Chitwan

Chitwan National park is a beautiful place. This park is a jungle and there is the promise to see a lot. We were staying in these little cabins, that were very nice, they had a bathroom and a western toilet, which was good, because this is about the time my body decided that it was not going to like the food here. You can last so long before your body decides it can’t handle the spice, and that was today. I had bowl problems, but it wasn’t too bad, but it is depressing when you want to eat this great food and you can’t. Oh well such is life. The good thing is, once you stop eating the spice your body can digest food again. The next meal that I had was rice and curd (curd is yogurt). Yummy, at first it was not so bad, but after 3 mouthfuls you get tired of the blandness and you want some good tasting food.


But anyway back to the story. First thing that we did was go to an elephant breading place. At this site they bread elephants for domestic purposes (kind of like a horse). They cannot bread an elephant and then let it go into the wild, which is really too bad. The army here uses them for patrols and other tasks. This was pretty neat, but also kind of sad. The mother had to be chained up, or they may kill the workers, so there were a bunch a small elephants running around, having fun, eating the biscuits that we gave them, but it was also sad, when you looked into the eyes of the mother elephants, you know that they didn’t want to be chained up.

There is a huge problem with poaching in the park, both for ivory and for rhino tusk. Our guide got into some of the politics of the park and it is not a pretty site. The UN has declared Chitwan a World Heritage Site, and there is huge support form WWF (World Wildlife Fund, the NGO that has the Panda as its logo). There is one guy who has pretty much full control of the park, and our guide was telling us that he acts like a judge. So if someone is caught poaching, this “judge” can make the call of the sentence of the defendant. As it happens, rhinos have been decreasing at an alarming rate recently, since the last count there were 300 rhino missing, that is a reduction of 50%. Which is scary, and considering that this judge recently gave a minimum sentence (5 years in prison and a fine) to someone who was caught with 10 rhino horns. Our guide thinks the “judge” was paid money to give the minimum sentence. I don’t know, it is sad, and to hear this makes one really sad.

Don’t go swimming, it’s dangerious here.

After the elephants we were headed off for a hike through the jungle. First there was a 2 hour canoe ride in a super tippy canoe. Water came over the side twice, the seats were really hard, but other that it was pretty cool. Saw a few crocks and many birds. Then we were in the jungle, this was kind of like work, but there was a road, and when we were off the road there were game trails (created by elephants and rhinos, so they were very wide). There was also elephant grass, which grows like a weed and is over 3m tall. Elephants and rhinos like to hide in the grass, and it is like walking in the thickest alder grove in the summer (for those that know what that is like). We saw one bear (a sloth bear) which looked like a black bear, nothing really exciting, unless you don’t work in the bush, and then it is really exciting. We also saw a couple of crocodiles and many birds. I wanted to see a tiger, so I made a bet with my tour guide that if he showed me a tiger I would buy him a couple of beers. By the end of the day we didn’t see any tigers, not any rhinos. That wasok , we walked to our accommodations for the night. We had dinner and I bought my guide 2 beers, he told me that I would see a tiger tomorrow and if I didn’t he would buy me four beers the next night.

The next morning I awoke early, we were headed to the jungle. Within five minutes we were hiking through the thick jungle chasing a bear (something I have never done before, but with 4 guides and a camera around you neck, it was pretty cool). The bear here are very quiet, no noise, I have never heard a bear be so silents (or didn’t hear, you get the idea). We kept moving along, saw another bear in the fog in a burnt field. Then we headed for a crocodile breading grounds. Saw a lot of crocks. It was pretty neat, they are huge.

And then we walked a little further and there was a cage. Inside the cage there was a tiger. What an animal, it was very large and aggressive. I was really glad that there was a cage there. The tiger was a man eating tiger, if it was not in the cage, it would have been killed long ago. It already killed a number of people living in the nearby villages. It is said that once a tiger tastes human flesh, it will prefer to eat humans. Kind of scary, I could tell it wanted to eat us. I made eye contact with it, and ran towards me and then jumped up and tried to pounce on me, there was however fence in the way of it, but that was very cool. You would not last long with one of those stalking you. I wonder if a cougar is like that?

Man eating tiger, avoid eye contact.

