We arrived in Jodhpur by train and immediately got off to a bad start with a shonky Tuk-Tuk driver intentionally taking us the the wrong guest house so he could get a commission, when we realised it was the wrong guest house I had bit of a word with him, paid him half of what he’d asked for and set out walking the 20 minutes or so in the dark, to the place we had booked. When we got there we were pleasantly surprised with the wonderful view we got overlooking the whole of Jodhpur City and literally in the shadows of the gigantic Mehrangarh Fort.
We were in Jodhpur for 4 days so went spent most of our time wandering around checking out the bazaars, the fort and just the city in general. One of the best things we did during our stay was go on the Bishnoi Village Safari Tour. We got to drive around in a pretty badass 1957 Willys Jeep (USA Army Issue) and checkout how people live in the more rural villages of Rajasthan, one of them known as Bishnoi. We learnt about pottery, weaving and even how to produce and drink Opium. The man who was weaving the carpets/rugs even commissioned me to take a portrait of him when he found out I was a photographer.
After Jodhpur we went on a Camel Safari through the Thar Desert, i’ll post those pictures a little later.
It really has been quite a while since the last post. We’ve spent the past two or so weeks heading through the incredible Indian state of Rajasthan. We started off in the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur. It is an interesting place with great markets (bazaars) and the home of the incredible Amber Fort and Jal Mahal, Water Palace. We only had two days in Jaipur and spent most of the first day at the Amber Fort, exploring all the tunnels and stairwells and generally getting lost in the huge complex. The next day we spent wandering the Bazaars and lane ways of the old city and trying Indian delicacies such as Pan.
I haven’t been too passionate about photography ever since Kerala really but have still been shooting away nonetheless so here are a few pics..
Keep your eyes peeled for photos from Jodphur and Camel Safaris over the next few days!
Well….it’s been a while since my last post and we’ll blame lack of internet for that. It’s actually been quite nice not being able to be connected 24/7. Anyway we have spent the last 2 weeks in the southern state of Kerala checking out the sites of Ernakulam, Vaikom, the famous Keralan Backwaters and Fort Kochi. We were also lucky enough to stay with a wonderful family in a rural part of the state, near Vaikom, and were invited to attend the wedding of one of the daughters of the family (a colleague of Amy’s). This was an incredible experience and we got treated to amazing home cooked curries everyday for a week as well as being taken around on Backwater cruises and to Periyar Wildlife Reserve where we went on an elephant ride and a boat cruise where we saw around 30 wild Elephants as well as Samba Deer, a Yak, Warthogs, plenty of birds and even an Otter.
I’ve obviously shot a ton of pictures but here are my favourites….
Ooty was the next stop on journey, unfortunately we couldn’t get any accomodation there so ended up heading to nearby Coonoor which turned out the be a smaller and more relaxed. We had to get up early to get the bus, originally we thought it was only a couple of hours and we were sure we could get a nice bus up. However as we learn everyday, this is India. The bus ended up being a local public bus and the journey ended up taking 6 hours. Luckily though it was probably the most beautiful road trip i’ve ever been on, driving through incredible mountain passes and winding up through stunning fields of tea.
We cruised through Ooty on the way to Coonoor and realised how busy it all seemed for a supposed small town. After arriving in Coonoor and checking in to our hostel we tried to get some dinner but then found out our hostel wasn’t taking orders so ended up starving until the morning. The next day we ended up exploring around town and reading books. Our hostel was right up on top of the hill overlooking the entire city, we had incredible views and FRESH AIR which was great.
The next day we decided to go for bit of a trek and went out to a place called Lambs Rock which provided incredible views over a massive mountainous valley. The area was also surrounded by tea plantations as far and as high as the eye could see. Originally we were going to head to Ooty for the next two nights but decided to relax in Coonoor for another night before heading to the state of Kerala and spend the extra day in Kochi.
Here are some of my favourite photos from the mountains!
We decided that after Hampi we should head to the mountains and check out the Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu, known as Ooty, Coonoor and Kitigiri. On the way we would have to pass through Mysore so thought we may as well stop there for a few days to check it out. Mysore is architecturally a very beautiful city with lots of old buildings and of course the Wodeyar Palace which is fairly incredible. Mysore is also a very cultural city with a long history of arts, performing arts and of course the hard to miss spices, incense and oils. We only had one full day there so checked out the Palace most of the morning before just wandering around and eventually coming across Devaraja markets which were almost more spectacular than the Mapusa markets in Goa. I didn’t really shoot much when I was there so not to many photos but here are some photos from around town.
We arrived in Hampi a couple of days ago by train from Goa. It was a pretty incredible train journey with amazing views just about the whole way. I spent most of my time hanging outside the carriage watching everything go bye and taking some snaps. After arriving in the less desirable Hospet we eventually (after tackling through a million auto drivers and dodgy operators) made it on to the bus to take us to Hampi. I really had no expectations about Hampi and to be honest thought it was bit of a hole upon first sight, however as the next day rolled on we started to discover what a beautiful, easy going and laid back place it is; full of history, culture, interesting people, tourists and some very average but also very good food. Next stop is Mysore, after an overnight train journey this evening.
Had a pretty full on couple of days, yesterday we went and visited some incredible old churches and chapels in Old Goa, one, the Se Catherdral being the biggest in Asia and contained the biggest bell in Asia and St Frances of Xavier’s body! We’ve also been catching the local bus around instead of taxis, not bad and pretty reliable but will never complain about Transperth again. Had a nice little stroll around in the evening before grabbing some tucker.
Today was exhausting. We went to the INCREDIBLE Mapusa (pronounced) Mapsa market which sold just about anything you could ever imagine or need and after checked out some of the North Goan beaches, which are fairly dire and overrun by English and Russian tourists.
After that we went and had a look around Fort Aguada and then went on a boat cruise which looked fun and turned out to be pretty dull indeed, chasing down dolphins with some seedy Indian men aboard.
Anyway here are some of the pics from the past couple of days.