By most accounts Delhi is a pretty awful place, but we thought we might like it. We like big cities and we had been in south Asia for 6 months, so we were used to the craziness and dirtiness. Continue reading
After almost a month in the Indian Himalayas, where it felt like we were in a totally different country with blue skies, clean(ish) streets, and cool weather, it was time to return to low land India.
The roads from Leh to Pangong Lake to Tur Tuk and back to Leh are not for the faint of heart (or stomach). When we began our week long journey in Ladakh, I was not feeling so well. So I spent most of the cliff-hugging-switchback-mountain roads drive with my eyes closed to keep my head and belly from spinning.
When we arrived in Leh, I was tired. And not just because we landed at 11,483 ft. We got to Leh on our 11 month tripaversary and I was travel weary.
I felt safe in Srinagar. I mean, as safe as you can feel in a city where you have to walk/drive past officers with guns every few blocks. So I wasn’t too worried the morning we were paddled across the lake to our driver and guide who would take us up to the mountains in Naranag for the day.
We almost didn’t go to Srinagar. Located in northern India’s Kashmir region, this area has had episodes of unrest since India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947. Border disputes and grievances with the Indian government have resulted in protests throughout the region.
This area, however, has been mostly quiet for the last 5-10 years, so we booked flights Continue reading
When our month long visa was up in Nepal, we weren’t feeling quite ready to go back to the challenges of traveling in India. So what did we do? We went to one of the most intense cities in all of India: Varanasi.
Long term travel is not the same thing as a vacation. Vacation is taking a break from real life for a few weeks. When you are on the road for months or years, travel is your real life. And just like real life, travel has stressful times and bad days. One of our worse travel experiences was the 36 hours it took us to get from Agra, India to Lumbini, Nepal.
It was early, very early. The gates opened at dawn. We stood in lines by gender. Rand in one line and the girls and I in the other. Soon we would see one of the most famous buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal.
In the center of the small town square stood a mound of wood ready to be lit for a bonfire. We milled about with the crowd encircling the woodpile, waiting to see what would happen next.