A Travellerspoint blog

India and photos

We are finishing our 12 day tour of Rajasthan. We had a driver who took us by car to several cities. The shortest ride was around 3 hours but most ranged between 5 and even 8 hours. That's a long time to put up with the crazy India traffic. Our driver is nice, very helpful. But like most people here, he likes to weave back and forth through traffic, pass vehicles in the opposite lane narrowly missing oncoming traffic, and just generally drive like a bat out of hell. He has this race-car-driver attitude and even refers to himself as Jeff Gordan, Earnhardt and the like. Yesterday we drove from Jodhpur to Udaipur. He said it would be about 6 hours but he got us there in just under 5. I was thankful for less time on the roads but the fact that most of the drive was through hilly, windey roads made it seem even longer than 6. Lynette and I were bouncing back and forth in the back seat containing our nasua as he whizzed through countless picturesque villages and beautiful terrain that presented some great potential photos. But by the time I got my camera into position and snapped the shot all I'd get is a blurry view of something 20 yards past what I was shooting for.

Lynette and I both picked up a little stomach bug. Oddly enough we think it was from a McDonalds here in India. But who knows for sure. For several days we both had the hershey squirts. I was happy though that it wasn't the "run to the bathroom in a hurry or I'll burst" type of thing. That was up until the one day when that all changed. Half way through a 4 hour car ride from Ranthampor to Jaipur I got what started out as intense stomach cramp then turned into the fight of my life to not make massive doody in my pants. Only one other time in my life have I had such devilish poo pains. That was at Disneyland in California where I could at least run to one of the many comfortable facilities in the park. But here I was on a bumpy road in the middle of the Indian desert with nothing but run down villages, herds of camels, cows, and goats, as well as the countless Indian onlookers who seem to have enough reason to stare. Now in such a situation running behind a crumbling building to relieve myself wouldn't have been the worst thing but after considering the logistics it wasn't my first choice. I decided to see if I could tough it out. First I asked Lynette to find her stash of Immodium which, in the end, I think is what saved me. But first I had to wait for it to take effect. In the meantime I clenched like the dickens. Every time the car hit the slightest bump, and there was no shortage of them, I thought I would lose the battle. I pounded my thigh, gritted my teeth and held on for dear relief. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity the agony began to subside. I had successfully held the flood gates. All I have to say is "Thank you makers of Immodium."

We both tried to resist taking one of our three doses of antibotics because we didn't want to use them so early in the trip in fear of running out later, but after a few days of not getting better we gave in and took them. Now we are feeling good.

Most of the mattresses so far in India have been about 4 inches thick on top of a wooden panel. Not the most comfortable. The pillows are hardly pillows at all. So thin I barely notice them. The linens ranged from questionable to bad to worse. Usual dingy and grayed like they've been used for years. At one place the sheets were so old that there were two large holes worn through the center. The strange thing is these aren't horrible hotels. They are actually on the nice side. But it seems they place their attention on different things than we do back in the states. On the exterior the hotels may look like palaces. They decorate the insides with their versions of extravagant detail and flourishes. But then the plumbing is old and won't work properly. Or the floors and walls are cracked, dingy and stained. The room doors and cabinets will be made of partical board with ugly delapidated laminate. Its really hard to explain. Each place seemed to have a different issue. One place the AC didn't work. Another had a mosquito problem. And the electricity goes off everywhere. Usually its only for a few minutes but here in Udaipur it goes off for three hours from 11:00 to 2:00 everyday.

The bathrooms aren't as bad as I thought or read that they would be. They do have a lot of the squat toilets but they aren't as filthy as I expected. If those aren't adventurous enough for you there's always the street urinals.
pee2.jpg
And if that doesn't thrill you just go anywhere.
pee1.jpg

Before we left for the trip I had a ton of dental work done. But wouldn't you know it, a few weeks ago one of my crowns cracked and half of it broke off. Luckily I found a nice little dental depot here in India and got fixed right up. (just kidding) My mom works at a dentist office back home. If she and the doc ever get patients that worry about visiting the dentist they can show them this photo and remind them that it could be worse.
dental_depot.jpg

The city streets are crazy. So much going on in such a narrow space. And look at the mass of wires that drape from building to building and pole to pole. What a mess.
street_wires1.jpg
Its common here but very strange to walk down a street and see cars, rickshaws, and motorcycles whizzing by as elephants walk at their own slow pace and cows stand motionless blocking the road.
street_elephant.jpg
street_cow.jpg
city_view.jpg
city_view2.jpg
decay.jpg
delhi_street1.jpg
delhi_street2.jpg

