Backpacker Exploring India

April 2015

My dream of exploring India finally came true!

I was fortunate to have made a great Indian friend studying at UAL, with her room being opposite mine at halls. Since the beginning, Megha was always telling me about how buzzing India is with so much opportunity, the culture they live in and describing her vast family, whom I had the pleasure of meeting on a few occasions on Skype.
Just before summer 2015 came around and knowing Megha was back in Delhi with her family, I contacted her and simply said,” I am coming out to India”, this was just when I had got my Visa sorted, jabs done and booked my flight the night before my departure date. I was manic packing and couldn’t believe I was finally off to visit Megha and her family and to see India for the first time.

Sorting out my itinerary, I obviously wanted to see the whole of India, as much as I could. I knew that a group of friends were out in Rajasthan in the first week I was arriving, so I put that as the start of my travelling destination.

I did the whole of west india – Rajasthan, Delhi, South West – Kerela (backwaters) incredible! South Goa (my parents crashed my travelling), North Goa and the Himalayas North East of India – Manali and Ladakh.

I flew from Gatwick to Delhi where Megha found me and drove me to meet her whole family. A massive welcome was held where never-ending family members gathered to meet me. Cousins galore crowded round and fired questions wanting to know everything about England and my life.

Megah’s parents Versha and Ashok practically adopted me, taking me in and making me part of their enormous family 🙂

 Very early next morning I flew to Jodphur to begin my travels.

Take a peak of my adventure round India.

Week 1- Blue City Jodhpur Rajasthan

The boys and I trekked in our alibaba trousers from the best backpacker hosteoporosis – ZOSTLE! Where we had already drunk about 2 litres of water each in 15 minutes and swearer uncontrollably, such fun. Once we climbed the never ending hill, we stood in awe at our first temple, Mehrangarh.

The troops arriving at the Mighty Mehrangarh, the muscular fort that towers over the Blue City of Jodhpur
The troops arriving at the Mighty Mehrangarh, the muscular fort that towers over the Blue City of Jodhpur
Magical view of the Blue City - 50 shades of blue!
Magical view of the Blue City – 50 shades of blue!

Week 1 – Jaisalmer Rajasthan 

After a six hour bus ride, this was the first and last comfortable bus journey we were going to have. We arrived in Jaisalmer to explore its Fort and explore its baking hot desert on our camel safari adventure!

A view of Jaisalmer Fort at sunset. Captured at our next hostels rooftop restaurant.
A view of Jaisalmer Fort at sunset.
Captured at our next hostels rooftop restaurant.
The guys walking around the ghost town near Jaisalmer. Set 200 years ago, it was the story of a community who had vanished Kuldhara overnight, leaving behind a ghost village to narrate their tale.
The guys walking around the ghost town near Jaisalmer.
Set 200 years ago, it was the story of a community who had vanished Kuldhara overnight, leaving behind a ghost village to narrate their tale.
A temple in the Haunted Ghost Town, Kuldhara
A temple in the Haunted Ghost Town, Kuldhara
Meeting the last family that lives just outside of Ghost Town, Kuldhara.
Meeting the last family that lives just outside of Ghost Town, Kuldhara.
Setting off on our Camel Safari from visiting Ghost Town.
Setting off on our Camel Safari from visiting Ghost Town.

IMG_5554

Camping in the desert has its perks, dat sunset tho!
Camping in the desert has its perks, dat sunset tho!

Week 1 – Udaipur

This bus journey, I will never forget! 14 hours from Jaisalmer to Udaipur on the top bunk, bouncing and flying into the window due to the classic indian way of driving.

Eventful is an understatement, but it got us there so I’m all good in the hood 🙂 Udaipur is such a peaceful and attractive city, full of fun and lively people making backpackers travelling have a memorable experience.

The great Taj Lake Palace of Udaipur. Cracking view from Zostle Hostle.
The great Taj Lake Palace of Udaipur.
Cracking view from Zostle Hostle.
Udaipur we have arrived! Playing dress up, we got fans.
Udaipur we have arrived!
Playing dress up, we got fans.

IMG_5717IMG_5719

IMG_5721

Just look at the dances costumes – pattern and colour galore, making it so vibrant and inviting. This dance is one not to miss if you find yourself in Udaipur.

Play and Dance Show in Udaipur Theatre in the village.
Play and Dance Show in Udaipur Theatre in the village.

IMG_5810Udaipur's Famous play

Week 2 – Pushkar Rajasthan

The guys and I then had to leave each other, as they were off to Australia to continue their travels, sad days 😦 I was then a one man wolf pack heading to my next destination Pushkar.

Pushkar is a Hindu pilgrimage town which circles around a holy lake, said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. The town often hums with puja (prayers) generating an episodic soundtrack of chanting, drums and gongs, and devotional songs.
The main street is one long bazaar (Market), selling anything to tickle a traveller’s fancy, from hippy-chic tie-dye to didgeridoos.

I met a Canadian family, mother and two sons, where we instantly became travelling buddies and toured the remaining cities of Rajasthan together for 10 days.

Got my bag, got my bike, got dat hippy life. No looking back.
Got my bag, got my bike, got dat hippy life.
No looking back.

