Saturday, February 21, 2009


Ok, so I'm back in India. Real India. The India that I was introduced to when I got off the plane in Delhi 5 weeks ago. Goa wasn't really India, not the India that I had fallen in love with in Rajasthan anyway. It was beautiful, gorgeous actually, but it felt more like I was on a beach in Mexico.

We are in Kerala now. I love it. The 'Venice of the East' they call it. A few kilometers from the coastline the maze of backwaters can take you almost anywhere in the state. Today we hired a canoe and were taken on a 4 hour tour. It was simply incredible. Today was a great day.

I love it here. The people, the culture, the sights and the sounds. The Indians sure do love their music. They play it as loud as they can as often as they want. What I use to find annoying I'm starting to find soothing. We have had the opportunity to see some live music and each time I find myself mesmorized by the intricacy of the instruments and the lyrics.

I think they are more friendly in the South. Or maybe I'm just getting the hang of things? Either way I don't want to leave. Life it seems, is just so much more simple here. No meetings, no deadlines, no stress.

I've been thinking alot about my reasons for coming on this trip. When I was in Calgary I thought it was my curiosity, a need for change, an opportunity to escape. But here in India I find myself thinking about my future, considering fate and defining opportunity. In the five weeks I've been traveling and learning, I've thought more about what I want out of life than I have since beginning university.

I think India does that to you. It makes you recognize who you are and where you're going. I love it here.

It's different here from Rajasthan though. The language is different, the clothing is different, and people are different. The colors that the women wear are spectacular. Pastels of blue, pink, green and yellow. Many of the men wear a lungi, a single piece of cloth wrapped around the legs and waste in such a way that it can be worn long as a sarong or short like a skirt. Several men and women have approached us just to say hello and ask how we are enjoying our day or our trip. The stares of course are still common, but they are never malicious and I hardly recognize it anymore. Tomorrow we are catching a leisure boat ride to the next major city to the south. Eight hours in the Keralan backwaters, I'm excited

Monday, February 16, 2009


Jess and I have made it a little further south to a small town called Gokarna in Karnataka state. It's a pilgrimage site filled with many temples, pilgrims and alot of backpackers. When we arrived we went straight to a secluded villa called Paradise Beach which is really a matter of opinion to what you might call 'paradise'. We had to hike in to reach the site. The coastline is beautiful here but this place was so tucked away that the only type of accommodation were small 8x8 huts with 4 walls and a roof made of bamboo constructed over a flat piece of ground. We were provided with a pretty dirty and thin sleeping pad to put our heads on. I guess it's not much different than sleeping outdoors, which we did on the camel trek each night, I think I was just tired from traveling and having to retire to this little shack for the night wasnt very appealing. The place was also filled entirely with stereotypical hippies, dreadlocks and the cool dirty look. Just not my scene I guess.

Goa on the other hand was amazing. The sandy beaches were prestine and the water was stellar. We rented a scooter when we were in the north for 3 days and bombed around to various small towns and beaches while staying in Anjuna. I think im really getting the hang of this Indian driving thing...honk all the time and do whatever you want. It's fun.

South Goa was just as wonderful, we were able to get a shack right on the beach for about $8/night and we met tons of people, mostly europeans, who were vacationing and backpacking as well. Oh, and the Goan food is great. Eating food is something I look forward to everday so I'm totally gaining weight here!

Before Goa we were in Udaipur, the city famous for it's 'Lake Palace', the same fortress used in the James Bond film Octopussy. Dave would have probably cried or something ;) Then we flew to Mumbai for a couple days. Go see Slumdog Millionaire. This is a great movie and alot of what you see we saw with our own eyes. What an experience to get to see that movie in the city where it was filmed. Mumbai is a really nice city, I wish I had more time to explore it.

Gokarna is a nice place though, and I'm happy to be staying here in town although I have been rather sick lately which has been slowing me down alot. In Goa it was a stomach problem that made everything hurt when I ate. Just as things were getting better I came down with a fever last night (thanks for packing that thermometer, Mom!) which didnt allow me to get much sleep, nor did I get much the night before in our bamboo hut with random cats trying to nestle up with me in the middle of the night and ants the size of cockroaches cruising around. And resting during the day? forgetaboutit. Without an AC room it's over 30 degrees inside and 100% humidity. I think I might try one of the Aurveydic (healing) treatments that seem to be rather popular. I havent been able to sleep much lately so maybe a good 'cleanse' of my mind and nervous system is exactly what I need?

I'm excited to head south tomorrow night. A 15 hour train ride will take us to the state of Kerala famous for its inland backwaters. I will try and get some pictures of Goa and Gokarna up soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Well I'm in Goa. It's hot, and super humid. The ocean is warmer than any swimming pool I've ever been in. Things are going well and I thought that since I have the time I would post some pictures instead of writing a blog. Email me anytime!

Sunset in Mumbai (Bombay).

Jess getting 'cleansed' at the sacred ghats of Pushkar.

Me on the desert dunes of Rajasthan.

Jess creeping on some little village kid on the camel trek.

Our camels.

Market in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Sunset over Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Our rickshaw tour guide for the day, Soni, in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Me at the lake palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Taken by my horizontally challeged travel mate.

A smoggy traffic artery in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Street chaos in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Absolute Chaos.

Sunrise on the stunning Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

Me at the Agra Fort with the Taj Mahal in background. Agra, Uttar Pradesh.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Well it looks like it's going to be a little be longer before I get some pictures up. I have never connected my camera to a computer before and for some reason it doesnt read it. I'm going to have to find a chip reader somewhere now as none of the internet cafe's seem to have them.

So Rajasthan...AMAZING. Jaipur - Jaisalmer - Pushkar and now onto Udaipur to finish off the province. Things are going really well, I'm getting pretty use to the way things work here, upside down and backwards is the best way to describe it.

I have a bus to catch to make my train in an hour. I will post more in a few days.