Tuesday, December 18


Because the posts are sorted newest to oldest, I've taken the time to organize them from first to last so that it reads chronologically. Each one will open up in a new window:

Nov. 14: How it all began
Nov. 15: On my own, here we go!
Nov. 17: Almost there
Nov: 18: Delhi, India
Nov 19: Last day in Delhi
Nov 20: Busy in Agra
Nov 23: Taj Mahal - it deserves it's own entry
Nov 23: Welcome to Rajasthan
Nov 23: Bika.. what?
Nov 25: Two days in Jaisalmer
Nov 26: Heading south through Jodhpur
Nov 27: Ranakpur to Udaipur
Nov 28: Relaxing in Udaipur
Nov 29: Avoid Ahmadabad
Nov 30: Two or three days in Daman?
Dec. 1: Moti Daman
Dec. 4: Changing plans in Aurangabad
Dec 5: Hyderabad with Babette, Kim and Ramon
Dec 7: Hyderabad to Hampi
Dec 7: Happy in Hampi
Dec 8: Staying in Hampi
Dec 9: At the lake near Hampi
Dec 10: Shopping and the country side
Dec 13: Moving on, almost home
Dec 14: Bangalore
Dec 15: Limping through the Bangalore Bazaar
Dec 16: The perfect circle

Sunday, December 16

The perfect circle

This morning I fly back to Canada and the trip has ended perfectly! As I was walking through the streets of Paharaganj I saw Emilie, the girl who I mentioned in the very first entry of this journal. What a small place, just a couple of days ago we were in two entirely different parts of India. I spent a little bit of the morning with her and her friend Satoko and then they had to take a taxi to Agra. It was nice to see her India and I'll see her again back in Calgary.

I spent most of the time in the main bazaar, talking to the locals and the tourists and bargaining for goods with the shop owners. I also got in some more sight seeing, visiting the Red Fort and the Gandhi museum. I'm a huge admirer of Gandhi and visiting the museum was quite inspiring.

anything in India it's patience. You have to learn to go with the flow and let go of the concept of time andI enjoyed Delhi more the second time around. If you learn line-ups. Having patience is the only method to get through the traffic, the dirt and the scams -- and see the many good things India has to offer. It's been really fun.

The red fort:

Gandhi's last steps before being assassinated:


Last sunrise in India:

Saturday, December 15

Limping through the Bangalore Bazaar

The best thing about Bangalore has to be its bazaar. It's packed from about nine in the morning to eleven at night. Everything is sold here on the street. You can find spices on one corner and brand new computers on the next. I bought some cell phone face plates that would normally cost about twenty-five dollars for about two bucks. Another bonus is that no one bothers me here. At the bazaars in other cities they see tourists as walking money bags, at this one I get an occasional look but no one is insisting that I see their store.

At the hotel I ran into a couple from Ireland who I met in Hampi just before I got on the bus. They joined me for dinner and then we went to looking for a place to finish the day in Irish style -- drinking. This place has a heavy Muslim influence and finding a place that serves alcohol was a little bit of a challenge.

It's interesting to note that for every twenty people here there seems to be a temple. Mostly Hindu temples with unique rooftop carvings and a few mosques and churches. I walked around for a few blocks but eventually my sprained ankle started to feel sore and a little painful so I decided to head back to the hotel. It's now turned a nice blue and red colour. I was going to post some photos of it but it's pretty gross so I decided not to. It's been really frustrating not being able to go at the pace that I'm used to.

Pictures from the Bangalore bazaar:

Friday, December 14


I'm in Bangalore and it's a bit of a boring place. It's big and I'm not fond of big places. There's lots to do in terms of shopping, but not much for sight seeing. It's been difficult to get a rickshaw without getting ripped off, but I found one guy who was willing to give me a good deal and he's been driving me around all day. I arranged that he pick me up tomorrow for the airport.

I started the day with the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, which was perfect way to ease into a busy city. Then I went to the Bull and Krishna temple, followed by the Tipu Sultan's Palace. After that I went to do some shopping. I won't be doing much else before I fly to Delhi. Maybe check out the local bazaar, buy some presents and find a restaurant with some tourists who might be up for a game of chess.

On the streets of Bangalore:

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens:

Temple decorations and carvings:

Thursday, December 13

Moving on, almost home

This is my last day in Hampi. I never imagined I would spend so much time in one place! It was a new experience for me; I generally get very impatient staying in one place for too long. It was good to learn how to relax on your vacation and for that Babette and Kim were good teachers.

Sitting on a giant rock next to the river while a friend played the guitar and the sun started to set, I said goodbye to the friends I traveled with for the last nine days. It was more difficult than I expected.

I spent most of my time here being pretty active, but yesterday I sprained my ankle. So today I took it easy. There’s not much more to say about Hampi that I haven’t said already, the last few days I will show in pictures. My next stop is Banglore, where I’ll have a day of exploring before I fly to Delhi and from there back home.