Paints, oh glorious paints!

 We got dat sunset everyone dies for. Rooftop chilling, India surprises me everyday.

We got dat sunset everyone dies for. Rooftop chilling, India surprises me everyday.

Week 2 – Jaipur, Rajasthan

Travelling to Jaipur from Pushkar was a hoot and a half, did i just say that? My new Canadian family and I drove as we wanted an easier journey to get to our next destination. The only music we were allowed to listen to was Chart Music, that Melissa’s son played over and over again.

We stayed in a very comfortable Heritage Hotel – Chirmi Palace, where the owner spoke great english and gave us great recommendations on what to see. They also invited us as their guests to the golf club for a very grand supper – I was in need of a huge meal!

Elephant riding was upon us 🙂

Up two, three, four. keep it up two, three four. Marching through the arches of Amber fort with a magical beackgorund behind. India you beaut
Hup two, three, four. keep it up two, three four.
Marching through the arches of Amber fort with a magical background behind.
India you beaut
The greatest Canadian Family of all time! Riding elephants at Amber fort together in Jaipur, once again, a baking hot and sunny day.
The greatest Canadian Family of all time!
Riding elephants at Amber fort together in Jaipur, once again, a baking hot and sunny day.
Its me and my elly, Raj the elephant. So beautiful in all his fine colours.
Its me and my elly, Raj the elephant. So beautiful in all his fine colours.
Amber fort - Incredibly Architecture
Amber fort – Incredible Architecture
Cant take the Indian out of me. Who is digging all the pattern work, yarrrr meeee
Cant take the Indian out of me. Who is digging all the pattern work, yarrrr meeee

   IMG_6095IMG_6098

You want Henna? WE WANT HENNA! Late night Henna deals, these guys are da bomb!
You want Henna? WE WANT HENNA!
Late night Henna deals, these guys are da bomb!

Week 2 – Taj Mahal, Agra

Catching an early train to Agra from Jaipur proved a lot more challenging than we had anticipated. We booked our tickets in a hurry as limited seats remained and no one it seemed could tell us if the train was either at 6am or 7am, classic! We got there at 6am the next morning,  the train was then said to be at 7am but then also delayed until 10am! By this point I just laughed and fell onto my backpack and watched the buzzing station role on.

We finally got to Agra and mooched around to find good but of course cheap accommodation. We decided to have a gander around the town and ask the locals on the best time to visit the Taj Mahal. 6am, sunrise!

TAAAADDDDAAAA The Taj Mahal 6am views, nothing can comapre!
TAAAADDDDAAAA
The Taj Mahal
6am views, nothing can comapre!
Sunrise at the Taj Mahal, glistening marble and art work
Sunrise at the Taj Mahal, glistening marble and art work
IMG_6213
Are we classed as Indian? We got our fans

Melissa, the boys and I bussed 5 hours from Agra to Delhi, where we were ending our travels together with huge tears at the end saying our goodbyes and parting ways.

Week 3 – Kerela, Southern India

It’s known for its palm-lined beaches and its backwaters, a network of canals popular for cruises. Its many upscale seaside resorts include specialists in Ayurvedic treatments. This was my next destination to have a relaxing and pampering time, being a beach baby again.

Kerela destinations included Kovalam, Varkala and Alleppey. The sweet life is a beach life.

Kovalam

Kovalam, eat you heart out, Take me to the sea Poseidon.
Kovalam. Take me to the sea Poseidon.
The colour background of shops full of goodies with fishermen mending their nets
The colourful background of shops full of goodies with fishermen mending their nets
Coconut Water, get in me!
We all coco for Coconuts Coconuts Coconuts!!!!!
IMG_6369
Watching the waves go by

Varkala

IMG_6582
Blue metallic backwaters in Varkala. The Arabian Sea doing itself wonders. Island life at Chirayinkil

Alleppey

The Land of backwater heaven! Time to get my canoe and explore.

Breath taking views, i had to put down the paddle and see through my actual eyes.
Breath taking views called for paddles down and sunglasses up to see through own eyes.

IMG_6796

IMG_6814
My little tag alongs, looking sharp kids.

Munnar – Tea Planation 

Spontaneous detour to visit Munnar for two days. Got my bike, got my backpack and away we go.

IMG_6899
Tea oh glorious Tea. Hot peppermint and Grreennnn 🙂
Tea Ladies finishing their work. All flavours bagged and ready to send off
Tea Ladies finishing their work.
All flavours bagged and ready to go
IMG_6949
Never ending Tea just for me 🙂

Week 4 – South Goa

Now who do I get a call from saying they are crashing my travels? Mum and Dad. I finally arrived in Goa after travelling a whopping 21 hours by train! Have to say I will never do that again and before anyone says it is character building, you are all liars haha!

3 man wolf pack take Goa

Mum and Dad crashed my travelling. What could possibly go wrong?
Mum and Dad crashed my travelling. What could possibly go wrong?
Lifejackets don't stop the Sampsons.
Lifejackets don’t stop the Sampy Sampsons.
We got that waterfall life yarrrr.
We got that waterfall life yarrrr.
Coconut day dreams.
Coconut day dreams.