I've always wanted to see a real snake charmer. I got my chance. This snake was really eyeing me, and moved towards me looking like it was ready to attack. Even though the guy kept reassuring me that the venom had been removed it didn't sooth my worries. You can read my body language that I was quite uncofortable. But what a great experience.
dave_snake.jpg

We really feel like human photo-ops. I had that one encounter in Malaysia and Lynette mentioned several instances here in India where people have asked to take their pictures with us. People are just interested in us because we look so different. They stare at us constantly like we are from another planet. At one temple I started sketching and so many people were coming up to look over my shoulder as I drew the buildings. It was fun, but it really put the pressure on me to do a good job. Then there happened to be a Malaysian camera crew there filming a documentary. As I was sketching the temple they asked me if they could film me drawing. That was pretty cool. Maybe I'll end up on TV in Malaysia!video_sketch.jpg

This looks really safe! At least the driver has a helmet. There's actually another child on the other side too.
india_motorcycle.jpg

We got to see the Lotus temple which is a beautiful structure that looks like a huge Lotus flower and slightly resembles Sydney Opera House.
Lotus_temple.jpg

Lots of streets filled with bazaars and stores. We are getting a little better at haggling now with some practice. Lynette is definitely better than I am.
lynette_street.jpg
india_market.jpg

We rode elephants up this long path up to an amazing fort. It was about a 20 minute ride. There was a huge line of elphants going both ways along the narrow path. In some places it jammed up and I was fearing a massive stampede if one of the elephants had decided to freak out. But it was so much fun.
elephant1.jpg
Didn't get any shots of us on the elephant but heres proof. See the shadow of the tail.
elephant2.jpg

Pushkar was a nice town. But there is a holy lake where the priests try to con you into donating huge amounts of money. First, as you begin to walk down the steps to the water they hand you a dish of flower petals, spices, and other oddities, to be thrown into the water as a blessing. When we said "no thanks" they insisted that it was free. So we took them. Then they followed us down to the waters edge and split us up. One priest for each of us so we were more easily influenced. They recited these long prayers where we repeated each phrase. By the end they are inserting lines saying that "I will donate such and such amount of money." My guy was asking for 50 to 100 american dollars which is about 4000 rupees - a huge amount. (Most donations and tips are around 20 rupees.) I got up and gave the guy 10 rupees. He got all pissed saying "what's with the 10 rupees - you ask me to do this for you..." I stopped him and said "Hey, I didn't ask you to do anything." and walked off. Lynette's guy was telling her that if she didn't donate a large sum that she would have bad karma for one day." But nothing bad happened so we figure he must have been lying. :-) Kind of a shame that such a holy place is turned into such a mockery. If they hadn't pulled all that we probably would have just donated more money than we did.
Here's Lynette being worked on by the priest.
pushkar_lynette.jpg
pushkar_lake.jpg
pushkar_view.jpg

We've seem so many temples, palaces and forts. But this one tops them all. The Taj Mahal.
taj_both.jpg
taj_dave.jpg
Here are some others.
delhi_temple1.jpgdelhi_temple2.jpg
temple1.jpg
temple2.jpg
temple_int1.jpg
temple_int2.jpg
temple_int3.jpg
temple_dave.jpg
fort_view.jpg
temple_lynette.jpg
temple_lynette2.jpg
water_temple.jpg

We got to experience a royal wedding one night. They do this long procession down the street with elephants, camels, chariots, and a mass of people dancing and having fun. There was a string of men carrying these huge lanterns on their heads. What a sight. It was really fun.
wedding1.jpg
wedding2.jpg

Posted by schuckley 03:24

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

HOW HAPPY WE WERE TO HEAR FROM YOU AND SEE THE WONDERFUL PICTURES AND ENTRY. THANK GOODNESS FOR THIS TRAVEL BLOG IT SETS A PARENTS HEART AT EASE. LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE HAVING SUCH A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. SO MANY PEOPLE ASK ABOUT YOU BOTH AND HAVE YOU IN THEIR PRAYERS. IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD TO KNOW SO MANY PEOPLE CARE. SO CONTINUE ON HAVING A WONDERFUL TRIP.LOVE,FROM LYKENS A LONG WAYS FROM INDIA.

by jwrossrd

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login