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India

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - KOCHI


View 2011 H&A - NEW ZEALAND TO RED SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

Singapore is a great place to visit but it is not all that exotic.

I hope Kochi will be.

The ship’s staff do a good job of changing the indoor appearance & here’s a look at some of their bits on board.

I like seeing that people really do wear items like conical hats & here are some other uses.

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A few views from the ship...another great reception with the band in full swing....

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some armed presence....

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the GANGA bus. Don't think I am on that bus but it could be fun...

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Today I am off into the country-side, to visit a village, but we have to get out of the city first.

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We are greeted by the band & escorted to the village by this National Geographic girl...or the worlds next supermodel perhaps...

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I gave a tube of tennis balls to a youngster on the idea that all kids like them. I know I did.

This girl looks at her dad who says ‘tennis balls?’ And the girl does not open the tube but takes it indoors.

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Selling things of course...

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This guy shinned up a palm tree to get coconuts...

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Husking a coconut...

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Spinning coconut fibre..

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Using palm leaves to make baskets - note the use of the feet.

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Making flour...

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A fishing demonstration...

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Dragonflies are fast becoming a favourite photo. They pose so obligingly.

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& here is a Cattle Egret, complete with cattle...

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That was an interesting visit...

Not totally sure if people actually live here or if it is just a mock up. If it is a mock up, they do a great job.

We now head back to the city

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& take in a spinning co-operative on the way.....

where, strangely they were not selling anything to us.

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some big boats in town...

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and our pool....

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and time for a sundowner...was it a little exotic..yes!

I like it..

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Posted by hasbeen 06:30 Archived in India Comments (0)

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - TAJ MAHAL


View 2011 H&A - NEW ZEALAND TO RED SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

THIS EXCURSION IS WITH THE CRUISE LINE & IS OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE,

BUT - I AM NEVER IN MY LIFE GOING TO GET THIS CLOSE TO THE TAJ MAHAL AGAIN, SO IT JUST HAS TO BE.....

LEAVING MUMBAI, EARLY MORNING FOR THE FLIGHT TO AGRA.

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WE GET TO FRESHEN UP AT THE HOTEL....

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THE DRAGONFLY WAS IN THE GROUNDS...

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NOT FAR TO THE ENTRANCE TO THE TAJ BUT THERE IS QUITE A WALK FROM THE BUS TO THE ENTRANCE & NOT MUCH IN THE WAY OF HELP FOR THE PEOPLE WHO CANNOT WALK VERY WELL. WE HAD A LADY WITH A CANE WITH US WHO WAS STRUGGLING QUITE A BIT.

WE ARE TAKEN TO THE NON-INDIANS LINE THROUGH SECURITY, WHO GOT A LITTLE TOO FRIENDLY WITH HIS PAT DOWN.

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WE WAIT HERE FOR THE GROUP TO RE-GROUP & HAVE LOST SOMEONE ALREADY.

I DON'T SEE PADDY FROM ALBERTA ANYWHERE..

TOO BAD, LETS GO....

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AND THOUGH THE ARCH - THERE IT IS - JUST AS YOU HAVE SEEN IN A MILLION PICTURES.

AND JUST AS ADVERTISED.

THE TAJ MAHAL

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LOTS OF PEOPLE. MORE TO THE POINT, LOTS OF INDIAN PEOPLE.

GETTING TO ENJOY THIS WONDER OF THEIRS.

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AND THE ODD TOURIST

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HERE WE ARE, RE-GROUPING AGAIN.

STILL NO SIGN OF PADDY.

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THE LADY WITH THE CANE IS STILL GAME.. CLIMBING THE STAIRS TO GET TO THE DOOR OF THE TAJ

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AND INSIDE TO WHERE THE COFFIN HOLDING THE MUMTAZ IS LYING., ALTHOUGH I THINK I READ THAT SHE IS SOMEWHERE ELSE.

I LEAVE OUR GUIDE & WANDER A LITTLE BIT.
EVERY NOW AND AGAIN A WHISTLE BLOWS.
THERE ARE MEN, MAYBE SECURITY.
ANYWAY, THEY BLOW WHISTLES TO STOP PEOPLE WHO ARE TAKING PHOTOS WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN INSIDE HERE.

IT'S VERY DARK IN HERE & ONE OF THE WHISTLE GUYS SHINES A SMALL TORCH ON THIS SO I CAN SEE IT BETTER

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YOU WILL HAVE NOTICED I GUESS, THAT THIS IS A PHOTO. MY PHOTO

THE GUY HAD MIMED MY TAKING A PICTURE.

