For those of you who don't know, Ken is Marcelles grandad, and when he warned us about India, he described it as noisey, dirty, poverty, beauty and that people do...erm...number 2's in public. He didn't lie AT ALL!!! Infact he could have better prepared us for the onslaught that we were about to encounter!!! Thanks Ken...Geeze!
Cows are everywhere here! Rush hour traffic on an eight laned highway, and a cow walks out, and everyone just drives around it and says nothing. They are in peoples houses, just friggin everywhere! So weird!
First day we travelled from Delhi to Agra. Agra has the Taj Mahal. End of story. Diamond in the rough for sure! We caught the train to Agra and I wouldn't feed Stella on the tray tables, or feed her the food on offer on the train. It was a long 3 hours with trying not to touch anything, which is kinda hard when you have to sit down. We went to see the Taj the same day and it didn't disapoint. No wonder its a wonder! Absolutely stunning! You can't even begin to comprehend it until you are there, and even then it still makes no sense! Loved it!
Travelled to Jaipur which was the highlight city of the trip. 6 hours in a bus with no AIR CON!!! It was a lovely trip...Jaipur itself made up for it though. Went to the most amazing place for dinner, in a wee tourist village. There was dancers, elephant rides, camel rides, shops etc. But the interesting thing was that all the Indian tourists were there as well as locals, the food was apparantly that cheap and that good! And might I add, all vegetarian! Yay for Marcelle! Yay for Stu too who is on day 5 of being a temporary vego...today has been the hardest day, we had some 'meat' therapy...or meat porn? Only viewed from a computer though. Back to Jaipur, we went to the Amber Fort which was up there with the Taj! So cool and well preserved. On the way back Stu spied a camel, so we pulled over and got a ride down a main road. Quite surreal! Stu was happy as :o) Camels are still used day to day in Jaipur for pulling carts etc. The state of the horses over here has upset Stu, NZ must be horse paradise as the ones over here do not look very happy or very well cared for.
We have one story that will shock you and give you a bit of an insight into what its like over here. When we were getting into Jaipur, a man on the bus approached Stu and said "do not trust anyone when you get off the bus, I will help you as best I can but won't take a beating for you". We thought he was a bit nuts, until our bus pulled into the depot and people just starting running for it and swarming it. We got off and police were beating the people off with sticks, to stop them from getting to us all. One cop told us to go to the tourist office, but luckily we found our local guide and were piled into a car and taken to our hotel. SCAREY!
The bus and train rides have been good and bad. You see stuff that you wish you hadn't but also realise that its why we are here, to really SEE India. People over here live in ways that people in NZ could only ever imagine, I don't think NZers understand the true meaning of poverty. We have enjoyed this leg, but its been scarey, and tedious, and at times we have just wanted to come home! I don't think we will be back to India, but we don't regret coming :o)
On that note, we will sign off. Jane, tell Ken we will be over to see him when we get home for a whole lotta stories!
Thanks for the updates everyone - thanks Pam and Bry for keeping an eye on the house :o)
Until next time,
Marcelle and Stu