Sunday, October 26, 2008

India: MONKEYS and TIGERS!!!

From Delhi we took our first train (Indian trains are fantastic) up into Uttaranchal to find a mountain. We stopped off in both Almora and Bageshwar for a night looking for information on some trekking but were unable to find anything. So eventually we got to the start of a 94km trek to Pindari Glacier up at 3500m (we were at 1200m). Steph and I both agreed that after many months in London with too much beer and fried chicken (well, for me at least) we were not up to this task, and we only had two blocks of chocomass and no map.....

.. so we started it and it all turned out for the best! It was hard work but super amazing.

A view very near the glacier (the actual glacier wasn't so impressive)

It was mostly a donkey trail used to supply the villages in the valleys on the way so was easy to navigate and we were able to get meals and beds in guest houses all the way along. The perfect trek.

A small village with the HIMALAYAS behind it.

Of all the super amazing sights for me the most exciting was coming across a troop of monkeys! not once, but twice! Hundreds of monkeys swinging around, running about and, well, just being monkeys! I have never really seen them in the wild before and it was a really cool experience. We were unable to catch any.

From the trek we went to Ramnagar to the Jim Corbett Tiger reserve and went hunting for tigers. We got really really lucky and not only saw some wild elephants exploring but we spotted a real live wild tiger strolling across a river bed. It was quite surreal. The best part for me was its growl, it wasn't 'roaring' loudly, just kind of purring, but it was so so deep and loud it echoed around the trees. Below is the shot of the tiger we hunted... zoomed in a little.

From mountains, monkeys, jungles and tigers we took a train or two, met up with Andy and hit the Deserts and Camels of Rajistan. Right now we are in Jodhpur exploring forts, and about to head out on a 4 day camel trek... more on that next time.

India: Rickshaws and Wonders

So here is my first report from the sub-continent. We landed in Delhi on the 3rd of October rather early in the morning and were hit by the heat and touts almost immediately. A short taxi ride through a bunch of chaotic streets till we arrived in the outer suburbs where we were to stay. First impression: its hot, busy, crazy and has cows on the streets.

We spent 4 days in Delhi enjoying the fantastic hospitality of our couch surfing host, trying to stay out of the hit and have moral dilemmas over where or not we should eat the oh so tasty looking street meat... (for the record: I did not eat the tasty looking meat but do regret not eating it and if ever in that situation again would eat it). Instead I opted for a not so tasty looking triangle bread curry deep fried treat from a guy standing in a drain surrounded by a rat. Enough about food.
Jama Mashid

From Delhi we headed to the mountains (next post). We then came back through Delhi and went to Agra and saw the Taj Mahal. We opted not to go inside but instead got a a boat across the rived to watch the sun rise over the back of it. Frickin awesome. Its pretty darn wonderful....

Not so many pictures or stories. But at least you now know we are still alive. More to come soon I think.