We had about an hour long drive back to our hotel, and then it was time for the elephant ride. This was very cool. Elephant can carry a tonne on them, so four people and driver is nothing. This is the way to go if you want to see a rhino. Within about 20 minutes we had seen two rhinos. You can get right close to a rhino when you are on a elephant. I guess they tolerate each other, but when there are four elephants surrounding one rhino, the rhino got a little disturbed. Then we took the elephant from the elephant grass to the jungle and walked around in there. There was not much to see there, just a lot of trees, and a lot of a weed.

What happens when a tiger has a taste of your hat, he was lucky to get to keep it.

The weed is called the Kudzo, I remember hearing about it in school. It is introduced to Chitwan, so as you can imagine, it was doing very well. The weed grows on everything, up the trees and all over the leaves of the host. This blocks the sunlight and eventually kills the host. It is sad, because it moves at a very fast rate and there are no predators of the weed. So sad, the Nepalese government will do nothing about it either, for some reason (not really sure why). If that weed is not brought under control, there will be a lot of damage to the park, it has the potential to do what pine beetle is doing right now, but this weed grows on anything and kills everything. If there are no plants, elephants and rhinos can’t live, and the Chitwan park will not be much of a park.

After this we head back to the hotel, the next day we will be heading to Katmandu. That should be exciting.

Posted from Jhuwani, Central Region, Nepal
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Varanasi 2

We left Varanasi at 5 in the morning. I am starting to get tired of these early mornings. We had about 350km to drive, it took over 9.5 hours. In India the speed limit is 40km/hr. And even then you can’t always go that fast. This is a good thing. If you saw the way the people here drive you wouldn’t want to drive much faster than 40. Sometimes our driver would get up to 80, but never faster. There are not really any highways in India, there are roads, mostly paved, not as nicely as we westerns are used to. About twice an hour we come up to a village. You would have to drive slow in these villages because there were chickens and ducks all over the place, cow would be in the middle of the road and people pushing carts, riding bikes and people walking all over the place. It is amazing that this culture is so understanding with bad traffic and congested roads. There is no road rage, lots of horns being honked, but no one getting mad at people for being in the middle of the road. I don’t like driving in this place, and I would never do it myself. We get to the India/Nepal boarder and it is just packed with trucks. And I mean packed with trucks. It takes us about 2 hours to get through the boarder. I already had my visa for Nepal, but some people in our group didn’t and we had to wait for that. After that was taken care of, we were off toLumbini, a one hour drive (26km).

Lumbini is a nice place, it looks a lot like India but a lot more relaxed. It is crazy the difference between Nepal and India. Nepal is so much more relaxed, it is great. There is no one trying to sell you anything you don’t want, the streets are cleaner, everything is just nicer. Lumbini this is the birth place of Buddha. At dinner we find out that there is a road strike. No one can drive on the roads. There was a protest and a couple of buses were burnt, as a result bus drivers had a general road strike because they didn’t want to be part of these political demonstrations. It was nothing really, to the Nepal people this happens all the time.

The next day we wake up early and go see the place where the Buddha was born. This was pretty cool, they had a tree that was the Honorary place of the Buddha birth and then inside a building they had found what they thought was the exact rock and place where Buddha’s mother (the emperor’s wife at the time) gave birth to Buddha. It was neat. After taking some photos and walking around the place we went into a Temple and sat in a prayer session with a Monk. It was very soothing, and interesting. After this we went back to our hotel. You can always tell the how much of a tourist trap a place is by the peole offering services. The bike rickshaw drivers here were crazy. They were asking Rs500/hour (you pay about Rs75/hour anywhere else). Our tour guide talked them down to Rs100/hour, and that wasn’t easy. We did this before entering the site. On the way back (just over an hour) was ran into some problems with our drivers. They were going very slow, trying to get the most our of us. Which wouldn’t work. I even offered to pedal the bike, which the driver accepted. I did most of the riding back to the hotel, and our driver still asked for a tip. Can you believe this. Like I said, you can tell how touristy a place is by how aggressive the locals are.