Whirl wind Goa came to an end. See yarrrr latterrrr parents, I’m off for more Goa up north.

North Goa

Im feeling 24. Megha’s Birthday. North Goa we are coming for you. 4 girlies gone wild staying in the O Hotel. Let the games begin!

LPK boogie nights, we have arrived.
LPK, we have arrived.
IMG_7500
Myself, Fifi, Birthday girlie Megha and Juhi at LPK Goa

IMG_7419

Ally Pally got disco shoes going cray cray
Ally Pally got disco shoes going cray cray

After a week long of parties, suppers, beaching and endless activities, us girlies flew back to Delhi for a week of R&R with the family 🙂

Week 6 Manali – Northern Himachal Pradesh state.

Catch me if you can. Time to catch the 14 hour bus and travel to Manali for my week long trek. I arrived mid afternoon and picked up by the organiser of my trip where I would meet the other family I was going to be trekking with.

The Indian family were very welcoming and were totally English in my eyes, as they spoke far better English than I did! Their son Sammud, Samwise I nicknamed him, was at Miami University and we instantly hit it off when he whacked out a game of Uno!

Arrived in Manali and the the view from my balcony makes it heavenly. Im coming to get you mountain.
Arrived in Manali and the the view from my balcony makes it heavenly.
Im coming to get you mountain.
My main man Sam and I beginning our week long trek - glaciers and waterfalls here we come!
My main man Samwise and I beginning our week long trek – glaciers and waterfalls here we come!
The troops asend, excellent porters to carry all that.
The troops on point
Tibetan Ladies and I playing another round of dress up.
Tibetan Ladies and I playing another round of dress up.
Hail Samwise the birthday King. What a trip to have you birthday on.
Hail Samwise the birthday King. Whad up World!
A Tibetan lady living on a mountain with her family making medicine out of all natures gifts.
A Tibetan lady living on a mountain with her family. They make medicine out of all natures gifts. What!?
Just hanging about with the Himalayas in sight. Epic!
Just hanging about with the Himalayas in sight. Epic!
Just hanging about with the Birthboy and the Himalayas in sight. Epic!
Birthday boy got his view sorted.

IMG_7827

Can we Ice Skate pweeaasseeeeee. Ice pool tempting me.
Can we Ice Skate pweeaasseeeeee. Ice pool tempting me.

Week 7 Ladakh – Jammu & Kashmir Region.

Ladakh is hemmed in by walls of dramatic mountains. This makes for unforgettable landscapes. Embarking on my two day road trip from Manali to Ladakh was an adventure I will never forget! Another week long of activities ahead, cycling in the dust and wild white water rafting about to be bossed.

IMG_8009
My trusty steed transporting me from Manali to Ladakh. Two days heading into Kashmir region.
Hot crumbling rocks with snowy mountains, heading into Ladakh.
Hot crumbling rocks with snowy mountains, heading into Ladakh.

IMG_8124IMG_8134

A journey never ends. Ladakh guiding me the way.
A journey never ends.
Ladakh guiding me the way.
Tibetan designs, loud and proud.
Tibetan designs, loud and proud.
Ancient treasures found. Over 200 years old necklace.
Ancient treasures found.
Over 200 years old necklace.

IMG_8314

IMG_8290IMG_8284

My visions made real. Love my coin and and stone necklace. 150 years old.
My visions made real.
Love my coin and and stone necklace.
150 years old.
The boys on the run, this is how you fit everyone in.
The boys on the run, this is how you ride in style
Challenge at the ready. Beginning my ascent to the top of Khardungla at ft18380.
Challenge at the ready. Beginning my ascent to the top of Khardungla at 18,380ft
Coming through snowy land.
Coming through snowy land.
Race to the top. Limited altitude, 4 hours cycling, hot weather conditions to freezing and I made it to the top of Khardungla -The Highest motorable road in the world by bike! ft18380 eat your heart out.
Race to the top.
Limited altitude, 4 hours cycling, hot weather conditions to freezing and I made it to the top of Khardungla -The Highest motorable road in the world by bike!
ft18380 eat your heart out.

Everything fun always comes to an end :(. Ladakh is conquered. Time to fly.

Week 8 – Delhi

Going out with a bang, Delhi style. Birthday galore, family events, entertainment and foodie, food, food. Theres no Curry like Versha’s Curry.

The gang back together. Delhi Love
Squad goals. Delhi Love
The best Dish ever served in india. Shame I forgot the name, but it was deliiicciiouuousssss
The best Dish ever served in india.
Shame I forgot the name, but it was deliiicciiouuousssss
Ma Hullabaloos
Ma Hullabaloos
Birthday girl looking super duper. Who loves cake? We llloovveeeeee CAKE!
Birthday girl looking super duper.
Who loves cake? We llloovveeeeee CAKE!


My time in India was a blast, never did I want it to end. New family and friends have been made and will always be treasured. Thank you to all that made it super and for the coolest parents of all Versha and Ashok for looking after me as one of their own. I’ll be back with a bang. Word on the street there could be a double wedding…..TBC!

Peace out for now

XXXXXXX

   

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s