Posts tagged ‘Travelling’

April 10, 2009

The big trip 04/05 – India part 2

by backpackingbongos

My travel tales continue………………….

Ladakh – 27th September 2004

Hello everyone once again from Dehli!

We flew to Leh in Ladakh what now seems like years ago. An amazing flight over the Himalayas, a little cloudy but stunning views of snow capped peaks and glaciers.

We stepped off of the plane into cristal clear air and the most amazing deep blue sky. The airport in Leh was a breeze and emerged to the most relaxed place yet in India. No touts etc waiting for us at the airport!

We felt very strange on the first day due to the altitude which was at 3500 metres. Very spaced out and sleeping was a bit scary – felt like we were going to suffocate. But after 3 days we were up and running (slowly). Always felt like walking in treacle.

Leh town is set in the most amazing mountain scenery with huge rocky peaks and a Gompa and fort perched over the market place. Things were winding down as we arrived. Nice and warm in the sun which was so strong that we still burnt with factor 30 – we now feel like prunes!

Some one managed to get their way and a four day trek was booked at the end of the first week. Spitok to Stok via the Stok La pass which stands at 4820 Metres (about 15,800 feet in old money). $30US each got us a guide/cook, 3 ponies and a ponyman plus all food and transport. Our guide was a local Tibetan man called Tashi whilst ponyman (only ever known as ponyman) was a Tibetan chap in his sixties with a face that could sell post cards.

Because it is India and the power could fail at any moment – will sent part two!

Ladakh Pt2 – 27th September 2004
This email and pictures have already been posted here.
Ladakh Pt3 – 28th September 2004
Hello again!

We got back from our Trek in the mountains and then spent a week getting cabin fever whilst James decided to spend a long time in bed ill. This meant that unfortunately we missed the opportunity for lunch at Tashi’s house in the Tibetan settlement. We saw him most days though whilst he waited for work at the local cafe – he then went and got sick (horse poo water?). He was a very happy man when we donated our sleeping bags when we left.

Leh towards the end of our trip began to get very very quiet. The temperature began to fall and the leaves turned yellow. We did manage a weekend away in Alchi (on the Srinigar road). A very scary road trip through the mountains on the bus with huge drops to the river below. Stayed in isolation due to all tourists having buggered off home. Lovely monastary built in 1020 AD – very old Thankas and Mandalas and Monk.

Prior to our trek we went for a day trip to Thikse gompa perched impressively on a hill side (like a little Potala). Slogged up the hill only to find that we had picked the day in the year that it is closed! Monks gone on a picnic! Ho hum.

Old flaky skin and James decided that Ladakh began to become ‘Same same but different’ and left a few days early to come back to smelly Dehli. We popped to the zoo today to buy train tickets for our next 3 journeys. Off to Agra tomorrow to see the Taj. Today went to Pizza Hut for a treat and shopped for pants (you need something to soak up the moisture). It’s only James who needs new pants! (Corrinas penny).

Our plan is to travel slowly to Mumbai in the next few weeks via Agra, Gwallior, Orcha, Khajuraho, Sanchi, Bhopal, Pachmari then either Mandu or Ajanta. Then Mumbai and then BEACHES!!!!! Yes BEACHES!!!!! till BORED!!!!!! yes.

Anyway packing to do, 6.00am posh train tomorrow from the zoo.

Photos hopefully in next email.

Let us know whats going on in UK and stuff.

Dont complain that its too hot cos thats our job.


April 2, 2009

The big trip 04/05 – India part 1

by backpackingbongos

As well as backpacking my other passion is travelling (often also called backpacking).  I can remember Cameron McNeish getting his pants in a twist a few years back in a TGO editorial about when the terms get confused.  Anyway the title of this blog has got backpacking in it so I thought I would write about both!

I have been lucky enough to be able to do 3 big trips since leaving university.  The first was a 3 month trip to India, I was hooked on travelling after that.  After working for a couple of years I packed up my job and spent 9 months travelling through India, Nepal, Thailand and Malaysia with my partner.  I thought that I had got the bug out of my system but 2 years later we found ourselves once again handing in our notice, renting out the house and jetting off for another 9 months.  We visited India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Indonesia.  We kept a travel journal via email and it is that which I will over time copy onto this blog.

The tone may sometimes be negative, but it was much easier writing about the hassles we were having rather than saying everything was lovely!  There will be a section from our emails followed by photos.  Anyway here goes……………………………………………….

Hot and sweaty in India – 6th September 2004

Hi guys,

After all those months of saving, we have finally made it!

Gulf Air managed to eventually get us to india after two very hectic changes. One involved getting off the plane in Muscat, being herded around and shouted at and then being put back on the same plane! Plane full of very excited Indians returning home after working in the Gulf for a year.

Dehli was very hot sweaty and smelly as usual (36C and 83% humidity) we always forget just how hectic and filthy it really is. Good to see that the cows are still there though. Spent two days being curry buckets and buying train tickets.

On friday we got a posh train upto Haridwar, then a local bus to Rishikesh. Times have changed in India since our last visit – even on the local buses there are mobile phones ringing!

We now find ourselves at High Bank about two miles above Rishikesh with a stunning view of the Ganges. Corrina has been doing Indian Toilet Yoga (not very spiritual) whilst James has had a nice fever. May try and leave our hotel soon! Watching the local monkey wrestle with their pet dog. Unusually both are fit and healthy.

We have our flight booked to Leh in Ladakh on the 10th – looking forward to cool mountain air. Trying to get ourselves nice and healthy because we land at 3500 metres – going to be an experience!

Will email later


Rickshaw and Thali

Outside our hotel in Delhi in an area called Paharganj
Looking up the Ganges towards the foothills of the Himalaya – Rishikesh
A cow crosses the Ganges
Off to the Mountains – 9th September 2004
Just a quick one whilst we pass the time waiting for our flight in a few hours.

Rishikesh was a nice break despite the fact that we were both a bit ill. Our last night was enlivened by a troup of very large Langurs who played havoc with our hotel – large male came within inches of where we were sitting – we quickly retreated! Rishikesh is a laid back temple town, lots of cows, sadhus etc with the river Ganges flowing down from the Himalayas.

Came back last night on one of Indias posher trains. We got fed every five minutes till stuffed. First time in air conditioning for a week. A 200 mile trip with food cost all of five pounds.

Dehli has got much hotter – now 38C and very very humid. Our room is like a sweat box – effort to do anything. Just had another lovely curry (big fat curry buckets) in a very good restaurant.

Must go, need to be up for our flight at 2.30am – both very excited but nervous at landing at such high altitude. Will email when we get back to Delhi in a few weeks.

Take care

Paneer and Chutney

PS does any one know who Rick Shaw is? He always seems to be behind us!