Well after a long period of silence I have found myself in Delhi, at the end of a 5 month tour of duty across India. Wow. Can it really all be over? So soon?
So much has happened it is hard to know where to start. So I think I will came back at a later date and fill in the blanks. In the mean time here is a quick summary.
Did a big push up the centre plains of India in the blazing heat. 40 degrees was not uncommon so by the end of four weeks we fled to the mountains in the foothills of the Himalaya’s.
On the way we took in Aurangabad and the Ellora caves. We spent a day looking in and around 30 odd caves that mark a progression of monastaries carved out of solid rock into a cliff face. The start small and simple and get more and more complex over the years. Interesting to note the religions changing over the years but the same iconagraphy from Buddhist to Hindu to Jain represented throuought.
Beautiful Omkareshwar was next on the list, complete with Bombay Baba experience. When it got weird we headed to the quiet town of Sanchi. A world heritage site with some stunning Buddhist temples covered in some of the most detailed carvings I saw in India.
Some of the temples date back to when the Buddha was not depicted directly – instead was represented by different images depending on the stage of His life, footprints for early years and the Bodhi tree after gaining enlightment. Nice ideas.
Next stop Orcha. Another small sleepy town off the main tourist trail as well. Chilled for a few days and wandered around old an ruined fort and temples.
Khajuraho followed and wasn’t much fun. Another world heritage site and probably the best preserved temples we have seen howerver the draw card was the erotic carvings that adorned them. Good spot for repressed Indian honeymooners etc who come to catch a glimpse of sex in a society that hides from their previously more liberal days, but not so much fun for us. The town was filled with end of season desperation so we fled aiming for the mountains to escape!
We ended up in Agra, almost accidently so decided to see the Taj Mahal. Good to see it – as it is a nice piece of architecture, and nice to think that it was built for love. Pity the matching one in black was never built on the other side of the river!
That heat was still on our backs so the stay was short. We had been following a suggested itinerary from a nice guy we had met in Gokarna and the last stop was in the Eastern foothills of the Himalayas in a small town called Casa Devi. Ah so nice to be out of the heat! A nice temperate climate again. feels and even looks a bit like New Zealand.
A month or so in and around the area chilling out did wonders for us. Relaxing, smoking, reading and generally doing nothing apart from working out what to eat next. Just what the doctor ordered.
Two days ago we got here to Delhi. Having a good time in Parah Ganj shopping for small bits and pieces. Our plane leaves early tomorrow morning for Frankfurt. If all goes to plan we will jump some form of transport to Switzerland to stay with a friend for a couple of weeks before heading on to London to do the same again before landing in Calgary maybe early July.
The are so many things to look forward, and so many things to say goodbye to. Life is change. I love it