Wednesday, 4 June 2014

delhi. lucknow. bikaner. gokarna. kodaikanal.

Sooooooo. It's been a while. We have been following the path less internetted. And since it as been so long since we were where these pictures are, I will keep it brief. 
We spent one day in between trains in Delhi and most of that day we hid in cafes and restaurants, but we did go walking and this is what we saw... 

And then we went to Lucknow. This was a mistake. These two photos show the city in the best possible light. Otherwise it is your standard loud, dirty, expensive, un-endearing Indian city. We left quicksmart.

And went to Bikaner. A relatively small town on the edge of the Thar desert in Rajhastan. We helped in a guesthouse and learnt that owning a guesthouse is not something we really aspire to. We did much dusting and sweeping and ever so many dishes. We also watched a boy fill the rusted out bottom of a van with water in order to clean the sand out. What he actually did was make a muddy pool of sandy water on the floor. And add another layer of rust. I did lots of painting for the matriarch of the hotel; a wonderful smiley woman who plied me with sweets and ice coffee and lassi as I painted flowers for her and we tried to chat.

These pigeons lived outside (and sometimes inside) our room. Every step out the door excited a burst of feathers and flapping.
And we went to the rat temple. Which is not actually what it was called but it is a temple that houses thousands of rats so it makes sense. I don't know what we were expecting but it was not what we saw when we arrived...thousand of rats, sick looking rats, scurrying across the floor and dying in the corners. And poop everywhere. You aren't allowed to wear shoes in an Indian temple.  

But we saw the white rat. We have luck forevermore. 

And then there was the kite festival. A celebration of the the founding of Bikaner, thousands of kites and fireworks. Will practised all week but in the end he couldn't find the knack, and so kept his kite flying private, on the roof of our room.

We went to see how the Indians did it and found a sky filled wit colourful fluttering and streets all tied up in kite strings. We got invited onto somebody's roof, listened to his friend go mad with a loudspeaker to the hundreds of people spread across the roof tops, got our picture taken for the local paper and saw many, many kites.

And along the way Will picked up a new hobby. He still needs the uniform though.

And then we escaped from the heat of Bikaner; ran away to the beach like the coastal people we are. And spent five days on a near deserted beach, eating fruit and doing nothing. 
Now we are deep in the jungle, where elephants roam (though they have wandered down to the plains now, for the rainy season) with bison, monkeys steal fruit from the farm and peacocks sing in the distance. We play in the dirt and watch our planted seeds sprout and make cherry jam over the campfire. We sleep in a barn with a bat and stress about nothing.  

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