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RichardinIndia

Hello everybody, welcome to my little log, start with the 26th November entry at the bottom and work up the page in consecutive dates. So far I've been to the following places in order, at least 1 - 4 days in each place..Delhi > Vrindaban > Mathura > Arga >Jaipur > Udaipur > Mount Abu > Ahmedabad > Bhuj (Boooj) > Jaisalmer > Bikaner > Jodpur > Pushkar > Bundi > Varanasi > Khajuraho > Kanha > Jabalpur > Ajanta > Ellora > Aurangabad > Mumbai > Anjuna (Goa) > Palolem > Hampi > Gokarna > Murdeshwar > Udupi > Mangalore > Mysore > Udagamandalam (Ooty) > Thiruvananthapuram > Varkala > Alappuzha > Cochin > Madras (Chennai) > Pondicherry > Chennai > Colombo > Arunaradhapura > Sigiriya > Polonnaruwa > Kandy > Adam's Peak/Mt Sri Pada > Ella > Galle > Nuwara Eliya/Worlds End/Hortons Plains > Palolem > Delhi > London > Belfast.
Please leave a short message. I really enjoy gettin messages, even the anonymous ones, so please keep 'em coming.

Diary Entries

Saturday, 28 February 2009

fin.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Well this should be my last entry, (unless a male member of the cabin crew proposes a bit of mile high in the lavy), this is my last day in India, and Dehi isn't so bad really now that i have been here for 4 months, its still Abraham but it doesn't feel so harsh as it did at first. Spent the day walking and rickshawing round the place, The Red Fort and The Mosque were good, i missed them last time round so i thought i should check em out while was here. I am gonnna have to dump some old cloths out of my pack as i have bought a mountain of junk for presents, Delhi and Goa are great for nik naks, but its hard to buy for men who have no interest in religious things, so a pen or a lighter is all your gonna be gettin if your a bloke, if your a bird i have plenty cool braclets and necklaces to dole out. I am convinced there is a big market online for the stuff that can be bought here in Dehli, the wee side streets are fantastic for stuff, especially girly stuff, jewelery and the like, as the ladies here love to decorate themselves. The train jouney from Goa to Delhi was 39hrs long, got a little boring as you'd expect but i listened to George Orwell's 1984 audio book on my ipod, which was interesting if not a liltte depressing, this world in 1984 is not such a fiction these days the way our governments runs things. Well thats about it really, join me in 8 months from now, all being well, for the 2nd leg of this journey, when i'll be exploring the northern regions of India and Nepal, and possibly Tibet, best get my fat ass in the gym if i want to make that one a reality, i cant wait already and i haven't even finished the 1st part.. NAMASTE!!!, peace and love, Richard x

