Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Planes, trains and automobiles: travels to India

Smithy and I have just spent two weeks travelling overland from Kathmandu to Delhi and have utilised a mind-boggling array of conveyances to get there. We've travelled down the Rapti River in Nepa's Chitwan National Park in a dugout canoe. Ridden elephants through Chitwan's jungle. Cycled alongside elephants in Sunauli. Bounced along a road in the back of an open-air jeep. Crossed the Nepal/India border on foot, then travelled by private sedan to Varanasi. Sailed down the Ganges in sailboats. Been rowed alongside the Varanasi Ghats to see the evening puja. Journeyed to Sarnath in tempos and around Sarnath by cycle rickshaw. Gone from Varanasi to Orccha on an overnight sleeper train and to Agra and then Delhi on local  trains and survived several trips on Delhi's Metro train system.

We're now in Shimla, in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya, which we got to by travelling on the famous "toy train". Running on a two-foot gauge, the train goes through 102 tunnels, crosses 988 bridges and goes around 937 bends on its 96 km journey from Kalka to Shimla.

We've still got a few local bus trips and one very long overnight train journey ahead of us, but travelling through northern India has been a wonderful adventure.