Friday, 9 May 2008

Where to begin?

I am struggling to know where to begin, it's been so long! We haven't really been near computers for enough time to be able to update this in ages..... But here's a quick rundown on what's been happening:

After our safari we had 48 hours on a train from Kerala to Delhi ready for Mum's arrival at the end of April. We had a brilliant and eventful week - as the photos show we went to Agra for the Taj Mahal, etc, Jaipur for the beautiful Amber Fort (I have never seen so many elephants and camels wondering around), Ranthambore National Park for another safari and a suite in a fantastic hunting lodge with stunning views.... Back to Jaipur and then back to Delhi to say a tearful goodbye to Mum a week later. During this time my camera broke (cue broken heart which sort of repaired itself when I shelled out more than I could afford for a new one), we had a violent encounter on a train, a four hour delay on another train, the temperate hit FORTY FOUR.... it was one adventure after another.

After Delhi we caught another overnight train to Varanasi. For those of you who don't know, Varanasi has the Ganges running through it which is the centre of the life of everyone who lives there. They bathe there, do their laundry, cremate their dead, teach their children to swim - everything. Consequently it's one of the dirtiest stretches of river in the world. If you ever visit do NOT ask your hotel to do your laundry, you know where it'll end up!

Seeing as most Indians go there to die/say goodbye to their dead, it is a surprisingly lively and vibrant place. Adrian and I were blessed by a holy man (see above!) and we met some amazing
people.

Now we're in Darjeeling. We've been here since Wednesday and although I've been in bed most of the time with 'flu (poor me) we love it here. The scenery (when the cloud clears) is breathtaking and it's cooler which is a welcome relief. Tomorrow we're off to Nepal!

3 comments:

Daisy Cou said...

violent encounter on a train? do tell! x

Amy said...

Well....

We couldn't get any posh seats for one of our train journeys so had to go for normal 2nd class - always hectic crowdedness.

I could see there would be a bit of a scrum (as always with the cheap seats) so positioned myself by the door, not realising that I was standing in 'get trampled to death' position. I held on for dear life, determined to get the three of us seats and ignoring Mum and Adrian's shouts to abandon ship.

Managed to fight my way on to the carriage, getting whacked in the face by elbows and bags. People were pulling my rucksack to try and throw me off! But I would not allow it. I was a very determined young lady!

I shouldn't have bothered - men were literally casting aside women and children and making them cry to get their seats. I finally got some and put myself down in between my two bags, so plenty of room. But then people were pulling at the bags, and sitting on them and yelling at me in Hindi. I was apalled when one fat man just came along and sat down on a tiny lovely lady (about my age) sat opposite me. People were piled on top of each other in the luggage racks above, legs everywhere. I knew there was no way we could travel three hours like that (and Adrian and Mum didn't look like they'd ever fight their way through to me anyway) so I gave up in the end.

But not before shoving the fat guy off the lady (sending a load more toppling like dominoes) so that the nice lady could have my seat. I told them they were all a disgrace to their country!!!!! They were tearing strips off each other! I was so scared while I was trying to keep our seats that my legs were trembling.

It was all OK in the end - we travelled illegally in normal class! Poor mum though, I think it put her off Indian trains for life!

x

Daisy cou said...

so kinda like the victoria line during rush hour...
go moid! i'm very impressed!
you will be pleased to hear that i have bought 2 pairs of shoes today.
x