NOT ALLOWED I TOLD HIM.
ME, TELLING HIM IT IS NOT ALLOWED.
HE'S THE ONE WITH THE WHISTLE....

HE SAYS - YOU ARE WITH ME. IT'S OK.

CLICK, CLICK, CLICK & MORE CLICKS

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MUMTAZ - ALTHOUGH I STILL THINK SHE IS REALLY SOMEWHERE ELSE.

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THE WHISTLE GUY HAS FOLLOWED ME OUT & STROKES HIS HAND.

HE GETS A FEW DOLLARS & HE WALKS WITH ME TO SHOW ME THE OPTICAL DELUSIONS ALONG THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING..

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MANY PEOPLE GET DRESSED IN THEIR FINERY TO VISIT, LIKE THESE TWO LOOKING VERY ELEGANT, & NO SHOES. WE WERE PROVIDED WITH SLIPPERS.

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NOT THE FIRST TIME I NOTICE HOW NICELY DRESSED EVEN THE SWEEPERS ARE.

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ON THE WAY BACK TO THE HOTEL THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN COVERED WITH COLOURS. THROWN AT THEM IN THE COLOUR FESTIVAL.
WE WERE TOLD TO KEEP THE WINDOWS OF THE VAN CLOSED.

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AND PADDY DID TURN UP FOR THE NEXT STOP. THE AGRA FORT.

SHE STUCK LIKE GLUE TO ME FOR A WHILE.

Posted by hasbeen 06:20 Archived in India Comments (0)

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - AGRA FORT


View 2011 H&A - NEW ZEALAND TO RED SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

AGRA FORT

WE HAD A DELAY AT AGRA AIRPORT & I SPENT THE TIME CHATTING TO THE INDIAN GUYS THERE. ABOUT CRICKET MAINLY, BUT THEY DID PUT ME RIGHT ABOUT THE AGRA FORT. I HAD BEEN CALLING IT THE RED FORT & ALTHOUGH IT DOES LOOK A LITTLE RED, THE ACTUAL RED FORT IS IN DELHI OR I COULD BE WRONG ABOUT THAT TOO.

ANYWAY - THIS IS THE AGRA FORT

IT'S JUST ALONG THE RIVER FROM THE TAJ MAHAL & WHILE THE TAJ IS VERY BEAUTIFUL, I PREFERRED VISITING THE FORT MORE.

THE TAJ ALSO HAD TOO MANY PEOPLE THERE TO APPRECIATE FULLY.

MY WIFE WAS THERE WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA ( NAME DROPPING AGAIN ) & THE TAJ WAS CLOSED TO ANY OTHER VISITORS BESIDES THE PRIME MINISTERS PARTY. ONE OF THE PERKS - I BET THEY LET HIM IN FOR FREE TOO.

MY WIFE HAD A STORY SHE WAS TOLD AT THE TAJ BUT WHICH I WAS UNABLE TO CONFIRM ON MY VISIT.
AS YOU KNOW, THE TAJ IS MADE OF WHITE MARBLE, A COLD ROCK. IN SOME PLACES. THE TAJ HAS FRESCO LIKE CUTS MADE IN IT. THE OUTSIDE OF THE CUT IS WIDER THAN THE INSIDE SO WHEN A BREEZE BLOWS THROUGH, IT SPEEDS UP & SO COOLS DOWN.

17TH CENTURY AIR CONDITIONING. I HESITATE TO SAY THIS BUT - HOW COOL IS THAT?

BACK TO AGRA FORT

DOESN'T THAT LOOK RED TO YOU? EVEN A LITTLE?

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LOST BALL?

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AND THIS MAKES IT THREE LOVE BIRDS?

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A GREAT SPOT TO VIEW THE TAJ MAHAL

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TWO OF THE GIRLS WHO WORK ON THE SHIP...

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AND ANOTHER. THIS ONE GAVE ME THE SANTA HAT THAT I WORE IN FRONT OF THE TAJ.

SHE WORKS IN THE EXCURSION DESK & WAS PROBABLY FIRST CHOICE BUT THERE MUST HAVE BEEN FIERCE COMPETITION AMONG THE STAFF TO COME ON THIS EXCURSION. THE IDEA IS THEY HELP KEEP AN EYE ON US WANDERING SHEEP BUT HERE THEY WERE TAKING A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO BE JUST TOURISTS.

BRAVO

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LEAVING THE FORT NOW FOR THE RIDE BACK TO THE AIRPORT.

IT MUST BE A COMBINATION OF THE LIGHT & THE CAST OF THE WINDOWS BUT I REALLY LIKE THE 'LOOK' OF THESE FEW PHOTOS.