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Just spent 3 great days in Palolem like i said, it was a good way to end things,just chilling out for a bit. The journey from Newara Eliya was a long one, an 8hr train from NE to Colombo, a 1 hr bus from Colombo to the airport, 3 hrs hanging around the airport, 1 hr 30 flight to Chennai,30mins train from airport to train station, 1hr back and forward to between two terminals at the train station, in the 30ish degree heat, kept gettin told to go to a different places by staff to buy my ticket (nightmare), missed my train by literally 5 mins, and had to wait on another train 3 hrs later, train from Chennai to Mangalore 16hrs, which wasn't so bad as i got a good sleep, probably too much, 2 hr wait in Mangalore train station form train to Margao (Goa),which took 8 hrs, then hired a scooter in Margao and scootered 1 hr 30 to Palolem, a long joureny, which wasn't even that long km wise, it was just all the piddling about, but it wasn't too bad really, i do like the travelling, i just have to be comfortable or its not pleasant, and the 2AC trains in India are pretty good. And you wont beleive it, another guy came on to me in the train station, while i was waiting in the terminal, you may think i am imagining these encounters but i tell ye no lie. thats four now, well 1 of them was just wierd, i'll tell you if i see you. Palolem really is a great place, it is just a pleasant atmosphere and everything is OK in the world when your there, i will definatly go back at some stage. I am waiting in Margao train station net cafe on my train to Smelly Delhi, 36 hr train to Smelly Delhi, you heard, 36 bloody hrs?, if you look at the map of India the jouney don't seem that far, the trains are very slow, someone told what with stopages etc trains only go at 25 mph, don't quote me on that though. Lookin forward to coming home and seeing everyone, i'd liked to have lasted 6 months but there was nothing i could have done about it, maybe if i had of budgeted myself i could have got 6m but i have no regrets, apart from some of the stupid things i said on here, i treated this log like an email to a friend and may have been a little too expessive from time to time, i hear even some people i have never met have been on reading this nonsense. I have learned a lot about India and its culture, and on the whole i think it is a wonderful place, warts n all, speaking of which i am strangely looking forward to going back to Delhi, i am curious to see if 4 months in India have broken me in to dirt and filth, i haven't seen anywhere quite as extreme as Delhi since. I come back and do a short entry to finish, Im sure Delhi will give me a strory or 2..Thanks for reading.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Well back to the mountains, and up to Nuwara Eliya, a hillstation 2000 mts asl, you'd be forgiven for thinking you where in the Scotish Highlands, and it a strange contrast to Ella and Sri Pada, which were tropical, this place has an alpine feel, and is a bit nippy, but its a pleasant town, it is also quite near Horton Plains/Worlds End, a place i wanted to visit intially but the guide made it all sound very difficult to get to, but decided to have a crack at it, funny enoguh while i was in a internet place i was asking a local the best way to get to HP's/W'sE and a Scotish bloke over heard the converstion and said that he and his German girlfriend were going there in the morning and that i could tag along in their hired van, which was a stroke of luck. It was raining in the morning and pretty cloudy, and looked even more like Scotland than the day before. The journey was a bumpy road up into the mountains, and very misty. HP's national park entry fee was 2000 rupees for a foreigner and 40 for a local, which is blatant rip off, i thought anyway, it a natural park, nothing man made. World's End sounded like it would be amazing but it was just OK, I've seen better on bus journeys, don't get me wrong it was cool, just not worth the hoo haa getting there and the entrance fee (oh my God,as i type this entry there is a guy in this place coming on to me, he just told me i am very handsome, and he has gay porn up on the screen, pointed to it and said "do you like" and touched my hand,i said no im not into that kind of thing,and he said it would be our secret. WTF is going on??? 3 guys in a month now, i must be emitting pheromones or summit, if only the same happened with the ladies ; - ))) anyway back to the entry, World's End although over rated was a good day and i enjoyed the company of my wee friends. They are traveling for 6 months and had some good stories to tell. We were sitting on top of the mountain watching the clouds creep in below, which was really strange, it looked as though the place was on fire. Wel that's about it really for now,sorry nothing interesting to report from the last week, but there you go.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Galle and the southern beaches next. From the postcards and pictures of Southern Sri Lanka i was expecting something close to paradise, but I was pretty non plused with it, i may not have seen the whole coast and may have missed stuff but Galle was not my cupo tea, i just didn't feel a vibe and was disappointed, plus it was way too hot, it was only in the 30's but the air was hot and walking was awful, ten mins and i was soaked in sweat, too humid and sticky i thought, when i was eating my breakfast on the 3rd day with a big wet patch on my T shirt even though i wasn't moving, i decided 'bugger this Im heading back to the mountains'. I just wasn't enjoying Galle and the beaches, it all felt quite dull to me. This is what the traveling experience is like though, hit and miss, Adam's Peak and Galle, Ajanta and Bhuj, it can't all be wonderful i suppose. The whole 4 months has been fantastic though, i cant believe its nearly over, in some respects it has flown by, but it also feels like a lifetime since i arrived in Smelly Delhi, this time a prepared for the scumbag weasels on the Delhi streets who take advantage of naive tourists, i am no longer naive. I just felt a little flat in Galle, and the food situation was starting to get very tiresome, rice and curry, rice and curry, rice and curry, rice and curry etc etc, everyday, so boring, i am looking forward to a few days in Goa where the food is awesome.

