A Travellerspoint blog

Agra - India

The Taj Mahal


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I'm not sure there is much more to say about Agra other than the Taj Mahal lived up to all expectations!

We had been told the city was extremely hot at this time of year and so booked into a hotel, more like we would normally stay in, complete with a swimming pool! It felt like an extravagance from the moment we stepped in and the Chinese meal we had when we arrived was outstanding.

As it turned out, I never used the pool opting for another sleep instead. Not a surprise as we went to bed around 12:30 and were up again at 5:00 for the Taj. Jaquie on the other hand, did take a dip but not for long as she was joined by two monkeys.

Only a flying visit here then back to Delhi to catch a flight to the Kerella region. See you there x

Posted by ClareRoach 21:57 Archived in India Comments (0)

Love Love Love Pushkar - Rajasthan

What a difference a day makes!

sunny 40 °C
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If I'd been writing this yesterday you would be reading a very different story.

We arrived in Rajasthan after a long and tiring journey - two planes and two taxis. Checked in and went to bed. Yesterday morning, on waking Jaquie was violently ill with the dreaded Delhi Belly. So much so that she couldn't leave the bathroom, let alone the room so I ventured out on my own.

Everything felt very strange. I was also must be a strange sight as everyone kept asking me if they could have their picture taken with me. Bit unearving at first, but I just went with it and it was fine. Apparently as its out of season, there aren't many pale skinned blonde people around and so I was a first for some of the children. Even if I said hello to them they burst into fits of giggles, so sweet.

I walked around the sacred lake with the Holy Men, the pigeons, the sacred cows and people and then made my way to the bazar area. Got lost on way back and was relieved to be back safe in the hotel a couple of hours later to tell Jaquie I'm not sure what the charm of Pushkar is as I'm not feeling it. Spoke to Sharon and said we were thinking of leaving area early!

Today was a whole different ball game. With Jaquie back up and about it felt like a whole new place. Walking down the Main Street, we bumped into Vince, who we had met in Delhi! Can't believe this has now happened twice. Then we met a couple more people and all agreed to meet up this evening for food and some beers (disguised as cups of tea!). We had such a good evening.

All in all Pushkar has turned out to be a good choice. We even managed to fit in a little shopping, but no time for our afternoon nap lol! We were due to leave in the morning but have decided to stay one last night to catch up for the day we lost. Plus we have a busy day tomorrow, starting with farewell breakfast with Vince and Thea as they leave in the morning. We're getting good at all these goodbyes!

Next stop Agra, see you then x

Posted by ClareRoach 10:04 Archived in India Comments (0)

Rishikesh

DAY OFF

sunny 44 °C
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Today I didn't set my alarm for meditation or yoga and woke up naturally at 6.00 a.m. Typical! Anyway turned out to be such a good day.

We left the Ashram around mid-day (I know mad dogs and Englishman spring to mind). We walked into 'town'. It was such an amazing place. Lots of little streets, packed with people and cows and monkeys, motorbikes, tut tuts etc. There was a central square but the main focus is the River Ganges which is spectacular. It's really busy, filled with boats and rafts and is accessed under the busiest suspension bridge I've ever experienced.

The bridge swayed and moved as we crossed, really hairy! We shared it with motorbikes, cows and monkeys as well as so many people.

On the other side we had lunch in a lovely riverside cafe which had a Caribbean vibe. Our friends who were with us, Morgana and Renan had been before took us there and they were right about the food being good. I didn't eat again that day!

Whilst strolling along the Ganges after lunch we spotted our German friend Mario who had helped us when we arrived. He was wearing speedos! Lovely to see him again and quite surreal to bump into someone you know in India lol! Next we took a boat ride up the river and across it. As we boarded we had to say goodbye to Morgana and Renan which was sad but looking forward to seeing them again in Brazil.

Intended going back to our rooms early to sort bags out ready for our departure in the morning. We discovered our bags are too heavy for domestic flights in India, so had to cut down stuff inside drastically! Jaquie from 30kgs to 15kgs and me from 22kgs to 15kg. (Jaq had two hold bags originally - one for her toiletries!) Provided plenty of entertainment for staff in Ashram as well as puzzlement over some of the things we'd brought for the trip. Jaquies bar of Dove soap springs to mind!

Breakfast and goodbyes then off on next leg of our journey. Two taxis, two planes and we will see you in Pushkar, India x

Posted by ClareRoach 09:54 Archived in India Comments (0)

The Meditation Cave

Rishikesh

sunny 48 °C
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Our lovely host offered us an opportunity for some sightseeing today which we readily jumped at. We still did our morning classes and therapy and were ready at 2.30 as requested. A car had been organised and the driver was given instructions on where to take us for our sightseeing, in Hindu, as he didn't speak any English and obviously we don't speak Hindu.

He drove us along windy roads with a sheer drop down to the Ganges which was breathtaking. Also breathtaking, but in a different was was the driving. Everyone drove like they were in the middle of Delhi. On their horns constantly whilst overtaking lorries, buses etc. On blind bends. We hit our breaks or made it through the smallest gap so many times I lost count and stopped looking. But it was all worth it when we arrived at our destination......... Down loads of steps into a 'medication cave' where we were to meditate for 25 minutes........ Right!

Journey up the steps took twice as long in the afternoon sun (48 degrees today) plus shadowed by little children with sad faces asking for money :(

Back in the car - next stop..... Back to the Ashram!

I've said we will arrange our own sightseeing tomorrow on our day off :). Looking forward to it as there are now a couple of us going so I will report back!

Posted by ClareRoach 20:42 Archived in India Comments (1)

Rishikesh - India

Maa Yoga Ashram

sunny 46 °C
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We made it!! which isn't as easy as it sounds. I won't bore you with all the details surrounding catching and travelling by bus, suffice to say we won't be rushing to do it again. Trains and taxis from here on in - plus, we won't make the schoolgirl error of turning up, at night, in a strange place without the address of where we are meant to be going nor a phone or internet between us!

The welcome at the Ashram has so made up for it though. First impressions of hospitality etc. are outstanding. As welcome tonight though is my bed! We start our first 'lesson' at 7.00 in the morning.

DAY ONE
Up at 6.30 for first class, meditation for an hour. Immediately followed by an hour and a half of yoga - very hard. All this before breakfast. curried vegetables, chapatis, cucumber and watermelon. Next first 'consultation' which was emotionally tiring, then lunch. Another curried vegetable concoction. A massage like no other followed lunch, more yoga, then dinner and bed - exhausted.

This day I discovered is then repeated with slight variations. So day two we walked to a beach to do our meditation and on day three we are doing some sightseeing after lunch.

The toughest bits so far have been the yoga, particularly the pressure on wrists and arms. I recognise I have a lot to lift before anyone comments! Harder still is getting used to the food. it's all organic and freshly produced in line with a healthy detox and like at home equates to lots of food you wouldn't normally eat, and don't particularly want to.

Now for confession time: Less than 48hrs in, me and Jaquie decided to 'break out'. We dipped out of the afternoon yoga class early when everyone had eyes shut with chanting and concentration and went into the village for coke and a sandwich. We were back in time for dinner, but strangely enough found we weren't that hungry!

One final thing to confess before I get some well needed sleep - we are smelling!

Posted by ClareRoach 10:04 Archived in India Comments (0)

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