We were supposed to get onto a bus and drive to Chitwan National park, but there was a road strike and the roads were unsafe to drive on, so instead of moving we waited. Tanya and I had a little nap (because it was an early morning). Around 11:30 we were told that we had to get out of the room and we went to the balcony and waited. It was getting a little late to drive toChitwan so our tour leader was spending a lot of time on phone trying to get us a plane to fly to Chitwan . This took a while, so we, as a group the did the one thing we knew to do to kill time. We drank beer. At about 3pm we were told that there were two vans coming to pick us up and take us to the Airport. We got there and it was a mad rush to get onto the plane. It was great, this was a small rural airport about 1 hour from our hotel (once again 26km), but our driver got us there in good time. It was like the driver was driving like there was no westerns in the truck at all. We got onto the plane, it was small, probably about 20 seats. It was great, get into the air and we were headed forChitwan. Most people were feeling pretty good because all we had been doing for the past three hours was drinking beer.

We arrived at a nice little resort at Chitwan. It was nice, there were big tree all over the place and it was very cool. Very humid as well. It was a jungle. We settled down a little and ate our dinner and went to bed, tomorrow was going to be another early day.

Posted from Raxaul, Bihar, India
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Varanasi

Our first morning in Varanasi was early, it is amazing how many early days we have had here. It is kind of ridiculous how many early mornings there are. It is not much like a holiday when you have to wake up early every day. Oh well, such is life, there is so much to see in India you have to wake up early in the morning. Right now I am Kathmandu in Nepal, I am a few days behind and I don’t have much time to update everything. We ran into some problems in Nepal, once we got here there was a road ban, protesters burnt 2 buses and the bus drivers said that they were not part of this event and didn’t want to be a part of it, as a result there was a strike on the roads, the road that we needed to use. As a result we had to take a plane to fly to the next spot. Don’t worry though, Tanya and I are great.

Back to Varanasi, early morning, we got into a boat, the same one as the night before, we went up stream a little and just saw how people act around the holiest river in the world. Saw some people doing some Hindu rituals (there do them twice a day), saw some people bathing in the water, so others cleaning clothing. Watched the sun rise, and saw the furnace that people are cremated in (remember if you are cremated in Varanasi you go straight to Nirvana). One oven had been burning non stop for hundreds of years, never stopping. There are many old people here, people that will be dead soon, it is like any retirement place, but with added poverty and a severe lack of privacy, so everything is out in the open. It’s a shock at first, but once you get used to it and realize that part of life is dying, it is not that bad.

After this we were off to were the Buddha did his first sermon. This was a one hour ride in majorly congested traffic, the smell of 2-stroke fumes, mixed with diesel fumes, with the occasional inscents smell made for a long uncomfortable ride. Once we were there we walked around, there was a handful of us (not everyone went) and I wish I didn’t go. Maybe if we hired a guide to tell us what was going on. But all we could see is ruins, and it was boring, everyone was tired. So we left for the hotel, on the ride back Tanya and I were in the back seat (the very back seat) of the Land Cruiser (there were seats in the trunk). With all the fumes, stop and go traffic and the long ride it was very uncomfortable, making the trip not worth it at all. Both Tanya and I didn’t feel very good afterwards.

Life was about to get a lot better, as soon as we got back to the hotel and laid in bed to calm our stomachs we had a massage. This was great, from south India, we got this full body massage. It was just great, I have never had a massage before, so I don’t know what it is like to have one, but this one was pretty good, afterwards we felt so good. It was like we did some exercise, all our muscles felt good (not the bad feeling of exercise). Another bonus of the massage was that it only cost us Rs600 (about $13). We spent the rest of the day doing nothing, went to the market and bought some goods (chips, fruit), the next day we had a long trek, 250km to Lumbini, we have two private jeeps to take us, so we need some food for the trip. Another early morning ahead of us, so we were off to bed early.

Posted from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
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The Ganges

After a wonderful sleep, we awoke to another nice day, These happen all the time here, everyday has been really sunny and nice and warm. There are 7 tents, I am the second one up, and I just take some photo in the early morning (6:30). We get fed some chai (black tea, spices, ginger and milk). Everyone else starts to get up and starts moving around. By the time everyone is up breakfast is made. Breakfast comes and it is pretty good, porage and honey, with some bread. It was good. Soon after dinner we are off.

What our boat look like.

