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November 2004

Friday 5 November 2004

This morning I left Jaipur, direction Bharadpur, 4 hours with the bus, The whole family Khan came with me this morning to the station to say goodbye… they were not really happy to see me leave…So sweet! Strange but true. I am really happy with this encounter In Jaipur.. It wasn’t easy all of the time but an experience that will remain in my heart forever. This new little town Bharadpur will provide me a day of walking and biking in a by UNESCO protected bird sanctuary. I already met a nice local girl who will join me tomorrow to explore the migration birds from Siberia and China. 2night I can refresh in the hotel and try to sleep through the so many mosquito’s, they are abundant over here… (Lucky me I have a mosquito net)… Soon I will go direction Agra… Dehli and maybe a Tiger sanctuary in between…

Sunday 7 November AGRA

Save and sound, I arrived in Agra this morning. I had a wonderfull time in Bharatpur, together with Neha.

The Keoladeo National Park is a beautiful park full of migratory birds, like the Siberian crane... We rent a bike for 25 rupees (1/2 Euro) and biked the whole area... I've seen the most amazing scenes and birds... Eagles, Kingfishers, Storks, Cranes... You never guess.. I saw a Wild Wolf!!! The first... Whooooooow, that was heavy.

First I saw a baby cow, bleeding on the side, behind some bushes.. Looking closer I saw mama Cow, standing nearby and then He ran away, because of him moving (being scared of me (lucky me)) I could Notice.. He was not that tall, dark brown, light coloured eyes.. I was impressed. I was already wondering what might have killed that little baby... Could not believe that I was going to experience this! The same day I had a siesta of 4 hours and a superbe meal at Neha's house. She offered me a night to stay, so the next morning I left for Agra and today was again a very important one...The Taj Mahal... the great one, as mentioned and truly extravagant overwhelming beauty of a monument. I had tears in my eyes, that power came of the sight! This building was made out of love for a woman..!?

Walking around the place I was asked by more than 5 groups of Indian people to go with them on shots... ? I did not get the picture, but they did... They see it as a future investment to have a picture of strangers (whom they call friends) with them. So a lot of peace and quite is not available in India... I would even say if you ever feel lonely, go to India. You will without any doubt feel important and noticed...

I'm staying in a very touristy place this evening here in Agra, only people from out of India come and stay here, so I might get to meet some co-travellers, as until now I've only made Indian (local) friends... if any you want to send me a message ... it is better to go for my HOTMAIL addres, there the Google one is not always working.

Thursday 11 November 2004 VARANASI

The most holy place in India, the city of Shiva, on the bank of the sacred Ganges. Hindu Pilgrims, the story of Buddha at Sarnath... This were an amazing last couple of days... I will tell you soon all about it. I have to enjoy this till the last second. love you all... I'm doing great!!!! so no worries.

Friday 12 November 2004 Delhi

The last day in India is almost through… I have had such amazing times… This morning I arrived here in Delhi, after a 13-hour train ride from Varanasi. Actually I wasn’t planning to go there, but I met a friend on my day trip to Fataphur Sikri (Agra) and she was going there that same night… I heard about the place and it should be amazing, but because I thought it would be to much trains to go and return, during the short time I’m in India.. it would be better to go slowly up North. (Alwar-Tiger sanctuary, etc) I’m glad I changed my mind and that I meat Hila (Israeli an), who convinced me to come along. The way to go was a hard one dough, because of course I needed to get a train ticket on the same day that I’m leaving and just 2 hours from departure time.. The trains were already full booked, even Hila (who reserved the day before) was standing on the waiting list… The train was over loaded!!! But I got a ticket (bizarre) with no place.. I first had to sleep on the floor for a small 5 hours.. Then luckily some people got off the train and I could go on there place.. (Also sleeper train so it is a night-travel-affair). Normally you would take 10 to 12 hours, this ride took at least 20 hours, just because of delay.. And yes don’t forget it is and stays India. That was hard, but the time I had in Varanasi was compensating big times.. FANTASTIC.. Met loads of travelers, made nice friends, had fun, learned about Buddha.., saw the holy river where every pilgrim goes bathing to get rid of their sins. Ghats (holy temples) were lined up on the river shore, in which some of them dead people are burned (this is one of the most honorable burials you can get in India) and ashes are thrown into the river. Imagine what that river contains??? You can tell from far away that this is a magical place… It is nice and colorful, great area and good little restaurants. I woke up twice at 5.30 here to just go and see the sun rise from the river shore, which is different from all I’ve ever seen ( I think it must have been the fog and pollution, but very beautiful nevertheless. Peaceful and spiritual in a way… So yes Dirk, there are amazing sun sets and sunrises over here… Never hesitate to come and see… So one more evening… in India. India was superb, the longer you stay the better it gets, you just get used to the chaos, never ending begging performances and selling-speeches. Like Lymca says…’’Madame, Madame, come come.. just look don’t buy…. Madam madam.. Very nice, very nice…’’ Today it is DIWALI, the main (biggest) festival over India for the Hindu’s, there is going to be a big, huge party in all off the cities of India tonight.. So I might get a glimpse of it before I leave… I’ve loved it but I’m ready to go, looking forward to Thailand, of which I heard that I’ll discover the most beautiful beaches and very lovely sceneries…(merci pour le tip Tibaut et merci pour hier)… Today I was hiking Delhi in a fast gear, just one day to see the biggest city of India.. also the busiest one so not that horrible to go after one day… and had the help of a Guido (Peru) who currently lives in France, he knew his way so that was good. In three words, no time to feel homesick, heaving a good time still and ready to go 4 it. So see you tomorrow, Hong Kong. Pictures soon (promise)©

Monday 22 November 2004, Back in Bangkok

Hello everybody, sorry it took me so long to get an up to date story ready for you, but I’ve had loads of discoveries and trekking activities, so I’ll try to make it up by telling you some about it.

