Friday, 5 February 2016

Friday, 30 October 2015

Blog 4-Udaipur and the Lake Palace

Day 12 and after a couple of days staying in the countryside we are off again to the next city. lAst night we saw, in the far distance, a leopard and her 2 cubs which was quite unexpected, at the end of a long day
 this blog isn't working so I'm going to stop trying.........:( 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Blog 3 - More Jaisalmer and the Thar Desert

Made it to the very beautiful Jaisalmer with its red sandstone old city rising out,of the valley below it. (picture below, along with others. There is basically a fort and temple at every stop. and we stay 2 nights in each place. Sadly I am the first to get the dreaded D&V not nice, especially when travelling vast distances every other day. it is still very hot 35c plus most days but we got up at 3am to drive to a small village encounter to our next city (Jodhpur) to see around 2000 demoiselle cranes come into a field to feed. the he villages are protecting them and out grain out every day. There was no one there but us although the BBC had been here last year to film them. had a camel ride into the Thar desert to see the sunset - would like to say it was awesome (well,the sunset and the desert were) but there were hundreds of other tourists there and it was really,just a money making machine. still it was fun.....

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Blog 2 Jaisalmer

Day 7 on the road to the Golden City, gateway to the desert and seen so much already. Every town has its temples, fort and bazaars and we seem to visit them all, albeit briefly. we are travelling in an 10-seater bus so  there is more than enough room for us to spread out-a luxury- with a driver (Mr Singh) and pick up guides as we go along to take us to the interesting bits! Yesterday we visited Karni Mata (the rat temple) in Bikener - it was the beginning of Diwali so it was packed with devotees all wanting to touch the rats of course!!  So many photos to take and so many wanting to take photos with us which is a bit bizarre. We also visited our first Jain temple, where the priests and nuns are vegan and won't eat anything that grows under grown either so a fairly restricted diet then!!!! They also don't kill anything, so everywhere they walk is swept before they pass, they own nothing and move between temples, walking barefoot. Quite a hard life I suspect....
Doug saw his first demoiselle crane and is very excited about getting up at 3am in a few days time to go and see them coming to feed at a lake near where we are staying!
Food is great, the others tuck into curry for every meal although I have managed to find porridge for a change at breakfast - India is a great place to be a vegetarian though.

wall decoration on haveli (house)

grain sack and underneath is a tractor!

first camels.....

our hotel in Mamdawa

yep it was a very nice hotel...

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Northern India (again) Blog 1 - Delhi

October/November 2015

So we are off again to India, this time with Sheila, Bob, Di and John - should be a good trip. Below is a map of where we are going for the next's also a time for me to sit in comfort and test whether this blog still's been a while!

 We start in Delhi travelling all the way across to Jaisalmer and then up to Shimla and Amritsar
before heading home again. An exciting adventure?????

Arrived to temperatures of 36c....and promptly wilted! Lovely to be back in bedlam, the traffic, the people, the cows, the dirt, the off the plane and went straight into "tourist mode" whipping through Old Delhi & New Delhi in 2 days seeing the Red Fort, Chandni  Chowk (bike rickshaw through tiny bazaar-crammed lane),   Humayan's Tomb, India Gate and so much more.
Curry for breakfast, lunch and supper (pity I'm not that keen on curry..) but great for Doug as he has food buddies in Sheila, Bob, Di and John. Food still amazingly cheap.
Spent some time in a Sikh temple at sunset which was so tranquil after the madness out on the streets, have a great deal of time for this religion as they feed (in this particular temple) up to 40,000 people a day, free food for anyone who comes, which when you see the poverty here is a truly remarkable achievement and and all the work is done  by volunteers.

Writing this on the road to  Mandawa - out of the city now and into the Shekawati region and
gorgeous painted havelis (houses). Travelling in a small minivan with a non-English speaking driver, so time to kill, although the roads are packed with lorries and the driving makes my hair stand on end!!!!

  All good so far, avoided dengue in Delhi which is prevelant at the moment (well, think we have avoided it, haven't been bitten by mossies so that's good as its how  it is spread!! )

Saturday, 16 May 2015

European Tour - Blog 1 Across Holland & Germany in db quick time....

17 May

Off the ferry from Harwich and drove straight across The Netherlands into Germany, having decided to just keep driving through until we get to South Moravia in the Czech Republic, our furthest destination on this trip. We can then spend time slowly wending our way back to the Hook if Holland and home again on the 15 June.

Not much to report so far, weather been mostly sunny and cold but have managed to get a walk or bike ride every evening just to keep the body moving after sitting for most of the day! Doug has had his first wurst (German sausage) with only approximately another 1500 types to try - so that's him set for the trip. We haven't had a stein yet, too much driving, but we are building up to it! The countryside we are seeing either side of the motorway today (Wed 19) is vineyards as we are passing through Mosel country. Talking of motorways, this is a boy racers paradise with no limits, very scary for a right hand side driver in a big van-I have to hang out of the window when we join motorways just to make sure no-one is going to appear suddenly out of nowhere!!!

Gotta go and hook up, more to follow with some pics.....

Blog 3 - No wifi for blogs but lots of photos now I'm home....

An amazing stay in Mongolia, the family we stayed with were so welcoming and such a lot of fun. We flew Eagles, helped with the animals (much to their amusement) baby goats are just the very cutest creatures I have ever seen, rode camels, ate a lot of weird food and drank copious amounts of vodka!! It was the time of the Kazak Nauryz festival, one of the oldest, non-religious holidays on earth, welcoming the return of spring.  Needless to say, we were asked to eat with so many different families. Each family we visited greeted us with tables groaning with sweets, biscuits and always the centrepiece was a silver platter with a sheeps head on it. The eldest male member around the table (usually Doug ) was asked to say a blessing and then cut a small piece of meat off the head and pass it to each person around the table - difficult if veggie, but managed without offending I think!!
The other tradition is that if a bottle of vodka is opened it has to be finished - fine if there are 20 of you around the table, hard work if there are only 5!!!!!!
We slept in gers which were great, the toilet was a long drop a short walk away, the temperatures were -20ish at night but we had a stove blazing most of the night so we were very snug....
The scenery around us was empty, bleak, snowy but always beautiful - I adore the feeling of absolute freedom.
Oh, run out of time so the pictures will have to speak for themselves......sorry....until next time