We are in these small little boats, four a boat, and they are small and very tippy. It was really good though, totally relaxing, we were just sitting on these boats, floating down the holiest river in the world, looking at the scenery, sleeping, enjoying the sun. It was very nice. We were headed to Varanasi, because we were so far behind schedule we didn’t float all the way to Varanasi but part way, and then drove an hour to get there, which was faster (or so I am told). While on the boats we were treated to great meals, it was very sweet, I just can’t get enough of the food here. The cooks have a boat about the same size as our, with one wok and bunch of cooking utensils, and they cook these amazing meals. We ate the food on a sand bar. The river is at its lowest flow right now, when it is monsoon weather there is a lot more water, I think it can really rain here, when you see the size of the rive valley and the water level markers, you really get a good idea of how much water flows though here.

Evening puja on the ganges.

We arrive in Varanasi at about 4ish, and our tour guide has promised everyone a steak (if they want it, which is really hard to get here in India, Cows are sacred). But first we are going to see a one of twice daily Hindu custom. I am not really sure what happens at these events, but I think they pray to the god (there are many with Hindus) and offer sacrifices (flowers, food, sweet things etc.) It is amazing how many people are at these events, twice a day. They say that if you die and get cremated in Varanasi you go straight to Nirvana. Pretty cool I guess, no need to slowly work your way up the caste latter.

Ritual candles are placed in the ganges during puja.

You can also light these candles, with flowers around them that float in the river. As you place them in the rive you make a wish. If they make them to the end of the Ganges, your wish will come true. After watching these events we go get dinner, it take 30 minutes in an auto rickshaw, there were three people in mine which was very uncomfortable. The food was ok, but when you have Indians trying to cook western food and they have never been there, they just can’t, they really really good at cooking Indian food, no western food. The we drive back to the hotel. The hotel is nice, and everything is cool. We go to bed because tomorrow is an early day.

Posted from Diyara Bad, Uttar Pradesh, India
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Orcha 2

This is the second entry for a town that I liked so much. After the village tour we went to a paper mill. This was pretty cool. Once again I didn’t really pay much to what was going on, too busy taking pics. This is a cool place, they take the old clothing, then they separate into into colours and material, turn the scraps into pulp and then they make paper. Well that is the shortened version of what happens, I don’t really know for sure, I took some pictures. This is a way for some of the people to get money that would not be working otherwise and all the products are environmentally safe.

If you were to buy some of these products in Canada you would pay stupid amounts for it, it is dirt cheap here. It has a trendy feel and look to it. It is pretty neat stuff, I bought a big note pad, my first material purchase here.

The best pat about learning how to make Indian food is eating it afterwards.

After this paper mill we were off to get a cooking lesson, well sort of a cooking lesson, it was more of watch an Indian lady make dinner in front of you and then eat it. It was neat to see how the food is made, and I did learn some techniques. So I guess it was a cooking lesson. The food was delicious and there was beer there too, and it was cheaper there then anywhere else (Rs80) for 650ml, sweet. I also took some pictures of the food being prepared. I got a time 9 shots in about 3 seconds of how they make chapati. A chapati is like a pita bread, it is pretty sweet how they make it, you mix the flour and what not, and it is like pizza dough, then you roll it nice and flat. Once it is flat you cook it on a pan for a few seconds, and then you take it and place it on a flame and it puffs up and looks like an circular foot ball. That was pretty sweet, after this we ate the food and it was very tasty.

The next step was to head for the train. Trains this time of year don’t really work as well as they should. This time of year Delhi is foggy in the evening and in the morning. This fog causes a lot of problems. For starters our train was late, after dinner we rushed back to the hotel, picked up our luggage and then headed for the train station to get there by 9:30. The train was 2 hours late when we arrived. By the time we actually got on the train it was 3 hours late. No big deal right? We get on, sleeper class, bunk beds, really comfortable. The AC was working when we went to bed, but when we woke up it was off. It was so hot, I couldn’t sleep any longer, I got up at 6:30, and no one else was up. So I waited, our train was supposed to get to the station at 6:30, but it was late, so it should of got in at 9:30. The thing with trains is, once you start to get late, the problem just compounds and you become later and later.

We got off the train at 2pm. We were on the train for more than 24 hours. It was major late, and it was not a lot of fun. No big deal, we get off the train and head for bus. We had a plan, some sights to see, there is a festival that happens only once every 7 years in the town we got off at, and this was year seven, but since we were so far behind schedule we couldn’t see anything, which was really too bad, our tour leader was looking forward to it, so it must of been good.

