Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hampi was absolutely incredible, and well worth the 9 hour bus ride! I've never been to a place so rich with history. They are countless temples amidst the huge boulders and banana plantations. I'll post more later, but here is the main temple in Hampi, which was built in the 1500's, overlooks the entire city and is awe-inspiring.

Below is me being blessed by Lakshmi, the main temple's elephant. Close contact with elephants was not something I was expecting this trip, I feel so lucky to have had two such experiences!And below, one last sunset in Goa!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Goa is an entire state, so it was obvious I wasn't going to be able to see all of it, but I spent a few days in the north, a few hours in the center, and then made my way down south. Here are a few pics of north and central Goa, of Vagator, Chapora, Anjuna and Panaji.Central Goa is the home of Old Goa, and some really beautiful old churches. The coastal towns are fishing communities, and there are fishing boats filled with nets everywhere, as well as people clamming and harvesting edible kelp.There are also bustling markets filled with color and beautiful shrines and religious imagery everywhere. It's a sunny, friendly beautiful place and super easy area to travel alone.There are NO supermarkets here, you won't find a Costco anywhere! However, these tiny little mini markets are everywhere, and run by friendly families who usually ask where you're from. Most travelers here are from Europe, so they usually ask if I am. Someone asked me yesterday if I was Scottish!
Next I'm on to Hampi, and then home. Decided against Kerala, as it was really far and hard to get to, with almost a day of travel each way. Now I have an excuse to come back to India!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cows are more than welcome to wander the beaches in Goa. It must be so much nicer to be a cow here than in the big city, dodging rickshaws, bicycles, cars and buses!

At the hottest point of the day, they come out for a nap in the hot sand or find some shade in the jungle to hang out. Some go to the local restaurants to beg for some compost. It's extremely entertaining! Of course the baby was my favorite! I also really like the spotted cows, although there aren't as many of those.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goa and monastery

I made it safely to Goa to begin the last part of my trip, southern India. Goa is mostly beach and jungle, and mellow and laid back--a far cry from many of the cities I visited in the North!

Here are a few pics I took today. As you can see, the cows are welcome to sunbathe and the dogs are fat and happy! The architecture is heavily inspired by Portuguese style, because the Portuguese ruled in Goa for two centuries. It's a lovely place.

In the third photo down, those are all eagles--amazing! After Goa I will visit Hampi, which is close, and possibly Kerala before I return home.

Below are pics I took while visiting a monastary in Pokhara, Nepal. Another first for me!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Woke up super early to catch the sunrise in Pokhara, Nepal. It only took a few minutes to rise above the hills and reach the Anapurna mountain range, which towers over the town. It was truly breathtaking and definitely worth the lost sleep!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A new friend!

Don't have much time to post pics now but just wanted to share this one of a lovely elephant I met in Chitwan, Nepal! A friend and I were just walking down the road in the village taking pics and a man rode by on his elephant. He stopped and let me have a quick hug. SO sweet!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

River Ganges

I spent two days in Varanasi, which is where the River Ganges, India's holiest river, is located. Lots of pilgrims coming to pray, bathe and do their laundry! They send flowers and candles in banana leaf cups into the river as offerings. Many men get their heads shaved on the spot. And of course, there are goats in various outfits. I even saw a cow fight! (it was a draw). Another amazing place. I recently crossed over into Nepal, which was about an 8 hour ride, but am still near the border. Today traveling further up into the mountains, heading towards Kathmandu, with a two day stop at a wildlife sanctuary in Chitwan. Can't wait!!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

It's hard to believe that I've only been here six days! India is a cacophony of horns honking, dogs, cows, monkeys, trains, smells, more cows, amazingly beautiful and incredibly old temples, Bollywood movies, mustard fields, INCREDIBLY friendly people, kite flying children and sweater wearing goats! Here are a bunch of pics, impossible to do more right now than just post a bunch and let the pics speak for themselves! Yes I have been making MANY dog and cow friends, the group thinks I'm a little nuts but I carry anti-bacterial wipes!