Friday, 20 February 2009

The past week or so has been pretty average, not a lot of inspiration. Ella was nice and quiet, with great views, i think i got the best value lodging in 4 months, it worked out just over 1600 rupees for 2 nights bed and breakfast (a 10er), the room was clean and comfortable with a fantastic mountain view (see first pic in Ella photos). I felt a little guilty bargaining him down as the place was worth his first price, but i lost my room key and offered to pay for a new lock which was 1000 rupes ,so the discount was handy. Nice as Ella was i didn't get up to anything of great interest other than my scooter adventure, which was really cool, up in through the mountains etc, great sights, nice tan. I met up with an English fella who i met in Adam's Peak again here and spend the day with him, he got whacked round the head with a golf club when he was 20, he was nearly a vegetable (his words), had to learn to walk, speak etc all over again, and he got a 1/4 million compo settlement and is traveling the world, he's been on the go for a year and a half, nice guy. Ella was Enjoyable but quiet.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Planet Ranger just had a heart attack and didn't post my Kandy pics, and wasted my time once again. grrrr. I will get them on soon.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Location: Sri Lanka

When Nature was doling out beauty, Sri Lanka got extra helpings, the place is really blowing me away, its just stunning, a lot of the most impressive scenery has been while on buses, in the mountain regions, where i am now, the majesty of the landscape is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most spectacular i've ever seen, anywhere in the world, Adams Peak or Sri Pada is far and away the highlight of the past 4 months, i've seen some awesome things in India, but this place just took my breath away to the point where i shed a tear in awe, i am kind of reluctant to post the pictures, even thought they are very impressive, they don't convey the beauty, but i am sure you will get the idea.I started my ascent up the mountain at 2.30am, yes 2.30am you heard, as it takes 3 odd hrs to climb. Half an hour into the hike i said to myself this isn't so bad, as the Lonely Planet said it was hard going and people who arent fit should think twice, but i should have prosponed judgment, not long after my inacurate assumtion, i came to a flight of steps, each 12 - 16 inches high, and the steps were at vertually a 45 degree angle, this was the start of the most physically demanding 3 hrs of my life. The steps went on forever, my T-shirt was drenched, even though it was pretty nippy, perhaps down to 2-3 centagrade.It was REALLY hard, it really pushed me to my limit big time, i am not the fitest, and it made me want to get in shape, i know i have said that so many times before, but i hope i get my arse in gear, as Sri Pada has hightened my desire to trek the Himalayas, which is my next dream. After 3 grueling hrs of hard slog up this seemingly infinite flight of steps i reached the top, what a relief. The top of mountain the was as you'd expect a 2400 mtr mountain to be at 5am , blowy and bloody freezing, I read that Sri Pada is "where the butterflies come to die", which i thought was a nice bit of romantic poetry to decribe the beauty, but its meant literally, there was loads of em, butterflies and moths, just sittin on the ground not moving, not dead, juts sitting still, i know cause i lifted a big 3 inch moth in my hand and he wasn't dead. I the sunrises at 6 and i had an hour of sitting about shivering. When the sunrose it had such emotional colours, like the sky was pouring its heart out. I forgot to mention that i am not the only one up here there are about 100 prigrims and locals up too, and few foreigners, also there is Buddhist temple up here too, and as the sunsets there is drumming and Tibetian bugleing goin on to give the whole thing a traditional Buddist vibe, for want of a better word, it was all very spiritual, the sunset itself wasn't even the highlight, the colour of the blue sky,and mist over the mountains was just incredable,it really was, i felt so grateful to be witnessing Nature in all her glory, both humbling and life affirming, this what I am here for, moments like this, i will remember it til the day I die. The desent was very difficult too, nowhere near as hard as the goin up, but still physically demanding. But becuase I ascended in the dark i had the bonus of desenting to the wonderous scenery, and its was breath taking. The hike down the steps seemed to go on and on, i keep thinking i was nearly there and they just keep on and on, my calfs and thighs were killing me (and still are 2 days later) Luckily my hotel bed was a big comfy one and i was really looking forward to getting snuggled into it. But went i got back i could hardly sleep because my mind was still buzzing from the experience. Truely wonderful. And before i go, prepare to roll your eyes, i have decided,after 4 yrs of hmming and haaing, i decided that i am going to stop all dairy foods, and be a vegan, i don't like the word vegan,it sounds like a tree hugging sandle wearing hippy,but thats what i am saying, Im only tell you all now because i want to make real, so i don't talk myself out of it like i did 3 yrs ago, i prefare the term pure vegetairan, its not something knee jerk, its been on the cards for a long time, those that know me best will already have heard me talk about it..anyway Im bein turfed out of this net place..stay tuned. : -- ))))))))))))))