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THE CAMEL AND THE COW WERE A BIT TOO FAST FOR ME..

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AND THEN THE FLIGHT BACK TO MUMBAI.

THE TAJ MAHAL & AGRA FORT IN A DAY.

I WOULD NEVER HAVE MANAGED THAT ON MY OWN.

I NOW REGRET NOT DOING THE THREE DAY EXCURSION THAT LEFT THE SHIP & CAUGHT UP WITH IT IN MUMBAI.

MY DINNER COMPANIONS DID THAT & TOOK PART IN A POLO MATCH - ON ELEPHANTS - AMAZING.

SANDY I COULD RECKON SHE WOULD DO IT BUT LORAINE & BOB ARE NO SPRING CHICKENS.
BUT THEY DID - I SAW THE PICTURES. BOB WAS THE REFEREE.

Posted by hasbeen 06:10 Archived in India Comments (0)

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - MUMBAI


View 2011 H&A - NEW ZEALAND TO RED SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

TODAY I TAKE A TRAIN FOR A COUPLE OF STOPS OUTSIDE MUMBAI WHERE MEN DO MUMBAI'S LAUNDRY. ONLY MEN DO THIS.

WE THEN GO TO MAHATMA GHANDI'S PLACE, HAVE A LOOK AT THE TIFFIN DELIVERERS & BACK TO THE SHIP.

WE HAVE A WAIT AROUND AT THE GATE OF INDIA.....

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A SWEEPER TAKING A LOT OF PRIDE IN HER WORK...& LOOKING GOOD IN HER SARI,

I REALLY RATE THE LOOK OF SARIS. SO SIMPLE. SO ELEGANT.

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THIS BUILDING WAS BOMBED A WHILE AGO, AS WAS THE RAILWAY STATION WE ARE GOING TO.

LOTS OF SECURITY. SOLDIERS WITH MACHINE GUNS TYPE SECURITY.

NO PHOTOS ALLOWED IN THE STATION.
WE HAD THE SHIPS PHOTOGRAPHER WITH US & A GUY WITH A GUN TOLD HER , QUITE POLITELY, NOT TAKE PHOTOS.
MAYBE SHE DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS SAYING, BECAUSE HE HAD TO TELL HER TWICE.

I MOVED AWAY A LITTLE.

RULE NUMBER ONE - DO WHAT THE MAN WITH THE MACHINE GUN ASKS YOU TO DO.

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ON THE TRAIN, WE ARE GOING OUT OF TOWN. MASSES OF PEOPLE ARE GOING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION

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OUR GUIDE HAS EXPLAINED THAT WE ARE TO GET OFF AT THE THIRD STATION.

SHE SAYS THE TRAIN WILL ONLY STOP MOMENTARILY, LIKE LESS THAN A MINUTE.

IF ANYONE IS NOT ABLE TO GET OFF - DO NOT PANIC - SHE WILL STAY ON THE TRAIN, GO TO THE NEXT STATION & COME BACK TO JOIN THOSE WHO MADE IT ONTO THE PLATFORM THE FIRST TIME,

SIMPLE ENOUGH!

A FRENCH LADY IN OUR GROUP ASKED ME TO HELP HER OFF THE TRAIN AS SHE IS A BIT SLOW ON HER FEET.

THE DOORS HAD NEVER BEEN CLOSED, EVEN WHEN WE WERE MOVING.

I HAD HER UP BEFORE THE TRAIN STOPPED.
WAITED TIL THE TRAIN STOPPED.
STEPPED QUICKLY ONTO THE PLATFORM & HANDED HER DOWN.
SHE HAD ONE FOOT ON THE GROUND AND THE TRAIN STARTED TO MOVE BUT SHE WAS OK & STEPPED OFF.

A GUY BEHIND MUST HAVE MISSED THE BIT ABOUT 'STAY ON THE TRAIN' & DEFINITELY MISSED 'DO NOT PANIC'

HE LEAPT ONTO THE PLATFORM FROM THE MOVING TRAIN, AND CRASHED TO THE FLOOR.

NO DAMAGE - FORTUNATELY.

WE HAD TO WAIT ON THE PLATFORM FOR THE GUIDE TO BRING THE NON-PANICKED PEOPLE BACK WITH HER.

GAVE US TIME TO WATCH THE ACTION ON THE PLATFORM, NO ONE WAS SAYING NO PHOTOS HERE.

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THOSE SEVEN PHOTOS WERE ALL TAKEN ON THE PLATFORM. THE PEOPLE GOING ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS ARE RIGHT NEXT TO THE TRACKS..