Hong-Kong; was 4,29 hours flying and the airport there is a good example for ours, fast and efficient… got on the bus strait away to the kowloon area (Nathan Road), where the shopping madness overwhelms you hardly. If you have money to spend (not me) this is a good place to get the most up to date items of every kind imaginable. I walked my way towards the YMCA-hotel, which is hardly noticeable there all buildings reach the sky high… Found it and chose a Dorm-room (sharing with others) in staid of a single room… good chose, very nice room and got to meet an Argentinean lady, very friendly, also not knowing what she was doing in Hong-Kong… Still this visit was one I spend on my own.. Walking through the streets and looking around, visiting the shops, catching the views of the Hong-Kong Island on the other side of the water..

So the next day I took the ‘star-ferry’ and walked my way up to the top of Hong-Kong Island… On my way finding the peak I bumped into this beautiful zoo and botanical garden, which was really beautiful.. Exotic birds and flowers, Orang oetans, fooling their masters and everywhere Chinese people practicing Tai Chi, jogging and doing other type of concentration-facilities… Nice encounter. The walk was a good exercise I can assure you, but the views you get once up there are powerful. So had lunch sitting on the balcony of the peak-tower and walked around, around and around…

walking back down, finding the Hollywood road, where a temple could be found of which I thought it would be worth seeing… and than walked until my feet fell of back to the ferry, YMCA a shower and than I was ready for the Chinese meal I was going to offer myself here… delicious, I even had some red wine (2glases), mmmmm…

The next day I left for Thailand

Was happy that I finally was going to discover it.. and as I was sitting on the plain, happy and ready, 2 wonderful Portuguese friends came to sit next to me.Still traveling with them until now.. A couple, Diogo and Theresa (28-26), very very sweet.

We arrived in Bangkok, where everything went very fast as well, a bus to the centre, which took us long, and we were starving + not sure about where we were going.. I was sitting next to Sol in the bus, An Australian dude, so we ended up with the 4 of us in Bangkok city, direction the famous back-packers street (Khao San)… and we found a nice little hotel… cheap and clean… Bankok is the place to shop as well, you can find anything for nothing... Like a nice T-shirt = Euro 1, maybe 2... Anything everything… You can even sell stuff. (Also very cheap of course)… Things you might not need anymore. Crazy… Some beautiful Temples are to be found in this capital, so that’s what we did during the one whole day we were here… The Grand Palace, impressive it is… Thailand has a beautiful artistic character with many details and beautiful forms and a lot of colors! Have some nice food and look at the shops…

And slowly I was loosing my voice; the next day was even voiceless, no single sound producible (weird). That day we went towards Kanchanaburi, a place Sol recommended because of a Tiger Temple with tame Bengal Tigers living with Monks, But when we Arrived here, there was a lot more to be discovered...

Breathtaking waterfalls, a historical place because of the precense of the Death Railway, which was built by the prisoners of war in WO II… The Tigers of course and also a 2-day Jungle trek… ( half at night in the dark, with torches of bamboo), a night spending in the deep Jungle, small bamboo huts, frogs and 5 other typical Thai dishes for dinner we learned to make our selves, the bush TV (camp fire), a good walk back the next morning, somewhere on the way picked up by

elephants… a last bit by Bamboo Rafting… back in the 4*4 towards the station where we took the train over the Death Railway to get back in to town…



The place where we were staying is also a recommendation for anyone who might be coming this direction... (Nita Raft House) Very cheap and a floating on the water guesthouse, movies at night, good food and very friendly family.

So Now back in Bangkok… Leaving to the Islands tonight (Bus and boat) to get my PADI, Divers license… I have had a hard time because I needed to make a choice.. It has been a week I was planning to go to Cambodia. There seems to be one of the most powerful places in the world, Angkor Wat! I saw a mini version of it and I’m sure it is very worth it, but It is far away, expensive and hard to get Visa.. Very doable all of it I know, but my friends (Portuguese) have less time then I and will go and fly the way up there and that I can not afford… And in a way I want to go diving, enough visiting places and buildings… time for sea, beach, more Jungles and National Parks.

So Next Friday I know there will be a Full Moon Beach Party on ‘Ko Pha-Ngan’, but first I’ll go to Ko Tao, to get the diving certificate and relax for a couple of days…


Sunday 28 November 2004 Ko Pha-Ngan

Relax… nice Beach, just arrived here today… I have been on Koh Tao the last 5 days, where I fulfilled my first open water diving course… Super! It was very exciting to dive for apr. 1 hour about 18 m deep… I was actually feeling like a general school girl for a week, because we had to study and make homework, examination and practice.

But we went for 4 dives in total, had loads of fun and experienced the underwater world from up close. For a second I thought we were going to be stuck on that island for at least a week, because there was a Typhoon warning on Thursday. No boats were going to or leaving the islands when there is bad weather, for sure when there is a storm.. So unfortunately I missed the Full Moon Party on Pha-Ngan, but the typhoon degraded to a storm before reaching us and nothing really happened…a lot of wind and rain…When some of us began to worry I went to check the forecast on the Internet and could follow the degradation, so everything ok.

Again I met a lot of nice people, Diogo and Theresa came with me to the Islands in the end and we did the diving course together. They stayed on Koh Tao and I’m heading forward. Want to see more of Thailand, time is going fast and there is so much to explore.. haha.. Tomorrow I will chill out and recover a little… will write you again soon.