India update

Trip Start May 02, 2009
Trip End Dec 03, 2009

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Flag of India  , Uttar Pradesh,
Friday, May 29, 2009

Hello everyone

We recovered enough after our bout of food poisoning to be able to go and see the main sights in Jaipur, including the impressive Amber Fort, although the heat was incredible - around 44 degrees. 

We also saw the City Palace with its clothes museum, including the clothes of the Maharaja's brother in law - though Andrew says it was his son - we can't agree- who weighed 250kg, 4ft wide and 7ft tall! We also saw the largest silver objects in the world - used by the Maharaja to transport Ganges water on his visit to England. 

We also went to a very interesting observatory which was over 3 hundred years old and had giant sun dials and other constructions for measuring various astrological and astronomical phenomenons.

Next we travelled to Agra, where we visited the enourmous fort and then the next day we got up extremely early to visit the Taj Mahal - which was as amazing as it is cracked up to be. You can imagine our photos - about 100 pics of the same thing - it is so photogenic and beautiful. We will include just a few...

We then went back to Delhi to see some of the sights that we missed when we were there before - the lotus temple, the biggest Mosque in India and then we went back to Paharganj for a spot of shopping - but not eating might I add!! We nearly didn't make it as we had to practically drive the rickshaw ourselves because the flamin driver kept stopping the thing to try and get us to go with him to tourist office, his brother's shop, or any other flamin place apart from where we wanted to go. 

After a very stern threat to get out without paying he dropped us off and we spent a couple of hours wandering amongst the litter/ cows/bikes/curious shops with everything you could ever want or need, only to then get a rickshaw driver that got us lost on the way home then demanded more money that what we had agreed. India is fairly hard work money wise - people want more more more all the time and yes we are relatively wealthy but it feels like tourists are expected to prop up the whole Indian economy sometimes as everyone has their own story of poverty that can only be solved through the money they make from tourism. 

Yesterday we flew to Varanasi. The airport system was strange, nobody even asked to see our passports once! And the conveyor belt was five metres long with over 70 people crowding round it and a sheer drop at the end so if you didn't grab your bag before it reached the end your souvenirs would be in bad shape. 


In the afternoon we went to various temples around Varanasi and this morning we woke up at 4:30 to leave our hotel for a 5am boat ride on the Ganges. It was beautiful and fascinating seeing how everybody goes about their daily lives and rituals all around one river. Andrew found the burning ghats particularly interesting but the smoke made my stomach turn a bit. Anyway we are going back tonight to see a ceremony with fire and lotus flower candles that is performed every night at 7pm.

Tomorrow we fly to Kathmandu, Nepal, and have one week to try and acclimatise before we set off for the trek to the Everest base camp.

Hope you are all well

lots of love

Nia and Andrew xxx
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