December 2016
  • Day12

    Doah ....a deer!

    December 13, 2016 in India ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    13/12/16

    Oh dear!

    Safari day @ Ranthambore National Park

    We get picked up at 6.30am to go on our safari. We're in a 6 seater Gypsey which is like a jeep with the top off pretty cool. We've been briefed by the locals that we're not likely to see a tiger or bear so we're not holding our breath, hence why we've booked two safaris (sunrise & sunset) to maximise our chances whilst we're still here!

    There's another English couple which made for some good Banter and then some dullards from far and wide... No exchanges with those oxygen thief's! The driver looks normal and the ranger explains that all Rangers have had to obtain a BSc in wildlife conservation to be part of the 112 strong team. This seemed a good omen that this is a conservation project and not just a large zoo!

    We're straining and straining as we go looking for tigers! Every orange bush or log is potential! Dear, dear, different type of dear, spotted dear, big antlered deer, dead dear, baby dear every type of deer.... Oh we were so lucky! And gutted.... The sun was up and so was our time.... Then Noblet saw it.... An orange behind lighting up a shady hollow, he stops the car and shushes everyone, 'there, there!' We look and get the reply... 'That's a spotted dear' from the guide! Noblet is the butt of the cars jokes from the rest of the trip!

    We're about to turn around when another ranger talks to our ranger, through the language barrier we managed to glean that there was something in some bushes, we whizzed around in the car and raced to the other side of a patch of trees next to a watering hole.... Drive along the road, we u-turn, come back to the ranger, both cars then complete the same drive u turn drive about three times, all the while the Rangers being super alert. Nothing. We stop, definitely out of time.... Then the ranger hears the alarm call of one of the dears, it sounds miles away. The ranger signals, the driver knows what to do and we drive at break neck speed along a dusty road, we drive about 400m and slam on the breaks... And there it is. A MASSIVE TIGER!!! The biggest set of bollocks you've ever seen!!! It was huge. Lumbering along, we were about 20m
    From it and followed it in the car, he didn't give two hoots about us and continued about his business. He stomped past us.... We were expecting a graceful cat but he walked like an umper lumper. The colours on him were so striking and he was like illuminous against the backdrop of the jungle! We had not needed to spend all our time squinting it may as well have been wearing a bright yellow turban with a flashing light on it!!!! Saying 'I'm here come at me!' And no jokes he was massive!!!! Actually massive!!! Probs double the size I was expecting.... The jungle book made sheer khan seen smaller me thinks!!!

    So there we are. A tiger brilliant. Noblet's all smug.... 'I told you we didn't need two safaris' the driver and ranger are very pleased.... And the odd balls in the front may be but we can't tell because they're still wearing medical masks?

    We get back absolutely buzzing, we're late out of the park and the last ones out, it was confirmed we were the only two cars who'd had a sighting! Brilliant!

    Pressure off we head to the shop to get some train tickets from a rep (it is basically impossible to buy train tickets in India so totes worth the 10% extra to avoid hours of hassle.) so we're confirmed as leaving Ranthambore at 10.30pm arriving at Delhi at 4.30am (no accommodation needed winner!) whilst there we're chatting to a guy about our chances of seeing a Sloth Bear (he's been going out for 5 years a couple of times a week and only seen one once) so we write off our hopes of doing a jungle book remake and hope instead for more tiger action!

    Eat at a dodgy hotel in one of the worst States of repair we've seen. Especially as it advertises its self as a luxury resort. Can imagine being very disappointed if we'd have booked here!

    Head back after beers for our second safari covered in citronella.

    This time we're in with our close second LFTs (Canadians) they can be hard work.... Maybe coz a lot are basically French?!

    Head out on the road very chilled out, unlike our companions who hadn't yet seen a tiger and so were very antsy about getting on with the whole thing!

    We start driving going in through an unorthodox route and we thing we've got a bad zone (10 zones and each morning each vehicle is randomly assigned to a zone and this is the only area where you can drive).

    Within 10 minutes we SEE A BLOODY SLOTH BEAR!!! Follow it up the park for like 30 mins as it digs for termites....chills out etc!

    Got to go too exciting!!!

    Back to Delhi on sleeper train!!! Obviously there were cows on the platform... Noblet was thrilled to see one go down the stairs!
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  • Day11

    BOARed of Jaipur!

