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Travelers in India

  • Aone Trips
    Nangal Dewat 15h
  • Abgefahren
    Jaipur 1d
    Traveled in 54 countries
  • Stubsi
    Aurangabad & Ellora 2d
    Traveled in 3 countries
  • Yaadi Ka
    Agonda day 2 2d
    Traveled in 3 countries

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  • Or in other words: India.

    This journal entry will be in English, to enable my my Indian friends, Priyanka and Saurabh, to understand all of this.
    I would really like to thank both of them and their family for the great time I had in this country (again).
    You spent so much time taking me to restaurants, cooking, shopping and trying to tell me about the culture of Mumbai that I cannot thank you enough.

    This is not to say that I am not struggling anymore to cope in this country, but your hospitality has made it all so easy, I can't wait to come back at some point.

    So, what did I do actually? I had the nicest hotel, which in combination with the good books I still brought from home kept me awake and inside too much. But when outside I spent a huge amount of time in cabs and stuck in the crazy Indian traffic, of course on the way to see sights, like a museum but also to get to yet another great restaurant. I went to the beach and local markets full of jewellery just outside my hotel. Not to forget the shopping spree in the suburbs of Mumbai where I had the most amazing view over Mumbai from the 15th floor of their apartment building!

    So, since I didn't die in a traffic accident yet (that definitely refers to the stupid and crazy part of India) and have made it to the airport on time, I will now head to my next destination: Kuala Lumpur.

    However, not just in anticipation, as India, you will be missed.
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  • The best of the Goan beaches by far, Palolem is more secluded and less commercialized than its northern counterparts. I've been keeping the GoPro and phone packed away because I don't think pictures will do it justice. It will be hard to leave when the time comes. Luckily, other travelers will usher me to the next location. I feel terrible that Ash left the day that I found this beach. It is all that he described and sought while here. That said, I've found company in talking metaphysics, religion, politics, sports, and travels with people ranging from an eccentric British ex-pat author to a Dubian surfer chick to heavy-drinking Belgians.Read more

  • Found myself a bit turned around at the tail end of a hike in Munnar. This lady was happy to pawn off a bucket she was carrying on me in exchange for directions to the trails jump-off point...a hundred yards from where I was "lost".

    First video link:

    While stopped on the side of the road on the way to RRUP school in Ullanoor, a young lady from Riyadh approached me and two others, inviting us to an ongoing wedding ceremony in a nearby school atrium. I made my way inside and there were no less 250 people in attendance. All eyes turn to see the new pale guests. Of course, I get embarrassed and start ducking down. Before I can get comfortable, I'm ushered to the front to take video and pictures. The kids took a liking to the GoPro, so I let them take footage as I took pictures on their phones. Video to come later.Read more

  • Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve now has 45 tigers spread over 920+ square kilometers. Ash and I were not fortunate enough to see a tiger on our tour through the small portion of the park made open to prearranged visits. One of the rangers on our boat, however, took a liking to Ash's and my enthusiasm despite the early hour of the day (credit goes out to the milky and sugary Indian coffee that we been hemorrhaging every day), and offered to take pictures for us throughout the boat tour. His shots made mine look like child's play, so I'm just going to post his when I sync them to the computer.Read more

  • Coonoor is wedged into the sides of the Nilgiris mountain region. A 5 km car ride takes around 25 minutes or more, depending on if you end up stuck behind a lumbering tea truck. I took a bike out today and rode the side of a mountain only to be harassed by a band of outlaw Nilgiris monkeys wanting my Oreos. I call the outlaws because they were not pleasant. They may very well have been in-laws, although that traditionally wouldn't change much about their pleasantness. Regardless, there was no chance I was giving those Oreos up. I kicked my bike into 6th gear and, like the daredevil I am, attempted to ramp off a speed bump. I stuck the landing -- literally, stuck it. I landed in what I thought was wet dirt but was actually a 1.5 foot deep pothole of mud. Slowing to a stop to collect myself, I happened across a small herd of buffalo (8-9 of them) on the slopes of the mountains foraging through tea plants. They all had horns and, despite my inclination toward daring speed bump ramps and other sure perils, I did not fancy disturbing them. I continued my ascent and when I finished I found myself on tea factory grounds occupying one of the mountain's highest point. I also found that my bicycle's back brakes had completely broken, relieving themselves of any culpability for the much more dangerous descent. The sweet speed bump airtime was the likely culprit. The second half of the ride was markedly less enjoyable, as the front brakes loudly and shrilly voiced their disapproval of their newfound responsibilities. Muddied but emboldened by my adventure, I settled to read on a rock outcropping as the sun began to set. The rock, however, turned out to be overlooking one of the local roads' many bottleneck points. People slowed on their motorcycles and in their rickshaws and cars to behold the muddy and seemingly lost white person. More waving was done than reading.Read more

  • Arrived in Thiruvananthapuram this morning via the 6:30 a.m. train from Chengannur. After a bit of heckling, a 16 km rickshaw ride to the hotel cost 600 rps ($10). With what energy we had left after a week at RRUP school in Ullanoor (video to come next week) and 2 days of trying to beat a head-cold, Ash and I made our way to Kovalam Beach. I was by far the palest of the several hundred beach patrons today. A few of the less shy locals asked for pictures -- the fair-skinned circus freak. Both the sights and the people surpassed expectations, even with it being the beach's off-season.Read more

  • Many Hindus adorn themselves in orange and make a pilgrimage to the river Ganges and a nearby temple in Haridwar to worship Shiva for the first 13 days of August. The accessible areas of the river are lined with visitors from dawn until dusk and add a lively dimension to the village.

  • The road from Manali to Leh is often seen as a rite of passage for those seeking adventure in Jammu & Kashmir. As if the region being disputed territory wasn't enough, the road there is riddled with blind turns, illusory shoulders crumbling over 100 meter cliff sides, and frequent landslides.

  • Jain Temple & Oldest Synagogue in British Commonwealth (1583). For my Jewish friends back home: locals would ask if I had yet visited the area known as "Old Jew Town" in Fort Kochi and seen some of the few Jewish individuals (60-70 total in the state of Kerala) that remain in a once highly Jewish district. It is as if that was likely to be my only chance to see a Jewish person. Obviously, they had never heard of Chesterfield, Missouri.
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