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50 less traveled places to discover India!

A nice article came up on (PDF version) with 50 places to visit in India – in “less travelled” places. I am half the way down the list and got good new ideas for next year trips (in bold)!!

1.     Camping in The Arid Desert of Rajasthan

2.     Eat at Chokhi Dhani and Take an Elephant Safari in Jaipur (Rajasthan) – Done!

3.     Rajasthan Trip on Bullet bike

4.     Jodhpur to Jaisalmer on Truck/Tractor trip (Rajasthan)

5.     Experience Sunburn in Goa – Done!

6.     Trek to Markha Valley (Ladakh) – Done!

7.     Experience Rann of Kutch and Gir Forest (Gujarat) – Done!

8.     Boat Trip to Andaman & Scuba diving – Done!

9.     Sikkim Sightseeing Trip – Done!

10.   Kolkata Trip – Done!

11.   Sunderbans Boat Ride (West Bengal) – Done!

12.   Munnar, Periyar and Thekkady wildlife Trip (Kerala)

13.   Rafting and Camping in Rishikesh – Done!

14.   Orissa Konark Temple – Done!

15.   Go to Gokarna and Do Nothing (Karnataka) – Done!

16.   Visit Coorg, Scotland of India (Karnataka) – Done!

17.   Visit Temples and Boulders at Hampi (Karnataka) – Done!

18.   Dasara in Mysore (Karnataka) – Done! 

19.   Experience Local Trains, Mumbai – Done! 

20.   Visit Varanasi to Experience Chaos (Uttar Pradesh) – Done! 

21.   Yak Safari in Ladakh – Done! 

22.   Wildlife Adventure Trip at Corbett (Uttarakhand) or tiger spotting in Kanha (Madhya Pradesh) – Done! 

23.   Travel in a Toy Train (Darjeeling, Matheran, Ooty and Shimla) – Done! 

24.   Spiti Valley Trip (Himachal Pradesh) – Done! 

25.   Dhuandhar Falls, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) 

26.   Sandakphu Trek (West Bengal) 

27.   Trek to Dudhsagar Falls (Goa) 

28.   Experience Konkan Railways (Maharashtra to Goa) 

29.   Bombay to Goa road Trips 

30.   Vaishno Devi Temple (Jammu and Kashmir) 

31.   Roopkund Trek, Himalayas 

32.   Trek to Kudremukh (Karnataka) 

33.   Drive Through Forest of Bandipur (Karnataka) 

34.   Trek to Valley of Flowers (Uttarakhand) – between mid-July and mid-August 

35.   Skiing in Auli (Uttarakhand) or Gulmarg (Jammu) 

36.   Paragliding in Solang (Himachal Pradesh) 

37.   Visit Golden Temple in Amritsar & Wagah Border (Amritsar, Punjab)  

38.   Cycling in Nilgiris, Ooty (Tamil Nadu) – Done! With blue flowers that blossom every 12 years (August-September 2014 in Munnar (Kerala)!) 

39.   Backpack Across Northeast & Visit Cherrapunji, Tread on Living Root Bridges (Meghalaya) 

40.   Manali to Leh on Bike 

41.   Srinagar to Leh Bus/Truck Ride 

42.   Holi at Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh) 


My additions: 


43.   Road trip in Maheshwar region (Madhya Pradesh) – Done! 

44.   Kumbha Mela in Haridwar (Uttarakhand) or any of the other 3 holy places – Done! 

45.   Elephant Safari in Kaziranga national park (with Rhinoceros) and trip to Majuli islands (Assam) – Done! 

46.   Helicopter ride from Gangtok (Sikkim) to Bagdogra Airport (West Bengal) – Done! 

47.   Visit a haveli in Shekhawati region (Rajasthan) – Done! 

48.   Houseboat on Dal Lake (Srinagar, Jammu)  

49.   Trek and stay in Shakti Lekti 360 (Kumaon village, Uttarakhand) 

50.   Hot air ballooning in Pushkar during the camel fair (Rajasthan) in November 


Bonus: rat temple (Karni Mata near Bikaner, Rajasthan) (done!); snake temple (Mannarasala, Kerala). 