    December 12, 2016 in India ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

    12/12/16

    Jaipur to Ranthambore

    We got upgraded last night as an error on the hotel website over booked them so we were taken by a free taxi to this amazing hotel (better than the grot box we were expecting at £16)

    Super wifi, clean sheets, hand towels, hot water, air con, TV with ENGLISH films, and a buffet breakfast with omelette, pancakes, parentha, juice the works. So we had a great nights sleep.

    We had a good look round Jaipur and saw city palace, which if I'm honest is a bit underwhelming considering the other stuff we'd seen such as **** ask Noblet I've forgotten its name! It had two giant silver bowls (biggest single piece of silver in the world) taller than Noblet and wider than me!!

    Also a fancy pantsy room with gold everywhere but nothing on UK standards of fancy.

    Ran out of time to see the Amber fort which was a shame!!

    So we got a Tuk Tuk for the second time with an absolutely mental driver who was awful, they are all pretty bad anyway but this guy took the biscuit, he managed to get himself boxes in by a wagon and a central reservation.... Brilliant. However progress has been made on adjusting to this way of driving, where in Kathmandu my heart rate got up to 117 I stayed at a steady 65 so apparently the body is getting used to this craziness. The thing about the Tuk Tuks is that they turn on a sixpence, the drivers know this and use it to squirm through traffic, but every time you feel like the things going to fall over. It's basically a tall reliant robin!

    We had to go and get the train again!!

    This would be more of a challenge than last time as, although we have paid for a ticket, we have no confirmed seat.... As have 250 odd other people.

    The trains work like this

    The choo choo bit at the front

    15 sleeper carriages (holding around 110 people per carriage)

    10 3rd class AC (blankets included with AC) holding around 60 people per carriage

    5 2nd class AC (as above with feet warmers)

    2/3 1st class carriages (food etc included)

    Catering carriage (3)

    Luggage (1/2)

    So these things are MASSIVELY long. It takes around 15 mins to walk the length of one they are huge! Helpfully they label the carriages roughly on lit signage so you know where to stand so it doesn't take ages to get everyone on.... It still does by the way, they're Indians, they do everything except drive and talk at half pace.... Trains are regularly 3 hours late, some of this is because trains are scheduled to stop for two mins per station but it ends up being 5/10 whilst everyone nips off to get a newspaper full of vegetable pakoras with chillies and A child's tea set cup of chai (tea)

    Anyway, we have no seat. We think, sack it we'll go to 3rd class and upgrade (we've been told we can do this by the station master and some wobbly headed local men who are travelling in 3rd) did I mention they wobble their heads to say yes it's very confusing. Noblet has it down but I look like I'm attempting some kind of Shakira shimmy (SHAKIRA SHAKIRA!!)

    We sit in the gantry in 3rd being too British to push our way on and assume someone's seat like these lot. We patiently wait for the conductor to come down... He promptly throws us off and angrily States no upgrading no no no.... Good job he didn't fine us as it would've been an excessive £12 fine! (Or three months in prison). By the way the people who pretended properly to be 3rd and weren't got away with it.... Go hard or go home hoblets FFS #bottlejobs

    So our next issue is the trains about to leave, we are laden with luggage and we have to find a carriage.... We get on the first one we see and as we do the train starts moving, so Indiana jones (in slow mo). We're now in a carriage.... We walk through... Men shouting at us not here not here, find the first people that don't speak English and just sit next to them. When in Rome. We also hung out of the train on this journey, pretty cool .... Oh fuck lamppost !

    Drama.... Not for long as within two hours we're in Ranthambore National Park and what a difference two hours makes.

    No smog!!!! Fresh air!!! Hallelujah!!

    We get off the train and are not hounded by taxi drivers but instead children not asking for money but chocolate.... Mister mister can you give any chocolate and the. About 3 join in! We were like sorry we've not got any!!! They were like ok good night mwah mwah and blowing us kisses. This was the nicest encounter we'd had with kids so far.... Clearly he rural life is better for most as everyone here seems to be well fed, poor but not hungry as they can grow their own food.

    Smashing basic hotel with GREEN GRASS, a bathroom that has no insects residing another Brucey bonus which the team high fives about.

    No beer on the menu so head out to find some Kingfisher Ultra (labelled between 6/12%) not sure on the consistency of the blend but it's handy on the pocket.