NOW WE GO TO THE LAUNDRY...

NOT LIKE ANY COIN-OP IN OTTAWA.....

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THIS LITTLE ONE LOOKS A TRIFLE PEEVED.

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AND ON TO THE MAHATMA'S PLACE..

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AND THE TIFFIN DELIVERERS....

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NO - THOSE ARE THE TOURISTS, WATCHING THE DELIVERERS. LUNCH BOXES BROUGHT FROM HOME & DELIVERED TO AN OFFICE DESK. AMAZING SYSTEM.

HOW DO THEY NOT LOSE SOME?

SAME WITH ALL THAT LAUNDRY. HOW DOES IT ALL GET BACK OK TO THE OWNERS?

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AND BACK TO THE BOAT WHERE THEY ARE HANGING OUT THE LAUNDRY TOO...

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I NEVER DID SEE A TIGER IN INDIA SO THE POSTER NEXT TO THE SHIP WILL HAVE TO DO,

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MARTHA TOLD ME SHE TOOK A PHOTO OF A SOLDIER WHO HAD HIS GUN POKING OVER THE TOP OF SOME SANDBAGS.

RATHER YOU THAN ME - GUNGA DIN.

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THE SHIP LEFT HARBOUR, WENT OUT TO SEA AND THEN STOPPED & WE JUST SAT THERE.

AN ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE TO SAY THE WE LEFT TO CATCH THE TIDE, BUT THAT WE HAD NOT FINISHED THE PORT FORMALITIES.

HENCE THE WAIT.

NOW - THAT MAY BE TRUE BUT, I WAS ON DECK & A SMALL BOAT APPROACHED. MY FIRST THOUGHT WAS - 'PIRATES',

NO - IT WAS A PASSENGER & HIS WIFE. THEY HAD BEEN OFF SHIP FOR THREE DAYS ON THEIR OWN & MISSED THE BOAT.

HE OWNED AN OIL WELL, SO HE COULD HAVE AFFORDED TO CATCH UP WITH US AT THE NEXT PORT IN DUBAI.

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FORMAL NIGHT AT SEA & THIS IS NOT A PASSENGER. SHE IS THE NEW BARTENDER......

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Posted by hasbeen 06:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

2016 - JIM CORBETT PARK to see the tigers

On the way to Myanmar, a short stop in India


View 2016 - NGAPALI BEACH on hasbeen's travel map.

IT IS JANUARY & I AM ON THE WAY TO MYANMAR TO SEE SOPHY, WE WILL SPEND A LOT OF DAYS AT NGAPALI BEACH.

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ITS JANUARY IN OTTAWA - NO SURPRISE HERE - WINTER HAS BARELY STARTED & I ALREADY LONG TO BE SOMEWHERE HOT.

I AM GOING TO SPEND 6 DAYS IN INDIA ON THE WAY. IF I HAD KNOWN THE VISA WAS GOING TO COST OVER $200 I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN ANOTHER ROUTE, BUT THERE IS ALSO THE LURE OF THE JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK WHERE I MIGHT SEE A TIGER IN THE WILD.

I SHOULD ALSO HAVE REALISED THAT INDIA IS NOT THAT HOT IN JANUARY EITHER.

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NEW DELHI IS THE FIRST STOP - ATROCIOUS AIR POLLUTION & LOTS OF TRAFFIC BUT I AM ONLY HERE FOR A DAY BEFORE HEADING TO THE PARK, SOME 10 HOURS AWAY TOWARDS THE MOUNTAINS. MOST OF MY TIME IN DELHI WAS SPENT SLEEPING AFTER THE 14 HOUR FLIGHT FROM TORONTO. I HAD ARRIVED IN THE MIDST OF A TRAFFIC EXPERIMENT WHERE ONLY CARS WITH ODD OR EVEN NUMBER PLATES WERE ALLOWED ON THE ROAD. IT WAS TO SEE IF POLLUTION WOULD DECREASE. IF IT HAD I DID NOT NOTICE & THERE SEEMED AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC THAT MANAGED TO KEEP MOVING QUITE FAST. SO MAYBE THINGS IMPROVED A BIT - HARD TO TELL

THE FLIGHT WAS A PAIN IN THE BUTT, SO THE PRODUCT ADVERTISED HERE MIGHT COME IN HANDY.

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LOTS OF INTERESTING SIGHTS ALONG THE WAY ..

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MY DRIVER HAD TOLD ME THAT HE HAD HOUSE COWS & WE STOPPED AT HIS PLACE SO HE COULD SAY HELLO TO HIS FAMILY, & HIS COWS ... HE HAS THREE & NOW I KNOW WHY THEY ARE CALLED HOUSE COWS - THEY LIVE IN HIS HOUSE, WELL, THE YARD OF HIS HOUSE ...