An elephant walks down to the river for a bath:

The best way to see the area around Hampi:

Farmers near the town:

On top of the monkey temple:

Ramon and the monkeys enjoying the view:

Being blessed by Lakshmi:

Monday, December 10

Shopping and the country side

Spent the whole morning talking to the locals and looking for things to buy. I've found many interesting people in Hampi. It seems that people from all over India come here. Different cities of India specialize in different things. You can usually tell where someone is from just by the crafts they're selling. I'm not sure that I'll be buying much here. The best crafts Hampi has to offer are made of stone and I don't really feel like carrying rocks around in my backpack. Does anyone really like stone carvings?

In the afternoon I rented a motorcycle and rode around the countryside on my own. It was a nice experience in that I was able to pull over everywhere, take photos, talk to people and see how they live. I also visited one of the nearby monuments known as the "monkey temple". It didn't have much to offer in terms of architecture, but it had a great view of the surrounding area and friendly monkeys.

I went back to the lake to see if I could get some good sunset photos. The photos didn't really do the place justice.

Sunrise in Hampi:

View from the monkey temple:

A woman watches over buffalo:

A boy from a nearby village:

Sunset over the lake:

Sunday, December 9

At the lake near Hampi

We are now on the other side of the river that separates Hampi. The half that we left is where all the temples, tourists and amenities are. The side we're at now is only bungalows with hammocks, a couple of internet cafes and a whole lot of hippies. The boat to the main part of Hampi stops at 6:00 pm. so if anyone wants something from India, let me know now.

I spent the whole day relaxing by a nearby lake. It's about five kilometers so we rented motorcycles and rode there. Ramon and I shared the tiny motorcycle you see in the photo. I wish I had a photo of us trying to go up a hill. At the lake I climbed among the rocks and took in the sun while my friends swam and sun bathed. After the sun went down we went to the restaurant, had drinks and played cards.

Sunrise over Hampi bazaar:

Streets on the other side of the river:

The lake:

Last boat to cross the river:

Saturday, December 8

Staying in Hampi

I’m tempted to stay here for the remainder of my journey. I feel so guilty saying that, but I’m really not sure that I’m interested in taking the trains and buses through the rest of south India. It’s so draining to lose a day just to traveling. It’s been really nice to have company and here there are many people to meet and talk to. Not only tourists, but the Indian people too.

While exploring the ruins of Hampi, I made friends with two Indian students, Chandru and Ashok. They passed by me on a small motorcycle and stopped to offer me a ride – at no charge. Three people on a tiny scooter, why not? Well it wasn’t the best idea. As we drove over some sand the motorcycle started to wobble and we lost control. My two new friends fell to the ground with the motorcycle on top of them. I hopped off as soon as I noticed it was going down. Chandru seemed to be slightly hurt and the motorcycle was a little damaged, but these guys took it in stride. They didn’t complain, they didn’t ask for help and they assured me that it wasn’t my fault. They then continued to show me other ruins, but this time we parked the motorcycle and walked around. When we went our separate ways we exchanged e-mail and I promised to send them some of the pictures I took.

On my way to other ruins I ran into Babette and Kim (they slept in), who were going by on a rickshaw. It’s pretty hot here and I was quite relieved to hop in and join them. Staying here for the rest of my trip will mean a lot of sun. I expect to come back with a good tan.

We’re planning to move to the other side of the river tomorrow. This means that Babette and Kim can stay in the hammocks near the river, while Ramon and I boulder or hike. They say they might join us, but I’m skeptical.

Streets of Hampi in the morning:

Ashok and Chandru

Ruins in the distance:

Chandru at the stone gate ruins:

Friday, December 7

Happy in Hampi

My friend Parry strongly recommended visiting Hampi and I'm really glad I took his advice. It's a really interesting place, many ruins, and it's a smaller town with a slower pace. It seems there are more tourists here than locals, though sadhus still wander the streets. It might be a good place to spend a few days.

Ramon has already been to Hampi, so today we had a guide for free. On his suggestion, we rented bicycles and rode from ruin to ruin. There's hardly any traffic here so we had no problems getting used to staying on the left side of the road. Even better was that most of the ruins (and there are many) don't require any entrance fees. We are planning to spend a few days here, so we didn't feel rushed to see everything.

After an easy morning of sight seeing, we went for lunch and drinks. Ramon took us to a nice little restaurant perched on the bank of a river. Aside from all the mosquitoes (they're so vicious here), it was quite enjoyable.

My first day in Hampi ended with a river float in a funny round boat with my traveling companions. On the nearby cliffs a Bollywood movie was being made and it created some amusement as we took in the sun. This pace is starting to feel more like a vacation.

P.S. Did I mention I hate mosquitoes?

A monkey runs across the path of some local students:

Kim and Babette at their favorite sight:

Some intricate carvings on a ruined temple:

Columns made of black stone:

The gang, relaxing by the river:

Floating on the river in a strange raft: