Probably the activity I wondered about the most on this 15-day tour was the two-night stay at an indigenous Tharu village near Chitwan National Park. What would the accommodations be like? Would I be staying in a family’s home? Would I eat with the family?
One of the reasons we were going there was to visit Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s largest and oldest park, home to rhinoceroses, crocodiles, tigers and leopards. Continue reading HOMESTAY IN NEPAL’S TERAI REGION
We left India after visiting three major cities, Delhi, the second largest in India with 27 million inhabitants, Jaipur 3-4 million, and Varanasi, 1.4 million and nearly as many visitors each year. As tourists, we visited only the old parts of each city.
These cities are frenetic with activity, dusty with age and history, full of vitality. Life is squeezed in everywhere. Half-built houses already have shops on the ground floor. Continue reading LEAVING INDIA
Varanasi is chaotic, fascinating and unique. It’s located along the Ganges, the river sacred to Hindus and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The city is crowded with people, animals and vehicles. Even the buildings seem to huddle together like old men sharing secrets. Traffic defies understanding and leaves your head spinning. Continue reading VARANASI – SPIRITUAL CAPITAL OF INDIA
One of the activities on this trip that stood out on the agenda was an overnight train from Orchha to Varanasi. Trains in India carry 27 million people every day, about 2/3 the population of Canada. They offer many classes, from compartments with locking doors and private bathrooms to carriages outfitted with benches and no reserved seating. Air-conditioning depends on the class.
We boarded our train about an hour late, not unusual for Indian trains. Continue reading NIGHT TRAIN TO VARANASI
Imagine being invited into someone’s home in India for a meal. Imagine that the hostess shows you how to prepare her favorite dishes and then sends you home with the recipes. We had the great pleasure of doing just that in the small town of Orchha. Continue reading COOKING WITH RAJNI
Travelling by road in India is an entertaining experience. What would you think if you saw a tractor heading towards you in the fast lane of a divided highway? As a driver, what would you do? Continue reading Driving on Indian Highways
In Jaipur, Ken and I did a quintessentially Indian thing. We had clothes made to measure.
Our group visited a factory where we saw how block-printing works. It’s a trade that’s been well established in Jaipur for hundreds of years. Using natural vegetable dyes and engraved blocks, expert craftsmen overlay patterns from the blocks to create colourful and intricate patterns on cotton and silk fabrics. Continue reading CHANGING OUR LOOK IN JAIPUR