Asia

Jodhpur

The trip is winding down, the travel days dwindling to less than a week. We have one last stop in India before the long flight home. Jodhpur is our final destination. The blue city, so called because of the rabbit warren of small streets and lanes of blue painted houses that spill down the hill just below the fort. Brahmin …

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Jaisalmer

Pushkar is a meat-free, alcohol-free town. The coffee is mostly instant Nescafe so I’ve been drinking tea. We participate in a blessing ceremony conducted by a Brahmin on the shore of the lake. We leave Pushkar feeling healthy and holy! We drive to Ajmer for an afternoon train. Shortly after we board, a steward arrives to take our dinner order and, …

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Pushkar

Pushkar is a small city in central Rajasthan, in north-west India. It’s famous for its camel market and for the only Hindu temple dedicated to Brahma, the supreme god in the Hindu pantheon. All of the other temples in India – and there are millions – are dedicated to Shiva or Vishnu or one of the other minor gods. In fact, …

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Rajasthan

We are in Rajasthan for the Hindu festival of Holi, a celebration of Hindu spring also known as the “festival of colours”. Holi signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships. It is also celebrated as …

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Udaipur

Six of us carry on from Sri Lanka to Rajasthan, a state in north-western India. Bev & Larry, Sharon & Ray, Craig & I fly from Colombo to Udaipur, the white temple city on Lake Pichola.  Sonny, a handsome twenty-something Sikh fellow, is our driver for the next two weeks; we are travelling in the comfort of a 10 passenger …

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Galle, Sri Lanka

It’s a short flight from Trivandrum, India to Colombo, Sri Lanka and a three hour taxi from the Colombo airport to Galle, on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. We are in fabled Ceylon, the original Spice Island, a tear drop shaped island off the southern coast of India, just north of the Equator. Yes, it’s hot! In the …

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Varkala

Another day, another terrifying road trip. Thomas’ GPS says it will take three hours to drive from Alleppy to Varkala and even though we get lost several times, once quite badly, we arrive in exactly three hours. Trucks and buses fly at us, horns honk, scooters swerve all over the road, tuk-tuks suddenly stop to let passengers out. It is …

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Kerala

The good news is the drive from Madurai to Thekkady takes no longer than Thomas says it will. In fact, it is a half hour shorter. Unheard of for an Indian road trip. The bad news is it’s a gut-wrenching, hair-raising, nerve-wracking, adrenaline-pumping trip. The shoulderless two lane road is a four to five lane free-for-all. The windscreen of the …

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Madurai

The night train to Bangalore is only a half hour late. YAY! The tickets are not clear about whether we have sleeper seats. We do. YAY! Not luxurious, the beds are narrow and hard, but with the help of half a Gravol, half a Zopiclone and a double dose of Melatonin I sleep through the trip. YAY! We share the …

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Hampi

After a drive of over four hours to go 200 kms from Badami to Hampi, we arrive at the Hampi Heritage Resort http://www.indoasia-hotels.com/heritage-resort-hampi/ mid-afternoon. It’s a veritable oasis in the countryside. A curry lunch, an ice cold Kingfisher beer, a swim, and a nap are all we can manage in the 35 degree heat. We’ll save the Hampi ruins for tomorrow. …

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Badami

After three relaxing days in Goa we hit the road in a chauffeured car and head inland, away from the cooling sea breeze, east to the state of Karnataka. Our destination, Badami, is only a few hundred kilometres away but it takes 8 hours to get there. The road is crowded, in bad shape in some places, under construction in …

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Anjuna, Goa

The cab to YVR arrives on the dot of 0900. Inside it smells faintly of damp wool and cardamom. The driver, Indy, short for Inderjit, is pleased to hear we are going to India, but disappointed it is not a trip to the Punjab, where he was born, has family, owns a house, and is heading in a few days. …

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Laos 2010

Had we not been political junkies, we might not have ever heard of this small land-locked country in Southeast Asia, just north of Cambodia, south of China, west of Viet Nam and east of Thailand. Laos is mostly known for its peripheral involvement in the Viet Nam war. After the French left in the 1950s, Laos was subject to invasions …

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Cambodia 2010

February 2010. The Winter Olympics are in Vancouver. It is a good time for Craig to be away. Not much happening work-wise.  A friend of a friend who lives in Coquitlam is only too happy to house/cat sit so close to the Olympic action. All systems go for a trip. Vietnam is all the rage. The latest hotspot. A must-see …

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Viet Nam 2010

After crossing the border from Cambodia into Vietnam on the Mekong River, we enter into a small tributary, arriving in Can Tho late in the afternoon, overnighting in a bad room in a hotel over a motorcycle repair shop. The room’s only window is onto a hall. No sheets, towels or toilet paper. Dirty walls. No soap. Broken fan. No …

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Nepal 1985

After a month in India, Donna, Debbie, Craig & I fly from Goa to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, a small Himalayan country north east of India. Nepal contains 8 of the planet’s 10 highest peaks, including Everest. Largely Buddhist, it is was peaceful monarchy when we visited. Coexisting with buddhists, Kathmandu is also home to a hippy population. It …

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India 1985

India 1985 is part of a larger trip that includes China and Nepal. Following a month in China Craig, Donna, Debbie & I return to Hong Kong, spend a few days there enjoying the amenities of civilization, and then carry on to India. While Craig flies directly to Delhi, the three of us women route through Bangkok. We stay on …

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China 1984/5

I meet Craig in May 1983, just prior to the trip Donna & I take to SE Asia. I send him a few postcards, ostensibly to entice him to make the same trip. Subversively to stay connected. In Aukland, New Zealand I get a letter from him addressed to the American Express office. Once I am back, throughout 1984 we …

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SE Asia 1983

It’s1983. My friend Donna & I are about to turn 30. We’re single, have been living and working in Calgary for several years and are restless for an adventure that will take us outside of our comfort zone. Much of our generation is heading to South East Asia as a rite of passage into adulthood, so we follow their lead …

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