    Id spotted a place which said BBQ on the way in so we walked the 5k or so to it not knowing what to expect.

    On the way there are wild boar running around everywhere just in the street... No pigs just boar.... And little boarlets brilliant. There's camels and tractors playing banging tunes on the way home. Bats flying around and monkeys in the trees. Also some good lucking dogs with puppies... I do love this country for its baby animals.

    We also see another example of a massive wedding, must be 2000 people there.

    We get to the restaurant.... Except it's a 36room resort opened in 1890 which our royalty stayed in apparently. It's gorgeous and a five star(8 if possible) 10 acre place with shed loads of wildlife.

    We opt for the BBQ, no one else is there... The guy has us say round a fire pit cushions ultimate comfort ensuing and then puts a documentary about tigers in the Ranthambore national park on for us on a big screen. As its playing he talks us through facts and information its like having a guide on safari!

    Meanwhile our food is being BBQ'd and were blissfully drinking our beloved beer.

    Food arrives and its spot on, best we've eaten since being here. Meat, no salad or carbs just meat. So tender so good! Can't wait to review on trip advisor and give a full 5 (not often that happens lol)

    We leave and wander back to the hotel as we're up at 5am for Safari tomorrow!!!!

    Fingers crossed for tigers!!!

    Man- hotel for the upgrade!

    Donkey- holly for being over confident whilst urinating in the eastern WC on the train and pissing on herself!
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  • Day10

    Sexual Healing in Agra

    December 11, 2016 in India ⋅ ⛅ 43 °F

    11/12/16

    Agra to Jaipur

    Our last day in Agra and we're off to see the infamous Red Fort built in the 1600s. Good views from it.... If there was no dense smog. It's worse than Mumbai here I think. We decide to walk the way and en route see a man feeding monkeys with bananas.... AMAZING they peel them super quick. We also saw dogs walking along a wall eating birdseed... Some tiny squirrels which are adorable munching, and the. Casual as you like about 6-8 proper parrots munching as though it was totally normal. Brilliant. Managed to get a few snaps on the proper camera.

    We also see lots of puppies and monkies, cows and pigs all eating out of the same rubbish pile.

    The fort was brilliant and much more impressive that UK forts we agreed. However it's easy to build fancy things when it's not always pissing it down on you!!!

    Go for some scran which is a drama as we are totally out of cash. We can't even afford water. We need somewhere that takes card. We know!!! mafia town will help us. Sure enough they were the only joint in town who said yes to card payments after us looking around for 40mins. Go in munch and some random mafia guy starts showing us his amazing coin/ note collection. It was brilliant! Anyway Noblet goes to pay.... Then disappears for 25mins... With the mafia.... I'm worried.

    Turns out he had to go and pay for the food 1kM away next to the Taj Mahal and then come back. No reciept, and put in the right amount himself in a basement of a random mans shop. Very peculiar. But he returns in good health if not a bit confused.

    Start our hike back to the train station to go to Jaipur. On the way Noblet needs to urinate but thinks he now doesn't want to be like a local... And piss through the fence/ on the wall/ on the street like everyone else. So he goes into the bushes and brings me with (not in an exciting way I'm here to make sure no one comes). Sure enough three drunk Indians rock up I'm like 'smile SMILE' (our code word for smelling danger whilst not creating an obvious fuss). We both have 20kg packs and day sacks.... Brilliant not in a great position to scarper. They come up to me as noblets packing up and are like 'u wanna fuck, I fuck you' we go all Manc EW no move away and by this time noblets back in the game towering over them.... They see how tall he is and leave it.... Brilliant. Maybe won't go into the undergrowth in a hurry until we're somewhere normal. High tail it to the train as they're mooching on our 6 but no further issues. We get to the typically confusing Indian train station. And....

    We're on a train IN FIRST CLASS BABY!!! First time ever and it's awesome. They don't stop feeding you.

    1L of water
    1 tomato soup
    1 pack Bombay mix
    1 sand which
    1 curry pastry
    Cup of tea
    1 chicken curry
    1 curry soup
    2 chappati
    1 rice
    1 asbestos desert (not sure what this was but fiberous and white so asi it is)
    1 sweet treat like a pineapple fritter

    And probably more which I can't remember. It's a 4 hour journey and is really pleasant. But no WIFI. Meet some former Mancs (now in London) which is nice as they're the first people below 35 we've seen travelling from the UK. India is defs not really on the travelling map ATM. When it is though it will be great as we reckon 70% of people speak good quality English.

