Tag Archives: backpacking

New Years Peeve… (on the beautiful Koh Tao)

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New Years Peeve… (on the beautiful Koh Tao)

2012

We look around our room with something resembling disappointment. It takes a while because, despite the fact it’s midday, our room is far too dark to see. We’d lie down but there’s no bedding and we’re scared to ask the guesthouse owner for some because she’s got more than a few screws loose. It took 15 minutes just to see the room and when we did she kept screaming “it’s not clean, it’s not clean”. She was right. We’re scared if we ask for anything else she’ll grab an axe and knock the door down whilst exclaiming “heeeere’s mental” at us.

Our emotions only resembled disappointment mind, because at this time of year (New Years) any room on Koh Tao is a blessing. I guess we felt somewhere between disappointment and relief. Disappointed relief. Read the rest of this entry

The shocking truth about Agra…

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The shocking truth about Agra…

Below me an elderly Indian woman is snoring so loud she’s stopping me from sleeping. I’ve already got up her nose (like so much mucus seems to be doing right now) because when her family were in our sleeper carriage seats on the train from Agra to Jaipur, I asked them to move. And although I reckon I eased the situation by chatting to her grandson I don’t want to annoy her further by, say, rolling her. And anyway, that’s probably a violation or something.

Gemma and I are both covered head to toe in green, red, yellow and blue paint from something resembling the Hindu Holi festival. This makes us look dirty for the train, but in reality it’s probably just covering up the undeniable fact that right now, we smell. We’ve not slept properly for 40 hours and the next few days show no signs of letting up. Read the rest of this entry

Positive travel in India

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Positive travel in India

Travelling in India is well renowned for being, shall we say, challenging. And as the third most dangerous place to travel as a female of the western variety, it can sometimes be difficult seeing the good side.

That’s why I’ve been mentally compiling this list of ‘positives’. Read the rest of this entry

Holy pornography India…

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Holy pornography India…

“Can we snap you?” 3 Indian girls asked us and giggled.
“Excuse me sir, can I have a photo?” This time an Indian business man stood with a coy look on his face.
And then as we were about to start sightseeing we were mobbed by a group of students with cameras. We felt like film stars… very confused film stars. Why did these people want a picture of us? We’ve never even met. Read the rest of this entry

An idiot’s guide to train travel in India (because India rail is ran by idiots)

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An idiot’s guide to train travel in India (because India rail is ran by idiots)

In my post about crossing the border, I said we intended to get the train from Gorakpur to Varanasi. As I left it we were on a bus heading for the train station driving through villages and jasmine fields. Four hours later we arrived at the train station.

In the ticket hall there were hundreds of people sleeping on the floor with about 10 windows lining each end of the room. After much walking around asking many important looking people, we were eventually assured there were no trains until four in the morning and we might as well get a bus as we’d be there sooner. Read the rest of this entry

Varanasi… and the need for a lassi

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Varanasi… and the need for a lassi

Varanasi wakes at 4am. A few beggars wander the streets before the rush. Local Hindus say a prayer to one of the 36,000,000 gods they worship. Excited pilgrims rush down to Mother Ganga to wash, brush their teeth and drink the sacred waters. And as the sun slowly rises, Gemma and I mutter a few grumpy swear words because we’re still here. Read the rest of this entry

In the jungle, in the in the jungle

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In the jungle, in the in the jungle

Relaxing with a couple of drinks looking out over Nepal’s Chitwan National Park gives you a feeling of tranquility. Nothing can go wrong – it’s just you and the moment. And man eating crocodiles. And blind, charging rhinos, wasps the size of testicles and I’m pretty sure I heard someone mention a tiger. But other than that. Carefree bliss. Read the rest of this entry

What a difference a mile makes… (Kathmandu)

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What a difference a mile makes… (Kathmandu)

BEEP BEEP. We move to the left. BEEP BEEP. Now we step to the right. BEEP BEEP. This time we put our hands on our hips. But we’re not doing the timewarp, we’re just cross with all the traffic. As we walk through the old town in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, we seem to be in the way of every single car, motorbike, rickshaw and taxi. And it really was driving us in-say yay yay-ane.

I’m quite proud of what I did there. If only I knew the words to all the verses maybe I could write about all our time in Kathmandu like that. But I don’t.

Read the rest of this entry