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12/14/2012

Meeting Durga in Kolkata

On the way to paradise, I decided to do a stop-over in hell, so that I would savour the peace more!               
And for hell ... I named Calcutta!     
I did try though... I went there on business trips 3-4 times and each time I did not this city. I find it very noisy and cramped. But I always thought that I must have missed something ... I thought that as a tourist I might find it...

You arrive in an airport that dates back from another decade – you could feel in Mumbai airport 6 years ago, only worse.
You board a (yellow) taxi, which dates back from another century. At first the ragged seat fabric and the springs popping out are funny. The whole thing becomes less funny when you get stuck for half an hour in a procession! My friend who witnessed for the first time the parade of trucks carrying gigantic idols and dancing people to the sound of drums got mesmerised and forgot the discomfort of our vehicle! I must admit Kolkata doesn’t play small! One street was fully decorated with giant billboards with flashing bulbs and moving shapes. People yell. Cars are stopped. It’s Durga party!!

Kolkata - Novembre 2012

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11/26/2012

Live from paradise!

If you are looking for me I am here (put the sound!):

Barefoot resort, Havelock Island, Andamans Islands, India

 

To my question: “Is there mobile network on the island?” the resort guy answered “Do note that network is very poor and most of the time is not working.” To which I commented… “Perfect!”

 

So here I am, somewhere on an island, good weather not guaranteed and crocodiles in option (see the fatal attack: article) but I WILL sleep!! Reminds me of this song “Lovers keep on loving, believers keep on believing, sleepers stop sleeping”…

 

I had initally planned to visit a few islands, but the 12 hour bus ride to go up north and the 12 hour boat ride to go down south put me off. My ass and I will go that resort and spend 5 full days and nights there and that's about it!!

 

09/12/2012

Trekking on top of the world...

For holidays, some go roasting on the beach and others go to sweat their ass off at 4 000 metres above sea level... Guess what a Samurai does? Bingo!

 

My parents came in India for a ten day trip in Himachal Pradesh (up North), Spiti Valley (crossing the Kinnaur Valley and the Lahaul Valley on the way)... It had been described to us as a mountain range more "affordable" than Ladakh. God knows what that meant... The 2 day drive from Shimla to Sangnam in Pine Valley had nothing very affordable! The road was just under construction... The 6 day trek with crazy hikes were not really more affordable (cf my mother’s altitude sickness) – and as a matter of fact we did not meet any other tourist! The 1 day drive from Kaza to Manali through a Rohtang Pass half collapsed due to landslides, not what I call affordable.

 

You get it, I am not convinced with the affordability of the place! However, the calm, the nature, the simplicity make it a magical place for trekkers. Much much more than Ladakh – ok in Ladakh you feel you are the only one on Earth, but in fact after having walked in the Spiti, you realize you can be much more alone!). There is just no word to describe it!

 

 

Himachal Pradesh - Aout 2012

 

 

Himachal Pradesh, Spiti Valley, Kinnaur, Lahaul, Shimla, Manali, Trek