    Get to Jaipur.

    Jaipur is great. Currently ranked 3rd for dogs.
    Re-cap on the dog league!

    1) Kathmandu because there were dogs everywhere and they were a good medium sized with a bit of fur about them presumably for the cold
    2) Rishikesh .... Super chill and very cute (on the whole a 6 on the malnourishment scale of 10)
    3) Jaipur they have such great looking dogs with quite a few having a longer hair spaniel/ collie look. They generally all look really healthy but not too fat.
    4) Mumbai- all short haired dogs here full of bites, fleas and sores. Not looked after.
    5) Agra- by far the worst place for dogs. Pretty ugly mongrels but also flea ridden and starving. A full9/10 on the starve scale for all male dogs and most females looked pregnant. Really horrible and they're all really sad.

    Anyway.... It's also a lot quieter than the other cities in terms of horns and general mentalness. They have pavements and the roads are pretty clean. Shop frontage is relatively tidy..,. And they are building a metro system which actually had proper hoarding around the site (first time we have seen this so far!).

    They have camels walking in the road rigged up to a cart and they carry packs of bricks to site and other building materials.

    They also have horses and carts run by gypsies. Beneath both the camels and horses they have bags which catch their dung as they trot, so there isn't crap on the road.... Think they may also re sell it but meh.

    Women who are engaged have a couple of bangles on each wrist, women who are married have like an armful which looks pretty spectacular.

    We take a Tuk Tuk to a couple of places due to time constraints.... And think we deserve one as we've been bashing out 20k+ steps most days!
    At £1 for a 4k journey it's ridic! 😂

    Fewer cows in the street here.

    Best thing about Jaipur is we find a HSBC branch which lets you take out unlimited funds!!!! It's amazing, not only that we take out 10,000 rupees (5days allowance if the state has its way) but also it comes in 100 rupee notes which is half the battle (because once you've found cash you get a 2000 rupee note and 500, 1000 notes have been outlawed so you can't get change so then you have to battle to find somewhere which will change it for you without spending it all). So thanks HSBC for doing all right. We actually got so desperate I rang the bank and they said they didn't have a branch in Jaipur and didn't even know there was a cash crisis in India (this is the specialist help line by the way lol!). We showed them #disappointedcomplaintletter
    It was a massive branch as well with security and everything not a
    Poxy stretford arndale attempt.

    Man - no man decided upon
    Donkey- Noblet for getting caught with his trousers literally down whilst I was hit on by three drunk men and forgetting the code word for danger!
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  • Day9

    The Taj Mahal

    December 10, 2016 in India ⋅ 🌙 41 °F

    10/12/16
    Arrive in Agra

    Finishing the great train game

    We wake at 5.30 to random train conductor turning the light on in your section and checking you had paid to be in that bed. He looked at us, saw we were white and left us to it lol.

    We chilled on the top bunk, did some life planning, red about Taj. Good productive morning.

    The train journey secretly made me proud to be British. Especially when going over massive Victorian Bridges and knowing that we started the railway network over here. The symbol on the train stations is basically a tube logo lol. Pretty cool on the whole.

    We stopped at about 20 stations on the way and at each one different people step off go and stretch their legs, then when the train starts moving they just hop back on. Loads of street vendors get on at each stop as well selling the towns grub.

    A bad thing about the open windows is that the locals just throw their litter straight out of them. They do this everywhere. The current prime minister is running a don't litter campaign using cricketers, Bollywood stars and even himself shown cleaning the streets asking the nation to get involved.

    One of the best things about having no windows is the buzz when a train comes the other way. A massive ball of air hits you in the face! It's like that feeling you get when you jump off something really big where your stomach flips! AWESOME!

    Love the train. Defo glad we came on it!! Also we've probably missed about 3 hours sight seeing but saved about £150 in flights. For both of us the tickets for a 20 hour journey were £18.

    .....4 hours later.....I wrote the above before we had a four hour delay.... Noblet is climbing the walls and stood on the other side of the track.... Going... Is that train getting closer and shitting himself. Then he realises that he's stood next to the WC carriage and piss is oozing onto him! HA!