To make matters worse, we were supposed to get on a boat about noon and float down a river to a campsite (well a sand bar, but a flat place to set up a tent). We were so late that we drove to the campsite. We got in this bus, which looked nice on the outside, once we got inside we realized that it was designed for Indians (I am the one of the tallest people in the country right now, they are a

ll so short). We drove down and road, the road was paved, but not very smooth, none the less this was not a pleasant experience. We get to the place we were supposed to and eat a good dinner and then go to bed in a tent which was very nice.

Posted from Orachha, Madhya Pradesh, India
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Orcha

 

Orcha is a small town, very small, (8000 in the town, and 20000 in the surrounding area). We arrived here in the afternoon. From the train it took about 30 min to get here, on the highway, I didn’t know that there were highways in India, I have never seen one until now. It was pretty cool, as we were approaching on the rickshaw, you could see all these ruins, and we were headed right for them. It was pretty sweet.

 

Old style window, with decay

 

Orcha is really a relaxed place. There shop owners here are not aggressive when you walk by their store, people listen to you when you say “No, I don’t want that” and it is a lot quieter, especially at night, there is no noise. There are tons of old temples, castle, places of worship (Hindu), most of the builders are all Hindu it was very cool. The last few days here have been very quiet, and not much has happened, which is really nice. The food here is cheaper than any other place. The food is also a lot better here. One place we went to we had a taste of 6 different type of curry, all it cost was Rs50 ($1), and it was all you could eat, and it tasted so amazing, I ate as much as I could. That seems to happen a lot here, I over eat a lot, and it is because the food is so damn good. We were invited to eat dinner on in the back, this meant we had to walk through the kitchen that the food was cooked. All things considered it was extremely clean, and didn’t deter me from eating there at all. From the back of the house you could see this nice palace, the only thing that was covering our view of the palace was laundry. Kind of funny, and all part of the experience.

Walking through the halls

The next day we went to see that same palace, and it was very nice. I was too busy taking picture to remember what the tour guide was talking about. I did get some cool pictures, you will just have to wait for all of them. The one to your left is a picture of an old window (before they had glass).

A not so tasty coke like beverage, for when coke isn’t available.

After this palace we had the choice to go do a village tour. Which was cool, it was Rs200. The tour guide was from this small little town, and it was quite the eye opener. I have never been to Africa, but I would imagine it would be very similar, maybe more people in India have some money, and there are very few orphans here, but it is very poor. The average Indian make Rs18 a day, which is pretty crazy, but you see the village and you can understand. We were able to take our cameras and take some pictures. Kid just love having their pictures taken and then looking at them afterward. When I get home I want to print all these pictures and send them to the kids, for some of them, it might be the only picture they will ever get of themselves.

After this, we had some dinner and went to bed. Today is just bumbing around town day, I get to spend it updating this thing, later today we are going to get a cooking class, which I am really looking forward to and then it is a midnight train to somewhere, and we will be getting on some boats and floating down the ganges river (the holiest river in world, or something like this).

Posted from Orachha, Madhya Pradesh, India
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Agra

Agra is a famous place, although I bet that no one that is reading this has heard of it. Agra is the place of the Taj Mahal among other cool buildings. After boarding a train at 7:30 in the morning, we were off to Agra. We were lucky, our tickets were purchased in advance and we had a nice class, air conditioning, not that you need it right now, and everyone had their own seat that reclined, much like a plane. The trip went fast, and before we knew it we were in Agra.

Agra is a small town at 1.3 million, and boasts one of the world’s seven man made wonders. We were talking about the wonders, and thought that there were man made wonders (pyramids, the Great Wall, etc) and there are nature made wonders (the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls). The first thing we did is check into our hotel room, which was very nice, all the hotels so far have had nice marble flooring, big glass doors, and they all look very nice, you almost forget you are India.
The Red Fort was our first stop. On the outside this fort looked nothing too special other than its size and colour. But once inside it was beautiful. This was the house (massive house) for the emperor back in the day. This is the famous house of the guy who designed and built the Taj Mahal. You can actually see the Taj from inside the red fort. It was very nice, no other way to really explain it, unless you look at my pictures. I am on dial up so I cannot upload any pictures here. If you stay tuned, I am told we will be in a place with high speed and I will update this blog with pictures.