My photos: here and there and also there. 


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Because a woman will always be a woman...

The Indians are quite not too adventurous. Especially in India as a matter of fact.

Having my (female) assistant to come to a meeting in the evening was really not easy, the whole office talked to the parents and her brother-in-law came along... What are the parents afraid of I don’t know, but they were damn scared. Obviously, given the act that I am a foreign girl, all alone in India for 6 years, it is difficult for me to fully understand. Though I respect it.

And this kind of attitude is not the exclusivity of the lower middle class people. For example my upper-upper-class girl friends have “crapped me a watermelon” – this is a French expression translated by Bing and I found it too funny so I left it!! It means they made a big fuss – the other day because I wanted to drive home at 2 AM. And according to them it is not safe (for the girl, not for the others, I see you coming! – though in my case I would think I am the danger...).

They have for example asked me to put on a sweater over my dress. And I drove home safely, and without my sweater.

When I told an Indian female friend, who is now roaming around Vietnam that I intended to do a road trip from Delhi to Mumbai, she told me without hesitation "no you can’t do that! I told her to stop being an Indian mum...” That said it's funny, a French girlfriend also told me I was reckless!



The Delhi monkeys

 This story has nothing to do with real facts. Any resemblance to persons having existed was fortuitous.


Imagine a dozen Indians, who left their native land the time of a weekend in the French Alps. Past the first fears (such as missing a flight connection), the first culinary disappointment (not only French food has no taste but above all there is only red meat), here they are, paddling in Alpine rapids.


Is it necessary to say that none of them know how to swim but that only one has had the courage to say it, and moreover not to sign the swimming certificate? After this adventure and a tomato (this is the only thing they found edible in the picnic), they are asked to participate in accrobranche (“a sport in which you climb on trees, and the trees are bounded by ropes, bridges in wood, sometimes you have to get through barrels hanging in mid-air”)!

The organizer is clear: those who have never done it and those who are not in great physical shape, should go for the blue route. For the others there is the red and black (very difficult). I barely have the time to turn that all the Indian team is equipped with harnesses and ready to attack the... black route. But of course. When did you do sport for the last time? Never?? This morning?? Good. No whatsyourname, climbing coconut trees when you were seven does not count. So my friends, now we are going to do the blue track and there is no discussion. You crazy people!!


Good. I turn my back again and they went to the red track, minus two who have already abandoned - an obese one and a shrimp (for them it was the black route or nothing!). This time I don’t interfere, otherwise I'll really offend them. Let us not forget that we have a beautiful brochette of Indian males who are prohibited to show their muscles, jumping in the trees, by a white woman... I reluctantly abandon my blue track and follow them, you never know...


At the third tree, while I am already shit scared and exhausted, we are stopped by a traffic jam. Guess what happened? Nope, it is not my Indians. It is just a big fat South African blonde, who was rappelling down the tree. At the fourth tree same thing. But this time, I witness one Indian, then two, then three, then four, being carried towards land! They are abandoning! Fuck their ego, it’s my turn to have some fun:

  • "Hey guys, so you are giving up??Who told you you should have gone for the blue track huh?”
  • "We are tired, our arms are paining because of the rafting.”
  • "And why exactly do you think I told you to do the blue route?? You don’t think I am also tired?”
  • "So get down too.”
  • "Ah no, I never give up."

And boom this one is for you!!

So I go on with this bloody activity.


And a new Indian colleague has just join me on the red track. I did not know her, so I had not dared telling her to let the black track to the big guys. And yet... She is catastrophed because she had to abandon the black course after two failed attempts at climbing in the first tree. She goes on repeating the same thing until I get irritated and tell her that it’s okay, she had nothing to prove to anyone, we are here for fun.  And finally, while she is clearly exhausted, she chooses the "difficult" option on the last part of the route. She ends up crashing into a net suspended in the air (this was part of the option) of which she proves unable to get out (that is not part of the option). Poor little fly struggling in a net... Someone had to go to her rescue…


They don’t do things half way these Indians!

And needless to say that the French are crazy, they hardly eat anything (and in any case nothing bathing in a sauce full of fat) and they do tough outdoor sports!

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