🕌 The Taj Mahal🕌

The Taj Mahal was great on the outside but the inside not so much. In inside there is just to tombs and then around it a huge barrier and then that was it. The barrierhad some really cool stones in it and one of them when you put light on it it looks like it with flame up and look like fire (to name a few the stones that were inserted they have mother-of-pearl, malachite, lapis lazuli and the Firestone.) That was the only cool thing about the inside of the Taj Mahal. So basically what they did to make …

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The best laid plans…

To paraphrase Robbie Burns – the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry….  Due to the older 2 girls doing their Junior Open Water Scuba course, we decided to leave our beloved Cavelossim Beach and head down to Palolem Beach so they would be closer to the pool for their pool dives.  It would also be closer for their mandatory 2 shore dives (confined water dives).  Also we were going to go dive at Netrani Island for their 2 Open Water dives and departure from Palolem was 5 am, so departure from Cavelossim was going to be …

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  As this is a family trip, we all realised that too many temples/forts/historical sights equals not much fun, and we suspected the beaches of Goa did equal fun We did not leave the hectic life of HK to replace it with alarm clocks elsewhere.  We had promised ourselves to find nice places to chill and hang out.  So it was off to the famous beaches of Goa!  Due to visa issues, impossible flight routes and 20+ hours of flight time, my choices of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were shelved.  As we have both travelled for a year or more solo, …

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Jaisalmer – The Golden City

Jaisamler is the Golden City because everything is made of sandstone and the desert sun makes it shine Golden.  We are in the Thar desert which is the 18th largest desert in the world, 9th largest subtropical desert.  It is the most populated desert in the world and the least populated part of India – funny!   40% of the Rajasthan population live here.  It makes a natural border between The nuclear armed enemies of India and Pakistan.  Everywhere was military bases and personnel.  India has twice the military size of Pakistan but nukes even it up as both have between …

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Jodhpur – The Blue City

Jodhpur is known as the Blue City….and I had just thought it was named after funny looking trousers.  It was also beginning g to seem that every city in Rajasthan was “The City of……”. It wasn’t until we got up above the city in the fort ( yes kids we are off to see another fort/palace..), that we saw why…. While in Jodhpur we saw the Jaswant Thada – a memorial to a whole bunch of maharajahs.  Our guide was great – he pointed out that almost all the faces were painted the same they just changed the crazy Rajasthani mustaches …

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Udaipur – The City Of Lakes

After one easy day/night in Pushkar, it was off to Udaipur, the city of lakes, founded by Udai Singh in the 1500s.  Oh yeah – the lakes are man made as the Thar desert isn’t far away….That being said, the lakes are beautiful and our hotel was lit ( this is my 13 y.o word for ‘cool’).  There was a corporate event there that night and we ‘shazamed’ some very ‘interesting’ Indian dance music – look out the next t8 e you see me…. The City Palace Started in the 1500s by Udai when Udaipur was the capital city of …

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Jaipur – The Pink City

Health improving we moved on to the capital of Rajasthan – Jaipur – the Pink city.  We learned quickly that ‘pur’ Means city and the first part is the name of the dude who founded the city, in this case Jai Singh. In 1876 the Prince of Wales (later Edward VI) visited and the city was painted pink.  Why?  I do t know.  The Main Street of the old city is still super pink.  Did I say ‘health improving’?  By lunch M.C. was in a bad way and returned to the hotel.  Delhi- belly was taking over with the oldies.  The …

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We stayed in a little hotel called the SmyleInn. It was in the middle of a place they call “Main Bazaar”. It was pretty hectic : honking their horns(witch they call “pee pee” and I am not kidding), the sound of motorcycles and the smells. Dad made a friend called Ravi. He brought us around Delhi and showed us some cool stuff. He brought us into a temple and it was so cool because I felt like I was one of them. In the temple they were playing music from old times with the weirdest instruments. This is a picture …

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A night or two before flying to Delhi from Kathmandu I read a few blogs about India, it’s scams and in particular the Delhi airport.  We had spent over 8 hours collectively working out the e-visa and had a vertitable shit show upon leaving Nepal where they stopped us for not getting ‘stamped in’ when we walked across the Tibet- Nepal border.   We barely made the plane for a USD$2 fine for each of us!  I was not looking forward to the Delhi experience!

Upon arrival almost everything about Delhi surprised us!  Smooth sailing at the airport including the e-visa ( the customs guys were awesome!), and our hostel pick up ( secret password – big mango!).  The drive to our hostel was pretty easy and the route was lush with trees and beautiful temples (the Laxmi Narayan in particular). The only thing missing was head wobbles. We knew the backpack area was a little grim but as we wandered down the back alley all we could smell was urine and rubbish accompanied by constant shouts and honking horns.  It’s true -India is an assault on all the senses….it took me a day to realise that the wall at the corner was a place for guys to pee…..

Just a bit behind and to Kaia’s left was the pee wall.  Note the excellent wiring – power outages were regular.  A right turn at the end of this alley it got much darker and there was our hostel…

A rare motorcycle free moment in front of our hostel.  It is the multi- coloured sign.  Cheap and a little dark but did the trick as the owners were super helpful.  We will stay there again upon return to Delhi after Agra and Rajasthan.

Paharganj By Night

That night M.C. And I ventured out to the main bazaar of Paharganj.  This neighbourhood is the cheap cheap backpacker area and all the neon signs are for cheap hotels.  This area is intense at all hours.

Yee haw – it’s going off!

Crazy but fun. Sort of….
Though that hotel on the right is called ‘All is well’ – I suspect that is false advertising.
Crowds all day and night

Paharganj by Day

One afternoon while everyone was chilling I set out to explore the rest of the Paharganj area.  Tons more cheap hotels and more little shops selling the same stuff.  Also the everpresent smell of urine, cooking and garbage.  Accompanied by flies…always flies.  Without the family I still got looks but none approached me to ask where I was from.   Perhaps I looked enough the part to get away with maybe being local….

It was gritttier – saw a dog get hit by a motorcycle, a legless man begging in the middle of a 6 lane road, cows everywhere and lots of garbage.  Poverty abounded.

Piles of garbage everywhere and no signs of recent collection.
The legless guy begging from tourists in a tuk tuk
Buildings built around a courtyard with a tree
Narrow alleys
And the colours are awesome!
Kids chillaxin’ at hostel.
Beautiful sunsets….perhaps due to pollution but hard to tell. It seems cleaner than I expected
Kites at sunset just like in the book ‘The Kite Runner’

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