Not everything here is white

 

After this we went to go have some lunch and then it was off to the Taj Mahal. After being frisked and made sure that I didn’t have a cell phone on me (no sure why you are not aloud cell phones in these places) we made our way to the main gate. The Taj is a very nice tomb for the emperor’s wife, it took 22 years to build and was really a nice gesture to his wife. After he died, he was placed there as well. When you walk through the main gate and you get your first glimpse of the Taj you are blown away. The size, the symmetry, everything, it was just amazing. Words cannot describe this building, I have seen the picture thousands of times, but when you see it in person, it is just an amazing sight, one that you really just have to stop, look at it and really just take it all in. The grounds around the Taj Mahal are very nice as well. There were about 17,000 people there while we were there, which was a little difficult at times, but not really that bad if you got off the main routes and just hung out in the unpopulated areas. After this we left the Taj and went back the hotel, once again tired.

For dinner we went to a Muslim restaurant, it was very good. Once again it was cheap, and very good, I just can’t believe the price of food and the quality of food, the same dinner would cost us two or three times more in Canada, and it would be no where as good. That was the end of our Agra experience.

Posted from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
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Streets of Delhi

After waking up, and not sleeping very well, probably because of jet lag, we decide to try to change some money. Little did we know that it was Saturday (it was still Friday for you guys, and you were probably still up) and little did we know how difficult that would be. After walking two blocks from our hotel, we decide that we should go back to the hotel and eat something. We eat, and find out that we can change money at the hotel no problem. So we do. We met up with our group at 1pm.

Having someone that knows the area, and speaks the language is very helpful, i cannot tell you how much stress I don’t have because there is someone taking care of the transportation, were you are going to sleep, where good safe food it etc.

We get on a bus, a public bus, our group is 11 people big, so that means there are 11 white people on this bus. Which is cool, we get some funny looks, but it was pretty good. Being a bus driver in Delhi is different than Canada. As a Delhi bus driver you get help, there is one guy on the passenger side yelling at car, bikes, rickshaws and thing that is in the way to get out of the way, and there is a ticket collector that goes around and collects tickets from everyone. After riding this bus I see that everyone drives crazy here, you cannot go 2 seconds without hearing a horn no matter where you are in the city. Driving in Delhi is a game of inches, maybe even less, and I would never want to drive here. Every 2 blocks there is a traffic circle. The lanes are wide enough for 2.5 cars but there are always 3 cars wide and one trying to pass else where. No one has side mirrors, they have all been broken off and no longer exist.

Entrance to the largest mosque in India


After about 30 minutes of riding the bus we get off, not that the bus stops for this procedure. Here we are, down town Delhi, right in the middle of the action. We make our way to the largest mosque (this may be spelt wrong) in India. It was pretty cool, for those of you that do not know a mosque is a place that Muslims go to pray, up to 5 times a day, when you pray you face mecca and you cannot wear shoes in this place. There is a minaret (a tall tower) that you can go up, there are 4 minarets in this one, and if you look at the Taj Mahal all, the four tower around the main structure are minarets (not the logging camp). We climb up there and get a nice view of the city.

View from the top of the minaret

Soon after hanging out at this mosque we make our way to the markets. Now this was cool, once again there is no way to describe this the way I felt it, but I can give you an idea. The markets are packed full of people, you never get you 2m of personal space you sometimes can get10cm, but usually you are always getting bumped into. people around here are always moving around. Most shops are set up in small little alley ways. There are always carts, bicycles and street bikes in these alleys. You have to look all directions and always listen for a motor, usually you will get a bell or horn, once you hear that you need to move out of the way or your ass is grass. Drivers are pretty safe, they will stop if you are in there way, but they are used to people moving out of the way just in the nick of time so when someone doesn’t they have a lot of close calls. The markets are very cool, lots of shiny things to look at, lots of nuts and spices (that are super cheap and taste way better than anything you can get in Canada). It is very sweet. We made our way to the chili market. This is a crazy place too, first of all it is tucked in a little from the city streets, so you walk in there and it is darker than on the street. The next thing you notice is that there is a lot of coughing going on. You don’t really understand why this is happening, but you keep breathing and you start to feel a little tickle in your throat. It gets worse and worse and finally you start to cough to elevate the tickle. Try this at home, make some food, now put a lot of Cayenne pepper on the food, and burn it, get smoke in the air, then breath the air. What you will notice is that it is hard to breath, and you will cough. Same thing happens in this market. Now as you may be able to imagine there is very little room in here to move around, to make matter worse people are always trying to move bags of chillies around. These bags weight 100kg (that is 220 lbs!) and really small skinny Indians are moving these around the place. Sometimes they place them on carts, two wheels 20 bags, 5 long 4 high, and then they maneuver these around this already cramped place. Just crazy.

