A Travellerspoint blog

Incredible India

sunny 23 °C

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We made it - we saved the best to last....The Taj Mahal at dawn.

We named this blog “Incredible India” because it’s the marketing slogan of the Indian Tourist Board. Now, having called India home for the past four months, we can honestly say that it is incredible – that is… a place beyond credibility. India is a land of paradox, populated by ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse peoples, which hangs together by a single thread of nationality. It is a country which, on paper, should not work – yet it is thriving. We’ve seen far more of India than most Indians will ever see and we’ve done our best to capture the essence of the country but, in truth, we have barely scratched the surface.
We’ve travelled nearly twelve thousand kilometeres to the four corners of this vast country by plane, train and car, (with only a couple of minor mishaps), and are grateful to the many drivers who’ve been conscious of our western sensibilities and have babied us around.
We have seen the sights, enjoyed the views and experienced the culture, but it is the people who will remain most in our memories: the gangs of smiling children who wanted their photos taken; the older students keen to practice their English; the polite and helpful hotel workers; the city folks who would stop to offer us directions or guide us across an impossibly busy road; and the many rural people who, despite their inability to understand English, would go to extreme lengths to assist us. We will always have particularly warm memories of the homestay owners who shared their lovely houses and delightful families with us.
We have been very pleasantly surprised by the relative lack of hassle and, although we know that we have sometimes paid a little over the odds, we have never felt ripped off. Neither have we at any time felt threatened or in any danger. We have, however, been saddened at the sight of the multitudes living in unbelievable squalor throughout the country, and we have felt totally powerless to do anything that might have a meaningful effect on their lives.

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Now we are saying goodbye to India, and these lovely kids, we want to offer a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the thousands of people who made our trip both possible and pleasant. We also want to thank you, dear blog reader, for taking this journey with us. As a reward, you are invited to Gabriola Island this summer to an “Experience India” party, (date to be announced).
Throughout India, in coffee shops, countless restaurants and nearly fifty hotels, we’ve been persistently asked to complete customer satisfaction questionnaires – and we have generally complied. So, now it’s our turn to ask. We would really like to know what you think of our blog, so please, please add a comment and please tell us of any way we might improve it .
You can add a blog comment without being a subscriber, but it costs nothing to subscribe and you won't be bugged by spam. (just click on “subscribe” in the top right hand corner and enter your email address). As a subscriber, you will receive a party invite and, best of all, you will be notified the next time we unroll our magic carpet and set off on our next adventure to ...Turkey

Posted by Hawkson 12:24 Archived in India

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Comments

No improvements necessary. It was fun to follow you on your extensive trip. It's as close to India as I will ever get so thanks for taking me along.

Terri

by Terri and Paul

Thoroughly enjoyed your blogs as usual. Thanks for sharing your adventures! Safe travels home.

by Sandra

Really enjoyed reading your blogs and found them very entertaining and enlightening. Look forward to seeing you when you're home.

by Sandra Galloway

Can't think of a thing except for the map addicts amongst us--an inset to pinpoint each location? The photos and the accompanying texts were all wonderful--a travelogue extraordinaire.
The snow prediction was all wrong, btw, at least for us on Gabriola. Beautiful sunny day. Signs of spring everywhere--buds, crocuses and eagles mating.

by R and B

Your blog has been tremendous. I have taken a journey with your blog that I would not be able to do otherwise. It has been a wonderful adventure. The photos and commentary have added a bit of sunshine to my day. Safe journey home

by Sue Fitzwilson

THE BEST!! No improvements needed.....

by Joyce

I love the blog and have thoroughly enjoyed being an armchair voyeur on your travels ...could only be improved by taking me with you as your official porter/barterer...or whatever else you could require. I look forward to seeing and hearing more on your return home.

by catherine

Your blog has set a very high standard - insightful, amusing and educational. You have taken us on an amazing adventure. Thank you!

by Diane & Bill

The top photo is magnificent.

by Janet

Not only did I enjoy following you around India, I enjoyed your home and your workshop.

by Bill

wow...that photo is magnificent of you two.
As for your blog, it has been 'beyonda-da-beyonda'...which loosely translated means... its been out of this world!
Thanks ever so much for the journey, it's hard to believe 4 months have slipped by so quickly.
...love you dearly!

by Gabriole

here I am at the bottom of the list, my computer has been off for several days and now back on. Kelly and Laura will be back in one week and that will make me happier as looking after 4 lively dogs -one who is coming into heat and the puppy which is very horny...yikes what a time...
I love reading your blogs especially when the weather is cold. Next week looks colder with a high of -1 some days. Not that I want you to have to come back to that...looking forward to seeing you at book club. love Jean

by Jean McLaren

Fantastic voyage...we have so much loved this experience. We were in India very briefly and experienced the paradoxes that you describe so well.
Looking forward to seeing you this summer!
luv
S

by Sharron and Harv

Congratulations on a superb job of recounting your travels in the wonderful world of India.
I hope you will publish a book from this for others to enjoy your fabulous photos and learn about the places, people and poverty you observed. WELL DONE! Safe journey home.
Love, Kaye

by Kaye Thomson

I've loved following you around India and learning so much on the way

by liz astil

Your blog was the highlight of my day! The photos were fantastic and writing inspiring, funny and heartwarming. India is, I believe, the most fascinating country in the world and you reminded me of that every time I clicked on the link to your blog. I fear that Nanaimo/Gabriola might feel a tad dull after your experiences abroad. I think I need to talk both of you into making a presentation at VIU so that more people could enjoy your photos and stories!

by Audrey

Thanks for sharing.

by Ute

Lovely to see your thoughts on the places we visited and particularly after meeting you in Odaipur. I have taken the liberty of sending this url to some friends who are planning a much smaller trip to India as I think you can offer them some insights. Happy travelling!
Abby

by Abigail Gossage

Thanks Jim and Sheila. You have shared an amazing experience and taken us along for the ride. It's been enlightening and fun. I can't wait to see where we go next! Thanks a million.

by Shelagh

The last word, perhaps?? Bravo! Thank-you! The winter has been brighter and warmer, thanks to your blog. And where will we go next winter? I can hardly wait.
See you on the Island.
Love, Trudy

by taboyle

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