. I started reading “Stories told by the Mother II” which a fellow traveller had picked up at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. I put it down momentarily, and one of the ... read more
villupuram station
villupuram station
villupuram station

Asia » India » Pondicherry January 17th 2015

HE SAID... We were leaving Mahabalipuram and heading south to Pondicherry. We woke at 6.30am and headed out to a local chai wallah (tea seller) at Mother Chai Shop for a morning chai. The chai (tea) stand was tiny and the street was empty, so we were happy to be there. While Ren befriended a local dog who was after pats and scraps, I watched the wallah interrupt making our chai to give a young street kid a piece of cake. The kid just walked up to the stand and pointed to the glass jar the cake was in. When the wallah gave it to him, he took it in both hands, put it to his lips and kissed it before munching into it. It was an incredible act of generosity, especially as the wallahcould barely ... read more
mother chai stall
mother chai stall
auroville

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Mamallapuram January 16th 2015

HE SAID... We left Mysore at 8.30pm the previous night and embarked on an 11 hour overnight train journey to Chennai. We sat and talked with two young students who were sharing our berth before settling into our bunks around 10.30pm. The gentle rocking of the train had me asleep in no time. I woke at 6.30am and found some room on my bunk to catch up on my travel notes. We arrived in Chennai at 7am, scrambled off the train, negotiated the throngs of people pouring into Chennai Central and jumped into a minibus to begin our journey south. We were halfway through our south India travels, and we were heading down the eastern coastline of this vast country. We’d barely left the train station before pulling into the Emarald Hotel for breakfast, where we ... read more
chennai central
chennai central
five rathas

Asia » India » Karnataka » Mysore January 14th 2015

HE SAID... We left Mudumalai National Park at 10.30am and continued our northward journey, this time heading for Mysore. India is often termed the “land of the farmer”, and we could easily see why as we drove through vast expanses of agricultural land of cotton, palm trees, bananas, sugar cane and rice. Every so often we’d drive through a tiny village, but most of the time the rural landscape stretched to the horizon. Slow agricultural machinery, trucks and farm animals were sharing very narrow roads with speeding buses, motorbikes and cars – which equated to very dangerous driving conditions. We came across an accident between a bus and a car, but it didn’t appear that anyone was injured. We dropped into the Chamundi Hill Temple on our way into Mysore. We wandered through the popular and ... read more
chamundi hill
chamundi hill
chamundi hill




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