    We get to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal and Red Fort (built in 1600s) at 3.30 ;2.5hrs late with no explanation)

    Buzzing, we got a Rickshaw with a guy who insisted that we called him uncle. He briefed us on how everyone was in the mafia around the Taj.... Which was where our hotel was literally 200m away from the entrance for £8 per night. Room was well doable for that price.

    Went out straight to the Taj, the sub is setting how romantic right?!?! NO... There is a thick ass layer of smog over this whole country I swear.

    We pay to get in, foreigner rates 5times the price of a yocal. you may think this is annoying, but on the contrary we were well away. Turns out if you're white, you get to go to the front of 2 hour queues all over the place, they usher you in and it's brilliant. Probably saved about 4 hours in queues all in all. I know us Brits 'love to queue' but these guys don't play by the rules. Like Personnal space, fairness, integrity all go out of the window.... We don't stand a chance against these professionals. No wonder they let us ahead or there would be fights everywhere.

    I'm stood at the female queue to buy tickets (this is a thing) and these guys are like tricking me to another queue so that they can go to the girl counter even though they're guys.... Then I obviously patiently wait for them to be served before another tries it on (I'm ready this time though and go all hockey set stance SINNABIT pal! - she ran into me umpire I was just stood here!!)

    Then when you get frisked on the way in (no water bags etc allowed) so giant Hindu is right up my arse getting all frisk on because I gave the girl in front like 20mm of space so she literally humped me forwards with her FUPA and chebs.... Like a cattle market!

    We finally get inside the Taj, you round a corner, go through an arch, and all is revealed.

    It really is spectacular. My new fave old building (replacing MCR hospital, Houses of Parliament and all of Paris)
    Ive honestly never been that bothered about it in geeky architects books and was just like yeah right what evs.

    It's been built in the 1600s after the Kings 3rd/4th wife (depending on source) who he actually loved... Died giving birth to his 14th child #logflume she made him promise to channel his dispair into architecture representing their love.

    So he sets about building the thing that he's going to bury her in. The large dome on the top represents her head and shoulders and them projecting towards heaven. It has 99 words for Allah scribed on it. It's architecturally symmetrically perfect (ish). The main building takes just 7 years to build (no idea how you can do this so quickly!) and the rest another 13 years. There are large pillars of inscription along the various entrances. When the architect designed it he realise the optical illusion would be that the words get smaller at the top, so he designed the letters so they would get bigger the higher they got so they would stay In proportion. Pretty cool. All the flowers engraved have precious stones embedded from all over the east. Diamonds etc pretty sick. The whole things made from marble but fell apart over the years and has been repaired using new renovation techniques (I.e so you can clearly see the repairs and there is a contrast between new and old materials). I reckon one day this type of restoration may go out of favour (maybe a few hundred years). Any way it's gorgeous and highly recommended its well better than any book can describe.

    The the guy who commissioned it gets imprisoned by his son who wants to be king, dies in prison and gets buried in the Taj with his missus.

    Obvs we want a photo here, the usual we're so in love (heave).... So Noblet asks a guy to take a photo... And picks the one Chinese guy who doesn't know how to use a camerA... Needless to say we don't have our in love at the Taj photo... Thank god mantle piece safe for one more year!

    Back to the hotel sacking off the many hawkers who harass you.... Get back to the hotel and realise we've forgotten to go to the museum... Great.

    Restaurant for teA.... Pretty good for India.

    Tuk Tuk home... SINNABIT

    man: holly for not buying a penguin with a drum off the blind man on the train.

    Donkey: Charlie for standing in piss outfall whilst nearly getting run over by a train.
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  • Day8

    The Great Train Game

    December 9, 2016 in India ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

    09/12/16
    Mumbai
    It's the day off the great train game!!!

    First off we go to the test match for a few hours but before we leave.... Noblet have you got the card? Erm no.... We spend like 2 hours turning the room and bags upside down in search of the debit card and can't find it. Noblet back tracks to the restaurant ... No sir we do not have it.