Friday, 13 February 2009

Location: Sri Lanka

Much as i enjoy visiting temples and historical sites etc, i am all templed out, but i got some great photos and i'm really lookin forward to making my memorial album when i come home, i really do have some awesome pictures, and the prints will be even better. Off to Kandy, Sri Lankas 2nd city, technically its a city but the centre is more like a big town, a nice town at that, with a nice lake in the middle. I allowed the rickshaw driver to take me to a hotel, which was modestly priced with a lovely view, and a comfortable bed, so it was good start. Got ripped off by a guy who hired a scooter to me, i knew i was being over charged but there was nowhere else so i just paid it, 3000 rupes for 2 days, which is big swizz, he tried to charge me 5000 but that was seriously taking the P. The food in Kandy, as with the the other places so far, was very limited, don't get me wrong its nice but rice and curry, and spiced veg etc gets bland pretty quick. I done the usual scooter thing, seen the lovely country side, went for walks in idylic gardens, tea plantations. I came back one evening to find a sugar bowl upturned and sugar was all over the bed and floor,as i had left the tea tray on the bed that morning, I had left a window open earlier and assumed that a crow had got in and had a peck at the sugar and knocked the bowl over, but as i wiped the sugar off the bed, i seen little dusty monkey foot prints, and rememebered earlier as i left the hotel i seen a shifty looking Rhesus monkey atop a telepole swinging on the cables just outside the hotel, and there is a cable that reaches right over to my window, he must have been licking the sugar off the bed because there was a little harded area where the saliva hardened the sugar, i actually took a picture of him before any of this. Later on that evening as i was reading my book in bed, i reached over to the bedside table to get the last of my chocolate that i left from the previous day, it was gone, and it didn't take a genius to figure where it had gone, Coco had swipped my bloody Dairymilk, cheeky little bastard. But i did have a good laugh. While i was in Kandy apparently the President of Sri Lanka was paying a visit to the city and the place was on high alert, blockades and army all over the shop, and lots of locals singing and dancing. I enjoyed Kandy it was nice..Oh and Angry memeber of the, if i know you, your not funny, and if i don't, i owe you nothing because well, i dont' know you and you don't know me, no appologys for a faceless stranger,Sir.

Monday, 09 February 2009

I used a not so PC word in a recent entry and i have taken it out as i realize in retrospect not everyone is gonna appreciate the joke. Its not a nice word, the context in which i use it was anti racist, but it should never be acceptable ,if it was we'd be in dire times..By the way i am not dead.

Saturday, 07 February 2009

Polonnaruwa was kinda more of the same as what Arunaradhapura was, interesting but becomes a little boring after a while, once you’ve seen the temples in Angor, its pretty hard to top. A lot of the ruins here are pretty much ruins and not much else, they do have historical interest but if your not bothered about the history there is little to see, some good Buddha statues though, and the area was pleasant, nice and peaceful, with cows and monkeys knockin about as per, I seen a cobra too, a least I think it was a cobra, it didn’t have its hood up but it looked like one, I got some footage of it, and a coupla pics, Mr Attenborough perhaps when I post the picture of said reptile, perhaps you could decipher the breed for the public interest and mine?.thanks. Kandy tomorrow hopefully I can get a AC bus.


