Back to Mumbai… or a Little more Goa

Mark Stewart Inspiration Leave a Comment

Well, the last day in paradise arrived. One last swim in the warm, salty waters of the Arabian sea, a quick breakfast, and we check out of our bamboo beach hut. After walking through the burning sand to the main road, we grab a rickshaw back to the ‘town’ at Palolem to catch our bus back to Margao.  From there, the plan is to meet up with the main bus back to Mumbai; and after that 16 hour bus ride, …

Goa

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And to think, of all our plans for this trip, we hadn’t included Goa. Thought about it yes, but thought it would actually happen? Goa is a tiny little state about 12 hours south of Mumbai, and thinking we wouldn’t even have enough time left after traveling the north, even making Mumbai in time was a minor concern. Long blog short, plans changed, and we hopped our train to Mumbai, and from there, the first one we could down south …

India v2.0

Mark Stewart Travel Leave a Comment

The last week is a blur. As I previously mentioned, Udaipur was a great time. The guesthouse we stayed at was the first true ‘guesthouse’ of the trip. With only three rooms, one of which is occupied by the owner Johar, it is not you’re typical accommodation. First of all, Johar is a very westernized Indian, fluent in English, and sympathetic towards the small day-to-day bullshit a foreign traveler goes through in his country. Secondly, while staying with him, he …

Eid al-Adha

Mark Stewart Cultural, Festivals Leave a Comment

About a week ago on the train to Jaisalmer, we were told about Eid al-Adha: the Muslim festival commemorating the story in which Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son Issac to prove his love for Allah, and at the last minute, Allah stopped him and provided him with a sheep instead. For the Western (Christian, Jewish…) equivalent, simply change Ibrahim with the obvious Abraham, and Allah to God, and you’ll find the same story in those their associated texts. …

Rajasthan: Into the Desert with a Bhang

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We knew all about Diwali, the Hindu equivalent of Christmas, the festival of lights… but for whatever reason, we decided to make this the day we travel to the next location, or at least begin the journey. Overall, it really wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as smooth as it normally would have been. Any other day of the year, a bus runs direct from McLeod Ganj, straight to Pathankot (where our train to Rajasthan leaves from). Being the …

Kulcha Shock: Punjab & Dharamsala

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After another less-than-pleasant overnight train, we arrive around seven in the morning at the city of Amritsar, in Punjab province. Walking through the city early in the morning, pre-traffic, we are accompanied mostly by a few random people, stray dogs, and burning piles of the previous days garbage on the side of the road. With few auto-rickshaws (therefore lack of competition) around so early in the morning, we decide to walk the whole way, just a few kilometers, rather than …

Enter India: Kindergarten to High School

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I have vague memory of Kindergarten as a kid… mostly that it was only a few days a week, there were giant cardboard bricks that looked like a bunch of tiny bricks already built together.. we learned about green and red lights, yield signs, crosswalks… most importantly was nap time. A little while later I went to high school. Excitement, attitudes, all kinds of emotions that never really seemed to make sense, and a multitude of other things that can …

The End is the Beginning and the End

Mark Stewart Travel Leave a Comment

First of all, our last few days in Nepal. Staying in Pokhara another couple days, simply because it’s such a beautiful and relaxing place, we do next to nothing beside wandering the streets, relaxing and renting a canoe to paddle the lake for a bit. The only really important day was making a trip to the post office to send a package.. four hours of walking later, and we finally box up, address, and pay for our package to be …

Earthquake, Cloud Village and a Ring

Mark Stewart Travel Leave a Comment

Pokhara is, compared at east to Kathmandu, a quiet relaxing town on a beautiful lake. Though being on the tourist trail, it also is full of cheesy bars, shops, restaurants and hotels, although for the most part, the place still keeps its charm. Overall, a pretty relaxed week here, aside from the mild excitement caused by the earthquake the first evening… It happened right near the India/Nepal boarder on the far east of the country, and it turns out, we …

Cows, Dogs, Monkeys and Freefalls

Mark Stewart Travel 2 Comments

Kathmandu. After only five days, I can confidently say that Cambodia has fallen to second place on the list. Nepal is, from what I’ve seen thus far anyway, the most beautiful country, with the most amazing people, that I’ve ever been to. Arriving at the airport, it was quickly clear that Nepal time is pretty much that it gets done when it gets done. The visa process took a while, and the ride to the guesthouse took longer.. in the …