    Get to the cricket late and as soon as we sit down INDIA take a wicket. Humph. Then ball gets all injured and he's out... Great. But at least we get to watch INDIA bowling and to sing a rousing session of Jerusalem with actions. Fantastic and a really good atmosphere now India are getting cocky. Loud drums horns etc along with the Indians randomly cheering every now and again made it feel like an event. We leave after 'just one more over pleease' and here Endeth our time at the wank Hede stadium (haha)

    Got a mutton burger after the match which was pretty tasty. Then off to the hotel to get to the train station.

    Oh yeah popped into the cricket bar from last night on the off chance and they had found our debit card!! Whup!!

    Get to the train and decide we need a stash of food and water as we have no idea what will happen on this 20 HOUR train journey to Agra (taj mahal land). We know there is no WIFI and that we have a bed and seat each.
    That is all.

    Get on the train and turns out we don't have both we have a seat used by 3 people which turns into a bed. So there must be some kind of communal agreement as to when you hit the hay.

    The trains have the doors kept open and travels very slowly the majority of the time, giving you the feeling that we could be hijacked at any moment.

    Imagine a prison cell bed, this is what three of you sit on with three people opposite on the same. There is a bed above this which acts as a back rest and is left folded down until you need to sleep. Another bed above this which is permanently in the bed position. The top bed hangs from a riveted connection to the train roof. There are two chains which hang from this bed which hold up the middle bed and the bottom has a frame fixed to the floor. Very clever.

    Each bay of 8 also has a mirror, some coat hooks and 4 windows. Which have bars across but are fully open. The windows can have an acrylic window pulled down to stop wind and shutters to close out the light. During the day the things are kept open and you can also sit at the doors to the train which are permanently open.

    Once seated there are 9 million people selling pomegranates, pomegranate seeds, popcorn (tomato flavour), samosas, crisps, tobacco for under you tongue and chai (tea) walking up and down the carriages. It's like being in the market.

    There were several blind people Doing this and we realised it was quite a good profession as all they had to do was walk between the aisle can't really go wrong there.

    We haggled over inflatable pillows 50p each, tea 10p each, samosas 10p for 2, 1l water 20p. We were getting charged white people prices and it's still very cheap.

    The train is great as you can watch suburban and agricultural life as you pass. People working in fields, praying, pigs chilling next to the line....mmmm bacon.

    Night comes after a couple of hours and everyone goes to bed. It's India, its 36 degrees.... We've packed all warm clothes to the bottom. Sensible.

    Until you realise you're on a train which has been designed to be drafty, the temperature drops and locals start pulling out (from no where btw) hats, gloves, sleeping bags, blankets and down jackets.... What just happened its like we've gone back to Iceland. We look at each other and realise it's going to be a long night.

    Sure enough we were freezing.

    Using the wc is literally a hole in the floor onto the trAck with a stainless steel handle so you don't fall in to the pit of doom. GRIM. At least these 49 steps got some blood moving.

    That's us... Night night... Fuuuuuccccxkkkkk itttttss freeeeeezing!

    Donkey: Noblet for loosing the team debit card in a bar.

    Man: Noblet for finding the card and getting us around Mumbai. Super directions now he's stopped guessing where we are on a map!
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  • Day7

    At the Test!

    December 8, 2016 in India ⋅ 🌫 88 °F

    08/12/16
    Mumbai
    Test match day!!!!!! At the Wank Hede Stadium Lolz!!!

    Curry for breakfast again. Pretty fit getting used to having a grenade on your taste buds at 7am!

    So close to getting Noblet to get me a barmy army t-shirt I can taste its white cottony goodness!!!

    We get there and get to watch a com equivalent level football match.... Being spectated by 2000 cricket fans.... Who all spout relevant oohs. Aahs and you're shit!

    The football ground stadium is fully decked out in bamboo scaffold... Loving it!

    Get in and next to a southerner.... And in front.... Southerners.... And behind .... Yeah southerners!! Where is the North!!?! Everyones a cockney spouting in 06 when we was ere lyyke they had jellied eels put on Maate it was a great expeeerience.

    Watch the cricket which was really class tbf who would have thought.... So playing cricket when I get back gonna be sick. I asked what Noblet thought I'd be better at and he said I didn't have the patience for either.... I'll show him! HMF.... I can be as average at cricket as I am at hockey I'll give u circles!!!

    So there's these emaciated guys selling all the fat Brits food.... But if you're brown you get a 50% discount as a minimum no prices and everyone steeling cash from everyone else not that it matters when it's 20p you're talking about.

