India!!!

19 Oct

After Australia Rich and I headed to India for a month of backpacking. Thought it would be good to do something totally different to snowboarding for a change. Here is what we got up to….

We arrived in the city of Chennai, which is a pretty bad city even by indian standards. We had to walk to the train station the first day to book our train tickets, and it was honestly the most terrifying experience of my life!! Going from the the peaceful mountains straight into the centre of an indian city was the biggest culture shock ever. I think unless you have gone to India its hard to describe what its like, but it is INTENSE, cars, cows, rickshaws, bikes, no rules on the road, (people walk on the road like cars as the pavement is for the homeless) horns, heat, poverty, people grabbing at you, staring, a million men, rubbish EVERYWHERE, dirt, dust and just soooo many people. No westerners AT ALL! Thailand is peaceful in comparison!! I nearly broke Rich’s hand on the walk as I was squeezing it so tight ( even tho you’re not actually supposed to show any public affection!). But this is what I had wanted, I wanted to have a totally different experience! And we def got that!


We made it! back from the train station in one peice, and and the next day we went on our first sleeper train, 16 hours over to Kerela. Sleeper trains are an experience in themselves!!

 

We arrived in Allepey, Kerela and booked ourselves onto a houseboat……your very own boat with a driver, cook and host. It cruises round the backwaters of Kerela visiting all the little villages. And in contrast to the cities, is soooooo peaceful. Think we had about 5 naps and just ate loads of curry and felt like kings!

 

 

Next stop, Varkala, Kerela. Beautiful beach with amazing views. Although not much tanning/swimming. All the females have to cover up as much as poss because of the Indian culture, so just ended up sunbathing in all my clothes! Freaky tan lines! We were pretty much the only westerners on the beach. Indians were fascinated by Rich, they had never seen anyone so tall and white!!!!

 

 

We headed up to Goa, just as it was more touristy and would be able to just get some relaxing beach time in. Ha we ended up staying there for 10 days, which kinda feel guilty about, but think we needed it! Few incidents with the cows on the beach trying to steal my pineapple, and a frog attacking me from inside the toilet, but it was a lush break all the same

  

Then we headed up to Jaipur Rajistan…..30 hour train!! Only had one day so just walked around the Pink City and the bazaars for the day. Still lots of cows, but camels, monkeys and donkeys now too. Felt like we were adjusting more used to the hectic Indian culture

   

Then that eve we headed over to Agra to get ready to see the Taj Mahal the next day, you’ve kind of got to do it when you go to India! We had breakfast looking over at the Taj, and then we went to see it close up. Was pretty nice! The spent the arvo drinking tea and watching the monkeys jump from roof top to roof top

 

Then we headed to Kolkata, another 30 hour train. Again, there was a lot of poverty here, seeing the slums and how people live was fascinating but shocking. All the little children with no shoes or clothes playing in the litter : ( From here we decided to do a 3 day boat trip into the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. This was one of the best experiences I had I think. We walked through all the villages, none of them have electricity or anything at all, but they seemed to be the happiest people ever. The surroundings were beautiful, don’t think the pics do it justice.  Unfortunately we didn’t spot any tigers, but knowing that we were sleeping in an area that there were tigers and crocs was pretty cool, and maybe a little scary!

 
    

 

Then back to Kolkata and then back to the UK. I loved my Indian adventure, it was pretty hardcore but fascinating. There were a lot of good and bad experiences and we certainly have some stories to tell!! 1 month just wasn’t long enough to do everything though, would love to go back and do the Himalayas in the north one day………pretty off curries now though!!!

Its actually so nice to come home, so quiet and the UK is so clean and everyone is so polite!!! But Rich and I have picked up some kind of Indian lurgy, so feeling pretty rubbish now, But def looking forward to getting stuck back into the snowboarding asap : )

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