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Month Two

Hello again! Looking back, it’s been a very busy month since we last updated the site and there’s a ton to talk about. India is both exhilarating and exhausting, and by the end of most days we’re dead tired. Between that and intermittent Internet, you may have noticed that we haven’t posted any real articles for some time. Thankfully we just arrived in Darjeeling and we’re staying put for a few weeks in an effort to catch up on writing and take a few deep breaths before heading on to Nepal.

Health Matters

Knock on wood, we’re still in great health other than a couple of short-lived injuries and illnesses. Sam sprained her foot a couple of weeks ago, but it was very minor and has healed well.

Durga
The Goddess Durga, keeping us in good health
Eric hits his head on short doorframes pretty regularly, but so far he’s avoided concussion and just has some lumps up top. Delhi Belly hasn’t been an issue. Sam did have to stop and empty her stomach in a train station on our way out of Varanasi. This drew a few strange looks from the locals…but she felt much better afterwards.

We do have some traveler’s fatigue at the moment. Our longest stop so far was down on the beach in Goa, and moving from place to place every few days takes its toll. Traveling long-term demands more energy than we anticipated. But make no mistake, we aren’t complaining!

What Have We Been Up To?

With the writing spree right around the corner, we won’t go into too many details. Our friend Caroline visited for ten days and we had a great time visiting Delhi, the Taj Mahal, and the state of Rajasthan while she was here. We hope she’ll remember the good times, and not just the culture shock of Northern India. Some other highlights included camel rides, celebrating Holi (the spring festival of colors), seeing a Bollywood film, and making new friends on trains.

Beehive
A beehive at our hotel in Mysore
India has kept us on our toes, and sometimes it seems like just walking outside can prove dangerous. Eric was struck by an auto-rickshaw in New Delhi and Caroline unfortunately had food poisoning during part of her stay. Other daily dangers include loose electric lines, swarms of bees, wrathful cows, packs of dogs, and surly camels.

After six weeks in India, we’re no longer surprised by frequent disregard for public health and safety, herds of wild animals in the street, or seeing people defecate, well…anywhere really.

Electricity
Electric lines, or modern art?
But while we’ve become desensitized to many of her flaws, we’ve also learned to appreciate the nuances of India’s splendor. Varanasi in itself was worth all the dilemmas we’ve endured.

What’s Next?

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, our temporary home of Darjeeling is the perfect place to hide out and do some planning. Next we’ll head over the border into Nepal and visit Kathmandu. We’re really looking forward to getting some exercise trekking the Annapurna Circuit and visiting Nepali villages along the way. In the meantime, we’ll get some work done!

More from Plotting the Course:

6 Responses to “Month Two”

  1. Min Qi

    Wow, you are having a wonderful trip out there! The “modern art” is really something:) Hope all is well and plz keep posting!

    Reply
  2. cassie

    I’m enjoying living vicariously through you…. especially when it comes to the bathroom situation in India! Safe travels to you both.

    Cassie

    Reply
  3. Aunt Kathy & Uncle Delbert

    still watching for you updates and enjoying when we see one. sounds like a great time. not something i would do at this point in time, but who knows, maybe i would have if i could have. :):) love you guys. stay safe!!!

    Reply
    • Eric

      India’s definitely not for everyone, but there is something to be offered here for everyone, it’s just a matter of how much you can look past to find it.

      Reply
  4. Jelmini

    Sounds like parts of your overall experience echo mine own. We also stopped in darjeeling after a couple weeks of being in the more populated areas, and found it a wonderful reprieve from the chaos and heat. it finally gave us a chance to plan, write postcards, and think for 30sec without being overwhelmed by heat exhaustion. We liked Darjeeling so much we canceled the rest of our places to visit and jus t stayed there a week.

    Have you gotten around to doing a tea plantation tour yet? There was ths woman, self proclaimed as the famous “5 second tea lady”, who worked on of the sites down the hill who was selling her private stock of tea to tourists at a heavy discount out the back of a hut. Just curious if she’s still there, so if you find yourself that way keep an eye out.

    Reply
    • Eric

      Yeah, Darjeeling is definitely a recovery from real India stop. Unfortunately we’ve been here for a few days now and the weather has been quite cold and rainy. We actually can’t tell that we’re actually in the Himalayas yet since all the views of the mountains are obstructed by the cloud cover.
      We’ll be going down to the tea plantations soon, we’ll let you know if we find your 5 second tea lady.

      Reply

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