Our final farewell to India...................!!!!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2011
Trip End Dec 20, 2011

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Flag of India  , NCT,
Saturday, April 30, 2011

So we have travelled approx 16000 km by plane, government buses that try to shake your limbs from their sockets, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, trains, jeeps, private taxis, sleeper buses, mini vans and our feet.

We've travelled through 10 states, countless regions, heard probably ten different languages spoken and seen many different types of people.

We've been tourists, travellers, beach bums and at times we've eaten, slept and lived like locals.

We've met people from all over the world - America, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Holland, Nepal, Tibet, France.

We've learnt the basics of kitesurfing,to cook Indian food and we have whitewater rafted in nepal.

We've experienced things we don't think we will see any where else in the world,

A place of complete extremes, opposites and contradiction.

Noise and pollution on a scale you can't imagine, stifling heat, smells that make you want to vomit and yet some of the most amazing views, landscapes, places, food and smells we are ever likely to experience.

It really is how they tell it, its a love hate relationship.

We have been among Indian people and traveled along with them, they never seem to laugh or have fun, their lives are all too consumed with money that they forget what life really is about.

We've seen disability and disease to a new extreme, along with poverty and grand extravagant wealth.

They will drive vehicles that look like death traps on wheels, three four five to a motorbike with no helmets whilst driving like dodgems, but they will all have their shrine inside the car or bus, the Shiva or ganesh statue or the picture of Christ.

They will talk on their mobile phones endlessly or watch music videos or cable tv, wear designer clothing but eat their meals on the ground in the street off tin plates with their hands, sleep on floors or tables or wherever they can.

They clean and groom themselves yet urinate or deficate in the street without thinking twice. they live in and around filth like you can't imagine - and from our point of view - for no reason and by their own doing - if someone did clean up you can bet by the end of the day it would look worse than ever.complete disregard, no one seems to give a shit.

They admire beauty yet litter like it doesn't matter.

Religion is everywhere everyday yet they drink profusely, eat meat and smoke, and turn on and off their religious or cultural beliefs and ways to suit - yet regard western women as having loose morals and basically for want of a better word as prostitutes.

In India the men are drinking all the time trains, hotels, bars, streets, they get abusive.

Having seen how it functions for our own eyes its even more confusing than before we started, you just can't understand how it does function, its mind bending, we have seen how they move freight, we have seen the transport, the everyday transport, trains, buses, cars and rickshaws, we have seen the roads, we have seen the services - the electric the water, we've seen how and where they eat, where they sleep. we've seen everything and to try and comprehend the fact that they have education facilities, medical services and modern technology that are in effect as 21st century as it gets - it just doesn't compute, its as if its a 21st century country/world that is based and run on a third world structure, like being in a time warp, its unbelievable.

you really can't explain it but somehow it just works.

One thing we never thought we would see in India was transvestites and now we have see about six and they are not at all feminine very strange thing to see in a counrty that considers women lower than men.

Before we set of for our travels we both were hugely excited mainly about india and I have to say now that its is nearing the end I can't wait to get out of this country we have see and experienced alot here but it is not FUN it is what it is.

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[ Thoughts on each state we have seen ; this is for us to remember 

Tamil Nadu - we didn't spend long here, so mainly just the people, the darkest skin, the landscape .

Kerala - Tropical, the trees, the green and the sense of being closed in by the western ghats.

the people, looked to me, in some ways similar to the climate and surroundings - tropical!

The people very proud of the states highest education rate, a very wealthy state and also the only communist state in India (we think) - with the language of Malayalam , nice sounding and very different to most we have heard.

Karnataka - the tribal women and girls of karnataka, most of it mountainous. or it seemed and apart from the obvious Bangalore, seems quite an old, traditional, not so wealthy state.

Goa - well, not what we had expected but there are definitely some beautiful beaches still hidden or untouched by tourism, of course the Portuguese influence - the architecture, food, language and the people.

Maharashtra - brief, mainly the red/brown mountain landscape we passed through.

Madya Pradesh - again don't really spend long enough to make many observations.

Uttar Pradesh - the endless miles of cornfields and small villages along the train line we took.

Nepal ;

Quiet...er, clean...er, nicer, more relaxed, more reserved, but in the same breath way more fiery than Indians, physically - we saw two fights in ten days. the people more intelligent in ways similar to ours, very smart, always clean, clean clothes and health and physical fitness conscious.

Rajhastan ; Havellis, lakes, mountainous in places, hot, but also sense the proximity to its neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan in the dry dusty barren characteristics, being close to the thar desert you can feel it,  also the architecture, the mosques everywhere, the different looking people, the dress and everything, the squat square tightly packed concrete suburbs with little lanes, animals and the call to prayer every day. The camels! probably the cleanest, most relaxed state we visited!

Gujarat ; the motorbikes they convert into three wheeled small trucks, the local tribal women with all the tattoo markings, the friendliness of the people. and the drunk Indian men of diu.]

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Of course everyone's opinions differ, but this is how we saw it and how we remember it.

More than once we have been told, that nothing is impossible, anything is possible here in India, a land of opportunity - and it seems that way - just not sure of what outcome this will make eventually. in India if there are rules, then they're there to he broken and that's probably the golden rule - that there are no rules.

It has been a good experience but very very hard.

{Claire} I will not be coming back so good bye! {Claire} xxx We'll see {Phil}
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