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Recent Messages

From p.harpur
welcome home richard x
Response: ta see u soon
From Mike T
What am I supposed to do in work now.................... work?? The other unfortunate thing is we will all now have to see your ugly bake in person!! Only joking! The pics all look like this has done you the world of good and you are looking fit and healthy big lad... (this isn't me joining the list of men that have come on to you!) See you soon. Try not to let any ignorant feckers you meet as soon as you enter NI put you off, remember there are a lot of people in this country who are able to think for themselves.......
Response: Cheers MT, we'll organise a riot at Wilson's real soon, it was only 4 months ago we had the last one, where does the time go?
From Stein
Yeah thanks for the postcard, bilbo ballbag
Response: oh i forgot about you, i will send you one tonight, and you can feel privilaged to be the last, but not least
From Danny Boyle
I am disappointed that you did'nt take more video footage while you were in India although both "local kids" and "sweet baby monkey" were pretty good for an amateur. Maybe you'll bring a video camera with you next time because the sub continent is currently the best place to make films.
Response: I did take video but they were all too big to post on tinternet, you can see when i come back
From rupszze
I work

its been fun reading your tripe over the last we while ah well... One journey has to end for the other to begin safe journey home bro
see ya real soon did i mention that I work
Response: yes you did and happy days..see you soon
From Katie
Finally got round to catching up on your travels... it always makes me smile! Thanx for the postcard. You take care of yourself and come back safe. KTxx
Response: Thanks K T, see you soon
From Stein
I warned you about those Sri Lankan boys, didn't I?
Response: you did indeed
From Mike T
Sounds like you have met some interesting people over the past week, if not had the most interesting places to visit....... and who knew internet cafes were such good places for romance!!!! ;-) Katie has been making the most of the cook books she got for Xmas, I am a part time veggie these days! She even has me eating Quorn, which I have to say, in a stir fry, is fuppin' lovely!
Response: Yeah quorn is good, and healthier than chicken, maybe not as tasty though. I had another encounter in Chennai railway station = - 0
From Weird Bob (again)
It's good to hear that you are associating and conversing with English vegetables.
From Weird Bob
If part of the reason that you are taking a trip back to Goa is for "tacky prezzies" what is the other part of the reason, man?
Response: Well Goa was one of my highlights and i really enjoyed it, so i may as well spend a few days at one of my faves places before its all over,and its on the way to Delhi, ish
From Stein
That's what I was thinking...I've been researching veganism online, and also just checking out everyday stuff in the supermarket.It's kinda scary how much is reliant on animal based stuff. Your decision to become vegan has me on the precipise of becoming vegetarian...what about eggs, say for eggsample (forgive the pun) - would it depend on the environment the hens were in?
Response: Respect for even considering it, the more you research, and deeper you get the more you will be compelled to make the change, and i know you love your meat, : - 0, as i did, i loved it. The eggs thing is kinda personal, i would leave eggs in there for the time being, but always buy free range..a great light will ignite within if you make the change guaranteed 100%..it is a breeze, its not as hard as you would think..Just go out and buy your Jesus sandles. Check out the recipes on here they awesome yumyums http://vegweb.com/
From Stein
Quick question, and I ask this not to challenge but merely because I've been thinking about this a lot:

