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.
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. [ptcPhoto filename=”Durga320.jpg” title=”Durga” caption=”The Goddess Durga, keeping us in good health” position=”right”] 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.
[ptcPhoto filename=”IndiaHive.jpg” title=”Beehive” caption=”A beehive at our hotel in Mysore” position=”left”]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. [ptcPhoto filename=”IndiaElectric.jpg” title=”Electricity” caption=”Electric lines, or modern art?” position=”right”] 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.
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!