25 September 2011

Holy Varanasi

After waiting 11 hours at the train station since the train was delayed we finally got on the night train to Varanasi. Or so we thought. For some reason the train took another turn and we ended up in Allahabad instead. What a little dump that city is. But at least it did have some restaurants compared to New Jaipuguri that had none. Ah well we just had to spend the night there because after 17 hours on a train and try to get to another one the same day isn't the best when you're tired and cranky.

The next day we finally reached Varanasi, the city older than history itself. I must say I really like it. The small and narrow alleys some of them only 1,5 meters wide that builds up the city and Ganges running through, gives it a lot of character. Of course it's hardcore to walk in the alleys with hundreds of other people, motorbikes, holy cows and monkeys everywhere trying to get through and be aware of all the cow shit lying around. I only stomped in it once with my flip-flops, not the most pleasant feeling, but shit happens.

The people here bother you a lot, they start off friendly asking you were you're from and what you think of India and so on but in the end they always wanna show you their silk shop or restaurant and if you say NO NO NO to all of it they try a last desperate move and play the drug card, Hashish? Weed? LSD? Bah! I just wanna stroll around and enjoy the chaos of the city not be hassled for money buying a fake silk scarf or placebo drugs.

Of course we were in Varanasi little bit to early so gangers was very high from the rain season and it wasn't possible to stroll along it to watch people taking a bath or doing the laundry or watch burnings like you normally can. Too bad since that is like 70% of Varanasi. We saw a little of a burning tho, but of course an Indian guy came and annoyed us like hell so we left after just a few minutes. And we did see a ceremony to purify the water in gangers that was pretty cool. It's definitely a city I want to revisit to get the full experience.

Right now were on a train (what a surprise) to Rishikesh. Suppose to be very relaxing, the mekka of yoga and were The Beatles hung out in the late 60's writing song for the White Album.


Location:Varanasi, Allahabad

23 September 2011


Because of the bad weather in Darjeeling, we decided to leave and come back later, in the end of the trip when it's season for trekking and then go to Nepal.

We took a toy train to a little village down the mountains and then a taxi rest of the way to the train station in new jaipuguri. Finally there we bought a train ticket to Varanasi the same evening. BUT it was an open ticket which means we didn't get any seat number. You just have to go on to the train and hope you find a spot to crash and to fight for a spot with thousand Indians isn't easy. We failed big time and decided to skip that train, check in to a hotel for the night and take the train the day after, this time with seat numbers.

So we grabbed a rickshaw to take us to a area with some hotels. After a 5 min drive we stopped in front of a hotel, Malli got out first then I was about to step out when everything started to shake like crazy! Everyone around us panicked, started to run out from the buildings, the electricity went out, a guy and a sign fell down from I don't know where, the rickshaw driver panicked as well and drove off with me stuck with my backpack in the door, but I managed to get free and fell to the ground. I got up, it stopped shaking and me and Malli just looked at each other like two morons that had no clue what was going on. This was the most scary and adrenaline pumping 10 seconds in my life and it was the first earthquake I've been in.

The next day we could see it all over the news. The shake measured 6.8 on the Richters scale. Epi center was near Gangtok less than 20 km from Darjeeling, which were hit pretty hard by the quake. So we kinda escaped the area where the damage from the earthquake was the worst with just 2 hours. And if we would have stayed in Darjeeling like we were suppose to we would've been stuck there now because all the roads from there were damage.

Sorry but I dont have any pics from the earthquake. Didn't have time to grab my camera:)


Location:New jaipuguri

16 September 2011

Darjeeling limited

The train ride from Kolkata to Darjeeling was pretty pleasant and uneventful. Walking around for 7h with our backpacks in the rain from café to cafè until we could collect our train tickets and go to the station made us exhausted and both Malli and me slept quite good on the train.

After 10 hours on the train was it time for a car ride up the mountains. We thought it wasn't gonna be so far away, 20-30 min maybe. Man we were wrong! It took more than 3 hours and it was one of the worst rides I had in my life. 10 people squeezed in to a little van, roads full of holes and rocks, accelerate, braking, turning, accelerate again, braking again. From one carsick to another: this is THE worst driving you can be put trough. And on top of that one of the Indians started to sing Indian tradition songs. Don't get me wrong he had a lovely pipe, but with the puke up in my throat I just wanted to whack my guitar in his head and tell him to shut up!

I made it tho, without puking. And Darjeeling is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. The vibe, the people, the view is just awesome here. Compare it to Kolkata and it was like going from Hell to Heaven. We found a really nice guesthouse and Sorry to nag about the view again but the view from our room over the mountains it just stunning! We literay live over the clouds that's how high up we're right now (2135 meter over sea level).