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HE HAS A NICE OLD ENGLISH BIKE - A ROYAL ENFIELD IF MEMORY SERVES ..

HERE ARE TWO FRIENDS OF THE GUIDE & A SON & DAUGHTER ..

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HIS SISTER & MOTHER ...

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I WAS GIVEN SOME SNACKS TO EAT BY HIS WIFE, HERE DOING THE COOKING ..

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SOME NEIGHBOURS PASSING ...

AND THIS IS FUEL COOK-HOUSES .. COW DUNG FORMED INTO CAKES & COOKED.

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ANOTHER NEIGHBOUR ..

WIFE & SISTER STILL COOKING ... THE COWS ARE JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WALL.

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MY GUIDE - WITH THE HAT ..

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TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE FAMILY & HIT THE ROAD ..

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THE OVERTURNED TRUCK COMPLETELY BLOCKED ONE SIDE OF A DIVIDED HIGHWAY - SO OF COURSE WE TOOK THE OTHER SIDE & DROVE DOWN THE WRONG SIDE WITH TRAFFIC & ANIMALS & PEOPLE - WHITE KNUCKLE TIME FOR ME - THE DRIVER JUST KEPT HONKING THE HORN ..

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SUGAR CANE BEING LOADED I THINK ..

DON'T WANT TO GET TO CLOSE TO THIS LOAD ..

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NOW ARRIVED AT THE HOTEL, JUST OUTSIDE THE PARK. NO TIGERS YET - TIME FOR AN EVENING STROLL AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOTEL.

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HAD A CUP OF TEA WITH THE YOUNG FELLA WHO TOOK ME FOR THE WALK ..

NEXT DAY I AM TO GO SEE A TEMPLE IN THE MIDDLE OF A RIVER ..

NICE BIRDS TO LOOK AT WHILE I AM WAITING FOR THE DRIVER ..

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THESE CROWS ARE CLEANING THE BONES OF A MONKEY ..

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HERE IS THE TEMPLE ..

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I EXPECT IT LOOKS A LOT BETTER WHEN THE RIVER HAS SOME WATER IN IT BUT IT WAS A NICE DRIVE ..

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HAD TO CROSS THIS SMALL STREAM TO GET TO & FROM THE HOTEL ..

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A REALLY EARLY START TO GET TO THE PARK & WE MANAGE TO GET OVER THE STREAM OK IN THE DARK

NOW IN JIM CORBETT PARK - THERE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A BIG CAT'S PAW PRINT HERE - DO YOU SEE IT, ME NEITHER, WELL MAYBE ..

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TERMITE MOUND

NICE EARLY MORNING SCENERY & I WAS ON THE BACK OF AN OPEN JEEP - WITH 3 BLANKETS, HAT, SCARF & GLOVES I WAS NOT TOO COLD ...

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DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEER ..

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& THAT'S IT FOR THE PARK - A LONG WAY TO GO TO SEE NOT TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING. NO TIGERS - NO ELEPHANTS .. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE LAST WEEK ..

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BACK ACROSS THE STREAM & I THOUGHT THE BUS HAD GOT STUCK BUT IT WAS JUST GETTING A WASH ..

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A BIT OF ROAD SIDE ENTERTAINMENT .. NO ONE SEEMED VERY PLEASED TO SEE ME & I LEFT PRETTY SMARTISH ..

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BACK TO THE DRIVERS HOUSE ..

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AND IT IS AT THIS POINT THAT I WAS STRUCK DOWN WITH A VIOLENT BOUT OF DELHI BELLY - ONLY JUST MAKING IT TO THE HOTEL WHERE I STAYED AT DEATHS DOOR FOR TWO NIGHTS.

EN ROUTE TO MY OWN HOTEL, THE DRIVER MANAGED TO FIND ME A WESTERN TOILET AT ANOTHER HOTEL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THERE WAS AN INTERESTING EPISODE WHERE THE DRIVER PAID FOR A 'TOLL' ON THE ROAD - HE TOLD ME THIS WAS NOT IN ANY WAY OFFICIAL, PEOPLE SET UP THEIR OWN 'TOLL' - HIGHWAY ROBBERY, NEW DELHI STYLE.

AFTER WHICH I MANAGED TO FLY TO YANGON TO MEET SOPHY & WAS STILL ILL TWO DAYS LATER WHEN WE LEFT TO FLY TO THE BEACH,

Posted by hasbeen 04:10 Archived in India Comments (0)

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