    There's no beer.... A common problem in India which is weird considering they all love the booze. Imagine being sober at a test.... We tried to smuggle 1l of vodka in but I got frisked and it got confiscated (felt like a raw fresher)!

    Annoyingly there are loads of really poor people and they are everywhere.... Every time I haul my arse somewhere I'm embarrassed about how much richer we are than them. There are many beggars everywhere and the kids chase you desperate for cash. There are also so many sick people (blind, limbless, one guy had his foot in a plastic bag with giant red welts all over it sat at the side of the road.) so like proper sick. And from what I gather no state aid. The books tell you not to give cash... And if u want to do something give cash to a charity. But the country is so bent you wonder whether 50% even makes it to the people.? Feel so bad not helping the people.... But ahhh what do u do?!?!?

    And I really want a barmy army t shirt!! At the same time as questioning above!!!

    In other news we managed to get cash again today (£50) so buzzing.

    Also booked our sleeper train to Agra (20 hour journey) and onto Jaipur from there to hopefully spot some tigers.

    The guys in the place we booked them said he liked my eyes.... Also that fit girls are called chicken and men panting dogs.JUST SAYING BUCK BUCK CHICKON.

    Guy who sorts tickets has really good English, has an alright job and is still living in the slums.

    Further more that my middle name translates to Parrot. Noblet pleased with this and calls me holly the parrot brunt.

    Beers and kebab for tea and more cricket in pub!

    Mumbai grottiest city so far but people here are nice especially when you're English and you have had an alright days batting.

    Donkey: Noblet - tour guide thought he was retarded.

    Man: Charlie - really nice curry selection for both breakfast Nd lunch.
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  • Day6

    Keep Hunger locked up till lunch

    December 7, 2016 in India ⋅ 🌫 86 °F

    07/12/16
    Mumbai

    Holly grouchy due to mouldy nights sleep in dodgy hotel (worst by a country mile) and no food so end up accidentally spending £70 on pizza and beer for an early lunch.

    Whupps blown budget.

    Mooched around abit so that we can see a lot of the colonial architecture which is pretty gothic in style, more than I anticipated. Train station is really impressive as well as the high courts. The Brits set up most of the beaurocratic systems over here and they seem to have kept them going in the main.

    Spend rest of day queueing for test tickets and enjoying looking at how white all the English are. Also apparently it it now acceptable to wear sandles and socks. Getting on board with this its about comfort over style people.

    Everyone in India seems to assume we want to smoke weed.... Especially when they hear were from MCR I feel We may be out of the loop on something!!!?

    Burger King does mutton shoulder burgers and also ice cream cones dipped entirely in hot chocolate. #musttellnicole

    Beers and new hotel boxed off!! Hallelujah no more call to prayer at 5am!!

    Donkey: holly making us have £70 lunch

    Man: Charlie putting up with holly in hangry mode
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  • Day5

    Rishikesh to munbai

    December 6, 2016 in India ⋅ ☀️ 90 °F

    06/12/16
    Rishikesh to Mumbai

    Went to post office .... Traumatic.

    Went to laundrettes.... Not traumatic.

    Went to airport.... Traumatic.

    Flew to Delhi.... Not traumatic.

    Ate KFC AND MEAT AND BEER YES YES YES!!!

    Flew to Mumbai.... Not traumatic

    Taxi to hotel.... Fucking traumatic nearly crashed about 20 times and killing people left right and centre.

    Got to our hotel in a heavily Muslim populated area (Pakistan flags everywhere) It was so bad... There was dense mould on all the walls no windows, an un serviced air con unit #legionaires #legionella. VILE
    and at £24 per night a rip off for Indian standards. Made do for the night somewhere new in the morning once woken by call to prayer.

    Everyone eats the rubbish piles on the street... Kids, dogs, cats, cows, goats, rats, pigs they're all at it in a city with 13m people. Sewage system seems ok, comparatively and streets generally have pavements.

    Traffic is more mental than Kathmandu and Rishikesh but heard the worst is in Delhi. Horns horns horns they never stop!

    City smells pretty bad and has clearly not had much investment. Bamboo scaffold the order of the day and surprisingly had debris netting around and below to protect the public who knew.