Very thick clouds in the background and it's a bit chilly.


Location:Kolkata to Darjeeling

Arriving in India

So we arrived in Kolkata late evening, managed to take a cab which we had to pay way too much for but anyway, like an hour of a very bumpy ride were the driver nearly hit a few cars and a little boy crossing the street we made it to a quite all right hotel in the "backpacker" area. All the impressions of the city along the way was just overwhelming and I fell asleep like a baby.

Next morning we decided to walk around to find a good place to buy train tickets to Darjeeling. Just walking on the streets in Kolkata is an experience. Never have I seen a place were life is so close to death. And little street kids grabbing your arms following you 5 blocks because they think you'll feed them or give them money just because your white.

And also, walking trough the city is like time traveling. You have old old buildings next to new fancy ones but the fancy ones have piles of garbage and mud just in front of them just like in the medievals times. And you have these old carriages that look they're from 1890, cars from the 50's but also new shiny cars. But most of all it looks like they build a city and just let it fall apart.

Victoria memorial, kolkatta

I guess im just in chock right now. It's so many impressions at once and it's just exhausting dealing with the people in the beginning. I'm really looking forward to get on the train to Darjeeling. It suppose to be way nicer up there and just the train ride it self will be cool.

It sounds like I hate it here, but that's not true. Like I said it's just overwhelming. But i must say I've never felt so popular:) everyone wants to touch you, talk to you and take pictures of you just like a fucking monkey at the zoo. We already been invited to an Indian family's home just because we sat on the same plane from Bangkok as this Indian dude.

And just for your record: it's so hot here even your earwax melts.



Last days on koh Tao

Last days were very chilled. We met two German girls that we hung around with a bit. We rented a little boat one day and drove around the island to all the cool snorkeling spots. And when the sun started to go down we stopped at Shark Bay hoping to see some sharks. Since it's started to be dark the vision wasn't too good but it's the time when it's most likely to see a shark. All of us swam around without any luck, but then the two German girls waved at me that they saw a shark near them, they were pretty far away but I decided to swim towards them anyway and as soon as a looked down under water again I saw a shark swimming right underneath me very very slowly, it must have been round about 1,5 meter long but since everything is magnified under water you don't know for sure. But it was very exciting! After that I saw another shark, not as close but a bit bigger. The other guys saw a few sharks as well so the whole trip payed off.

Otherwise we spend most of the time in Rasta Bar that belonged to our resort. It was always chilled people around and the guys who works there is really cool. Especially Osian and "Johnny Depp".

The pics from the beach is from one morning when we partied all night long, and our room got invaded by millions of bees so we decided to go down and sleep on the beach at dawn and wait for the bees to die. So we took our dogs, played around a bit and then slept for a few hours.

I dont know if this blog entry makes any sense but it's a little recap at least.

05 September 2011

Random pics

this is the view from our new room

We adopted a dog, he chill with us on our balcony almost every day. We named him Ringo (after Ringo Starr from the Beatles)

Our favorite beach, it says on little signs that it's private, but we don't give a shit.

Malli kills 3 flies in one blow: reading, tanning and cooling down.

Today we spotted a little shark very close to the beach. It's not the best photo but at least I caught it, and just for a reminder: don't scream SHARK on a beach, ok! :)

We're getting there, a little bit of a tan, freckles and sun bleached hair

Location:Koh Tao

02 September 2011

Blue Moon experience- FAIL

Soooo, we heard about this moon party up in the hills on the island. "Blue Moon Experience- dance for peace" and we thought: "oh that could be cool seems like a full moon party but more relaxed". So we sat down at our porch, had a few beers to get the party vibe up. About 11pm we decided to go to the party, it was like 20 min walk up a very very steep hill but we made it. We paid the entrance, asked the guy if it was many people inside and he said: "yeah yeah yeah many people,party". So we walked in and were surrounded by awesome neon lights and decorations, loud drum'n'base music but NO people. It was like 15 people hanging around sitting in the corners and no one dancing.

We bought a bucket of red bull vodka, sat down and said to each other that it might be too early still, let's just give it some time and more people will come to party until dawn. So we sat around drinking, talking and chilling for a while. Then we decided, fucking hell, let's have a little nap so we can party all night long when it's more people around.

We woke up about 4am. The crowd were dancing but it was only like half of them left. The party never really started before it ended and we only got a nice little nap and like one million mosquito bites out of it. What a FAIL!


Location:Magical garden, Koh Tao