India was cacophony; a beautiful, breathtaking, exhausting bombardment of all five senses. It’s a riot of colors, a constant hum of sound, and a whole new level of experience in the olfactory department.
We travelled in January. I went with six friends five girls and one man. (A serious hat tip to Roger for surviving that.) In two weeks we never spent more than three nights in one place, usually only one or two. We went to three cities in the state of Rajasthan in the west, visited the Ajanta Caves, the Taj Mahal, Kerala beaches in the south, a night on a houseboat in the backwaters of the south-west, and walked through the slums of Mumbai. It was by far the most human, the most difficult, and the best trip I’ve taken.
What I love best about India is that no matter how poor, people take care to make things beautiful. Everything is colorful and adorned, from the trucks on the highways to the insides of taxis. There’s a joy in the intensity.
Our first stop was Johdpur, the Blue City in the west. Trivia fact: that massive castle in the background? That was the castle where the Batman movies were shot. That’s right, I walked the same ground as batman.
And when in India, yoga is mandatory.
We wandered the streets, bought saris, interacted with the local wildlife.
We relaxed at the beach, then sailed the backwaters in a houseboat.
Our last day, we explored the Ajanta Caves, Indian carvings and art from the second century BC. The second century BC. I can’t wrap my mind around it. You can just walk up to these works of art and run your hand over them.
PS: I get it: I’m eight months and eight countries late on this. I go back on August 21st, and by then I think I can crack out seven more updates. Mea culpa.