Nuts and other goods for sale

After this ordeal it is time to head her home. We all board rickshaws. Tanya and I sit while some one drives us around. It is pretty cool. This is about the time that smoke starts to fill the air, and it become thick, the temperature starts to drop because the sun just went down and we are on Delhi’s busiest street. There are loud speakers on the meridian, spewing out political propaganda, there is the smell of smoke, with interruption of inscents and exhaust, there are people shouting all around you, there are horns going off, there are people for as far as the eye can see. It is so crazy. We make our way to the metro.

The metro is one year old, looks way nicer than any train station I have been on, it is reverse culture shock. This new train system is very modern, since it is new, they built it where ever they could. If you think the Edmonton LRT expansion is something special, you should see this one. There is no green space to take up, there is no where to build these tracks but below ground and above ground. There are these pillars on the medians of the road, are about 20m high. In the day time they create a shade over the road. It was weird and something I have never seen before. It was cool, and different. After this we went to dinner.

Dinner was very good, most items were about Rs150 (1USD buys you Rs 42), and beer was Rs150 and was 750ml. That was sweet, good food that is cheap. After eating a very satisfying dinner we went to a near by market. Most stores are open to about 9pm, so we walked around for a while. It is different shopping at. People are always in your face trying to get you to buy things you don’t need, I don’t know how many time people tried to sell me whips and a wall map of India. If you talk to the hustlers, you can have some fun, or you can just ignore them and they go away, or you can bargain with them. We went home and I fell asleep instantly.

Posted from New Delhi, Delhi, India
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Arival in Delhi

Where to start. Land in Delhi, a crazy city. Get a taxi and it is like this. In Delhi, you drive like you are racing a car, you need to get to your final destination as soon as possible so you drive that speed no matter what. Don’t be fooled by things like traffic lights, no one else does, and if you stop at one you will get your horn blown at you. In fact you will get your horn blown at you if you are not tailgating the person in front of you, if you slow down for a pedestrian, if you hit the brakes hard to miss an accident. It was crazy, that is the only word to describe this, and there is no other word to describe and there is no other way for me to tell you about it, you need to experience it to fully understand it. That was one of the most intense car trips of my life.

The flight was good, 14 hours from LAX to KLIA (Kuala Lumper, Malaysia). That was tough, glad when that was finally over. KLIA is the nicest airport I have ever been it, it makes YVR look cheap and tacky, and makes LAX look like a third world country, which is what the Delhi airport looked like.

It is always smoky here, you can never get away from it. I think my lungs took a beating at first, but now they are used to it.

Posted from New Delhi, Delhi, India
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Trekking in Nepal

Last day in PG, it snowed last night, I like snow, and I get excited every time it falls from the sky. This morning I was excited about my trip I awoke to go to the washroom at 6 and couldn’t fall back asleep.

I got an update of where I will be going on my Nepal hike. Here are the days, they start at three because this is copied from the itinerary, but day 3 is the same as day 18 as seen on my summarized itinerary posted just to your right —–>
Day 3 – Khudi/Bulbule (840m)
Day 4 – Bahun Dada (1310m)
Day 5 – Chamje (1430m)
Day 6 – Bagar (2160m)
Day 7 – Chame (2670m)
Day 8 – Chame to Pisang (3300m)
Day 9 – Pisang (3185m)
Day 10 – Pisang to Manang (3540m)
Day 11 – Manang (3540m)
Day 12 – Manang to Yak Kharta (4018m)
Day 13 – Trek to Phedi (4450m)
Day 14 – Tek to Muktinath (3800m)
Day 15 – Trek to Jomsom (2710m)
Day 16 – Trek to Kalopani (2530m)
Day 17 – Trek to Tatopani (1160m)
Day 18 – Trek to Ghorepani (2785m)
Day 19 – Trek to Birethati (1025m)