Leaving behind the city of Mumbai, we drove to its airport to catch an internal flight south, to the beaches of Goa. At last! My chance to tan in the sunshine! I thought. But sadly, skipping off the plane after a quick 90-minute or so flight, I found the complete opposite.
We all knew it was going to be a long journey from Udaipur to Mumbai, but nothing prepared us for just how exhausting it would be.With a short stop in the city of Ahmedabad in between, we got on a local bus which was quite strange – a deck of seats along the bottom deck, which we were on, and a row of sleeping spaces along the top. It wasn’t especially clean but I did manage to get a bit of sleep, until a woman getting on dropped a huge bag of monkey nuts on my leg, that is…
Leaving the sacred town of Pushkar, we clambered onto a train which looked like something from the 1960s – open doors, shuttered windows and uncomfortable benches. It was riotous, with people jumping onto the train as it was moving, people selling Domino’s pizza and strange keyrings with zips on. One man sat next to us produced two giant suitcases and two huge backpacks out of nowhere when he had to get off the train. It wasn’t too uncomfortable though, thanks to the tonnes of fans attached to the ceiling. Five hours later, we arrived in Udaipur, the Lake City.
Another four-hour journey in the jeep after leaving Tordi Sagar saw us travel to the holy town of Pushkar, a pilgrimage site for Hindus and Sikhs. The world’s only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma, here meat, eggs and alcohol are banned (I know, I know, how did I cope…).
Leaving the Pink City of Jaipur in a huge jeep, it soon became clear we were leaving the hustle and bustle of urban India and plunging deep into the countryside.
On the three-hour trip to the tiny village of Tordi Sagar, we encountered herds of cows and goats, packed wholesale markets and the nasty stink of fertiliser. Pulling into our beautifully decorated hotel, which felt more like someone’s home than holiday accommodation, we were ‘blessed’ with a red dot between our eyebrows and offered an ice cold cola.
The journey from Agra to Jaipur was long – five hours to be precise – and made me realise just how big a country India is, as on a map it looked like we’d moved no distance at all.
The coach trip was filled with all kinds of ridiculous sights through the windows – a glorious mish-mash of cows napping in the middle of highways, a toppled over lorry, the loud sound of trumpets, warthogs picking their way through piles of old vegetables and the occasional camel.
This blog post comes to you from the very tired (jetlagged?) mind of someone who thought they’d try and resuscitate their travel blog from the sad death it died after a trip to Uganda back in 2015.
I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve been on the road, but after having itchy feet and a low bank balance for a while I decided it was about time for another adventure. And another blog!
So that’s it – after an entire year of preparation, my African adventure is over. The final few days of my trip were the best by far, and I can’t believe how quickly the time went. I felt like I’d only just arrived, but equally I was so used to the lifestyle I felt like I’d been there for months. Here’s what I got up to on safari and at the opening day of the playground.
The second week of my African adventure has flown by, and I can’t believe the experiences I’ve had in the past few days and that I only have another few left. But yesterday I actually came face to face with an endangered mountain gorilla! Here’s what I’ve been up to since completing the East African Playgrounds charity project at Huda school in Uganda.
Continue reading Day 9-15: Gorilla trekking across Uganda
It’s day 8 of my Ugandan adventure and finally, after more than a week of no electricity, let alone internet, I’ve finished my project with East African Playgrounds! Have a read of what I’ve been up to so far (oh, and Andy says hi).