Do vegans eat honey?
Response: some don't but i dont see the harm, honey is a by-product and the bees make too much anyway, silly bastards, and we just skim the access, the bees are free to come and go as they please, so only die hards go for that, i am not a die hard, some say dairy is fine but they all get slaughtered when the cows stop producing milk, so this is what doesn't sit well with me anymore
From Mike T
Probably drinking too much and making new responsibilities............. the boy needs neutering. What have you been up to this past week? Enjoy Goa and get in as much relaxation as you can before coming home!!
Response: I've had a fairly mediocre week to be honest, nothing has 'blown me away' , but this is traveling for ye, hit and miss. Looks like i will roasted in Goa as its very hot there right now. But i have the ocean on hand to cool down, Palolem is perfect for tacky nik nak prezzies, which is partly the reason why im going back
From zio
this direct line is great when you get back can you set up homeranger
Response: if only my life was interesting enough ,lookin forward to seeing everyone though
From Mike T
Wilson shall indeed be with weemen.... Grahamers and Brendy are quite short!
Response: par T. Brendy has responsibilities whats he doin gallivanting in Grancanairia?
From Sid the Censor
Your recent response to Stein finished off with your homophobic remark "ya big fruit" This is not acceptable.
Response: ok, i am sorry to any fruits out there who are offended
From ski
yo rico! hope your keeping well! got ur postcard, thanks!!! aint had time to catch up on blog this week, headin on a cultural holiday myself in the morn to gran canaria! :-) wont be long til i see ye again anyway. take care big man!
Response: gran canaria? :-) booze and weemen?..have a good un
From zio
are you alright chinese whispers say you have been mugged ? enlighten me
Response: ehh?..i am fine, no muggings. I was in the south but it was too hot, so i came back to the mountains for some more rambling and Swiss-esq panoramics. Now i need to get a jumper for the cold nights. I have got sick of the heat, back to Goa on 22nd apparently its nearly 40 there, oh dear!!
From Julie Carson/Letters
Hi Rik,
Glad you're still havin a great time. Your pics are amazing and I can't wait to see them all when you get home. I'll see you on 14th March, I'm coming to stay - get your slideshow ready!! Look after yourself and treasure every minute you have left. Miss you loads, Julie xo

PS: now that you're a pure veggie, does that mean that my choc is safe??
Response: Look forward to seeing you too Julie Carson, yes your chocs will be safe, although i will just have to get my drool all over them.
From Stephen Fry
Rupzee is right, Cheesey Wotsits, of which I have a penchant for, do indeed contain a dairy product in the form of lactose.
Lots of love dear boy.
Response: i don't want to know what you do with your wotsits Stephen
From rupszze
Watsits have milk in them doh
nice pics you can tell how stunning that would be in person very ॐ
Response: watsits?..where do you buy them, up the Shankhill? Yeah it really was very ॐ , the most ॐ i"ve ever seen, at least in the nuts n bolts "real world" anyway, haha ; - )))
From Mike T
You can't put wotsits on a pizza! And a life without pizza........ that is not the life for me. And what about milk on your cereal... breakfast is the most important meal of the day you know... and cream... yum yum. I like food too much to give any of it up.... I am off to eat something! Fair play til ye.
Response: I'll just have to regement myself, conscience before conveinience for me from now on, there are plenty of milk alternatives (perhaps not as tastey) ie cheese, soya milk etc. But my veiws are my own, and thats where it ends, i am a great believer in non-judgment these days, everything is realative, i see myself in everything
From Stein
So you're still going to butcher beans and broccoli. You evil bastard. Does that mean you can only eat things you make yourself? Like fingernails? Doesn't give ye a lot of options. Why not become a noughtitarian?

On another note, some kuhnt's gonna pay...
Response: Yeah poor ol beans and broccoli, their families will be devstated, the pain and suffering they go through is inhumane,im thinkin about not breathing and sweeping everywhere i walk to avoid inhaling or stepping on minute lifeforms. I repect your right to eat meat etc, so repsect my right not to. Ya big fruit
From Mike T
No Cheese!?! You crazy!
Response: yeah no cheese, i can always eat wotsits
From Rupszze
Your leaving us hanging with the faceless stranger bizz how is he whinding you up ???
Response: its just some ignoramous being a judgmental idiot