    Still cash flow issues.
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  • Day4

    Take the bull by the horns

    December 5, 2016 in India ⋅ 🌫 73 °F

    05/12/16
    Rishikesh

    Really behind on the advent calendars

    Due to lack of cash gutted we missed rhythmic dance and yoga (imagine Noblet releasing himself through the medium of dance) but thought we'd go for a walk instead....

    Checked laundry in where they count your socks and knickers in front of everyone.... Great. Then continue d looking like idiots checking every atm (the same we'd done the night before) hoping for cash. Non came.... We're poor again! Thought we'd walk to a temple but ended up finding a mojito bar which was hidden but instantly took priority.

    Ps Aussies still stand for LFTs. ' omg gawwwwd. I can't believe how strong the cows are'

    Speaking of how strong cows are though, one barged me off the road and gave me his horn... It was not pleasant.

    Then within 2 minutes a homeless man (one of many) chased Noblet for his food... You give me you give me... His charter house training really came in and he quick time chomped it down. I honestly thought holding the school record for eating the most sausages in one sitting could not be a transferable skill... But hey, I was wrong.

    Found a really poor man selling old coins, I'm not ashamed to say I got some boss bargains for the old collection and I'm bringing king Georgey home!!! YEAH BOI

    Finished mojitos and then walked back towards the hotel (yes that was an entire day gone). We got back to Rishikesh and watched the ganga Arati which is where all the folks Sing with candles and put stuff in the river (floating flowers etc). People then Go in the river to be blessed. Worth a Google if bothered its on YouTube. There are hundreds of people putting flames into the river which makes for a spectacular display.

    Man: holly for actually enjoying proper spicy food (above chicken tikka MASSALA)

    Donkey: holly for taking us to the wrong side of the river for the religious festival and spending £35 in doing so on emergency Google mapping (£3 per MB !!!)
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  • Day3

    Rafting in the Ganges

    December 4, 2016 in India ⋅ 🌫 70 °F

    04/12/16
    Rishikesh, India

    We're already behind on the advent calendar.

    But in other news, we went on a 3.5 hour rafting trips for £15 between us.... Bargain!!

    On the raft we met 5 other Indian delhites with great English (2 lawyers, 2 actual scientists, and a trainee lawyer) they were able to offer good insight not only to wtf was going on with everyone around us but also with The current political situation especially in regards to cash .... DID I MENTION WE HAVE NO MONEY!!!! Fml. We got to do the rafting as it was the first place we'd seen in like forever excepting foreign card.

    Sow what did we learn....

    1.) there are loads of guys looking mental who are like 55-60 (from the 70s) who are dressed in orange smoking weed here there and everywhere. We think this is where the term ganja is from (Ganges river). Now apparently there was A Hindu good who smoked weed every day and that is who these guys worship. They have essentially denounced society and are poor. They live in these beds sits.... Don't really know how they afford to live... Apparently a bit off the religion and most off begging. Also a lot of ex cons pretend to be Swami as they can grow a beard and hide easily.

    2) there are loads of homeless people and a lot are limbless.... Even these people were offered the opportunity to open bank accounts over the last year 40 crore (crore = 100million) took it up but there are still 120 crore who don't have accounts... So can't get any cash now the government have fucked about with the currency.

    3) coconuts = naariyal

    4) devaluation of money for 2 reasons. 1 - that it was to stop corruption among their political opposition who were bribing so they are now unable to do that. 2 - Pakistan was printing fake Indian money and using that to buy weapons for militants.

    5) u can become a full time lawyer at the age of 12

    6) the rivers trust was in conflict because the hierarchy were hoarding cash and not spending it correctly allegedly.... (H&c say likely)

    Noblet got thrown out of the raft on Rapids and had to man up being thrown around like a bottle in a storm. (A scared little baby bottle).

    Then the guy was like... Meh jump out of the raft for the Rapids so we trusted him.... Then Noblet smashed his hip on some rocks #safetyaward2016 but now we've swum Rapids so kayaking no issue.

    We had a break and chilled with some cliff diving although holly was gay and took ages to jump STANDARD

    WE GOT CASH OMG WE GOT CASH £25 BUZZING STRAIGHT TO PIZZA SHOP FOR MEAT FEAST TO BREAK IT..... Oh wait..,. Turns out holly has brought us to a holy city with no alcohol and no meat or eggs... Great.
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