Faces of India

It would have been nice to have had a day or two at each stop to just wander off by myself with my camera looking for interesting this to photograph. I do enjoy a good urban stroll, losing myself in backstreets and stumbling across treasures the usually remain hidden from the normal tourist gaggles. But we didn’t have the time for such luxuries. Mrs P would also have been most displeased if I had abandoned her to her own devices. Continue reading “Faces of India”

The Indian Verdict

I described India a couple of weeks ago as challenging. And suggested that such a description is polite. I don’t think many people who have been to India would consider such a description to be controversial. India is challenging, on so many levels. Your senses will be assaulted. Your ears through the constant, deafening noise. Your nose and lungs through the often Continue reading “The Indian Verdict”

Udaipur

A whirlwind two week tour sounds like a great idea when you plan it. Heck, it is a great idea. You’ve got to factor a few easy days into the planning, though. One needs a little rest and recuperation on one’s holiday. And that especially applies to the final stretch. By the time we got to Udaipur, we were beginning to flag. Frankly, the same applies Continue reading “Udaipur”

Jaipur

By the time we arrived in Jaipur, we’d learned how to do India. Make sure you’ve got a nice hotel as a sanctuary from the rougher edges of Indian life. And arrange the easiest, most comfortable transport to get to where you want to go. Attempt to block out everything in between. Alas, our ‘hotel’ in Jaipur was the worst of our trip. But it was bearable, and there was a nice roof top restaurant just round the corner that we made good use of for breakfast and dinner. Continue reading “Jaipur”

Hunting Tigers

I made three mistakes in Ranthambore. The first one was in booking just two nights there. I could have happily stayed there for the rest of the holiday, going on the morning and evening safaris and resting by the pool the rest of the time. I think I may even have come to that stage of my life where I prefer a rural setting to an urban setting when exploring the world. Maybe. But anyway. The other mistakes? I’ll come to those later. Continue reading “Hunting Tigers”

Hotel Brexit in Kipling Land

Leaving Agra turned into our Great Indian Trauma. The fifteen minute taxi ride from our hotel to the airport took an hour. A political conference was taking place, and a small army of party devotees had descended on the city bringing the roads to gridlock. Not to worry, we’d left in ample time to allow for even a major delay. Athough that proved unnecessary, as upon arriving at Agra train station, we discovered that our train was running three hours late. Half an hour later, Continue reading “Hotel Brexit in Kipling Land”

Less Agro, More Agra

We departed Delhi early in the morning, catching an Ola taxi to the train station. Or as close to the train station as our driver could get. The crush of people, tuk tuks, roaming animals and other vehicles became more dense the closer we got, and we gradually ground to a complete halt. The final couple of hundred metres were on foot, pushing squeezing and banging past the many obstructions on our way to the station entrance. Once there, we queued up to go through security. Continue reading “Less Agro, More Agra”

Destiny Delhi

Imagine London 50 years from now, baking in a sweltering, climate-change-induced 40 degrees centigrade. With a population exceeding 40 million, social order has largely broken down. The people have been granted their wish and largely govern themselves. It hasn’t worked out terribly well and chaos reigns across this once great metropolis. Icons of it’s illustrious past – Westminster, St Pauls Cathedral, Continue reading “Destiny Delhi”

An Indian Odyssey

We’ve been back from our trip to India for more than a week. Seven days to gather my thoughts and put them into appropriately organised bits and bytes on my blog for you to read. But where does one even begin? India is a truly extraordinary place. Specifically, Delhi. Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Udaipur – the destinations we visited. Words cannot do them justice. But I will try. Perhaps a little brainstorming would help, to try and come up with the right adjectives?

Continue reading “An Indian Odyssey”

Buying An Indian Railway Train Ticket

Update: The Indian Railway website now accepts foreign phone numbers and will text you the OTP code. So all the information about emailing passport pages is redundant.

Once upon a time, my chosen profession involved explaining a variety of linguistic intricacies, complexities and nonsensities to adult Mexicans seeking to further their careers through the knowledge of the English language. And I confess, sometimes I winged it a bit. As in, I made it up as I went along. Rather than mutilating the feathered extremities of our avian friends. English is tough to learn. If it wasn’t the contradictory grammar rules Continue reading “Buying An Indian Railway Train Ticket”

#TBT The Forever Traveller

I’m looking forward to our trip to India later this year. But today I’m looking back on my trip to Sri Lanka. I spent two fabulous weeks there in the spring of 2003. Whenever I look at travel photos, books or programs, I become a little wistful. I’d usually rather be there than here. But one can’t easily be a permanent traveller.

Except, some actually do manage it. On the day this photo was taken, at an elephant sanctuary Continue reading “#TBT The Forever Traveller”

Opening Up India

I’ve been lucky on my travels so far in life. I’ve never had a holiday from hell. I’ve met a few people who have, and more than one has come from India. Most of them seem to involve the vacationers digestive system. But the saddest horror story I’ve heard of happened about three years ago. I used to chat to a Portuguese lady employed as a cleaner at the insurance company I worked for prior to jumping aboard the Continue reading “Opening Up India”