Most enjoyable journey in India.

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#16 Mar 14th, 2005, 04:31
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#16
I loved Madurai to Teni. It was second class unreserved, but since it was practically empty it felt luxurious. The scenery is lovely and the whole trip was thoroughly enjoyable.

Oops, this thread was started by the railroad god, so I didn't take the time to read that this was not limited to train rides!

My favorite journey was a rickshaw ride from Munnar to Top Station and back. We had a great driver who had lots to chat about (and sing about too!), stopped in many places for photos, chai, tea garden wandering, rowboating, grilled corn-eating, and the scenery is oh so beautiful.
#17 Mar 14th, 2005, 06:29
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The elephant ride up to the fort in Jaipur. It was just me and the trainer on this enormous, beautiful elephant. I guess you can ride in that harness with your legs dangling off but since it was just me, I curled my legs underneath me and sat in the center, facing forward, enjoying the gentle rocking of the elephant and she lumbered effortlessly up that long, dusty road.

Several times tourists made us stop so they could take a photo; I couldn't figure it out until I called down to one of them, a German couple, and asked them about it. They said because I was so tall and sitting up there by myself in salwar kameez with my dupatta wrapped around my head I looked like some majarani! Heh. So I got to be in a bunch of peoples' holiday photo albums.

At one point a group of young teen boys began teasing the elephant. The trainer leaned over his shoulder and instructed me to hang on, then he gave a short command and the elephant lunged - just one step - towards the group of boys and reached for them with her trunk. You have never seen a group of boys run so fast! One who couldn't get away plastered himself up against the wall, his eyes as big as dinner plates. The trainer and I couldn't stop laughing for about ten minutes after that. The elephant looked exceedingly pleased with herself. If elephants can laugh, she was laughing, too.

Also, that ride was the best abdominal workout I've ever had. I'd recommend it to my personal training clients if there were any elephants nearby.
#18 May 15th, 2005, 00:16
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#18
I've spent some priceless time sharing biryani with Indian families returning home in Sleeper class as the countryside has rolled by. But for my favourite journey thus far I'm going to nominate a hazy, sunset trip through grotty Margao. Why? My first rickshaw.

I got into the flimsy tin can that somehow passes for a vehicle and stared ominously at the seething rush hour traffic with trepidation. My thoughts for the next 5 minutes as we suicidally ducked and weaved through carts, buses, animals, cabs, lorries and people can be summarised as follows:

"what the heeelll"
"what the f*ck??!?"
"holy shi...."
"f*ck me we're heading straight into a f*cking lorry"
"shit I'm a gonner..."

And then I just relaxed and started to smile. It all became so clear. I accepted the apparent presience of the driver in overtaking buses round blind corners. I appreciated his unusual skills and understood that from then on, I'd take a rickshaw for any journey when I've got my bag to carry.

Now I can't wipe the smile off my face whenever I get in. "What's funny sir?" This:
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#19 May 16th, 2005, 14:53
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#19
Like Mickey123, I loved the jeep ride from Siliguri up to Darjeeling - but my favourite journey was the return one, 8 hours on the Toy Train. All our acquaintances (Indian) thought we were utterly crazy for doing it, but we thought it was fantastic. Sometimes the train travels at little more than walking pace - and you could pick things off the stall in the little market towns we passed through, if you had been so inclined, as the train passed so close by. We even 'bisected' a political rally in one town - with the train passing between the speaker and the crowd three times (it was doing a kind of 'three point turn'). The speaker never batted an eyelid, just kept shouting into his megaphone - and the crowd listened just as intently.

When we made a slightly longer stop than usual, my husband went to find us some coffee, and and elderly gentleman brough his grandchildren to my window to 'shake the hand of an Englishwoman'. We were also put to shame by the exquisite English spoken by two little girls (8 or 9 years old) who told us all about their schooling, and helping their mothers at another stop - enchantingly they were called Sweetie & Swastika.

It might not have been as dramatic or spectacular a journey as some of those posted - but I know that it will stay with me forever.
#20 May 17th, 2005, 01:03
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#20
Last November I spent a couple of days sailing, floating, and rowing down the Ganges from Mirzapur to Varanasi. We camped a couple of nights in tents on the sandy river bank. All our meals (vegetarian only as it's not 'kosher' to eat meat on the Ganges) were prepared on board with the freshest ingredients and were delicious. It was a most relaxing and pleasant way of seeing a part of India, life along the river, that most don't get a chance to experience.
#21 May 17th, 2005, 01:06
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#21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skell Last November I spent a couple of days sailing, floating, and rowing down the Ganges from Mirzapur to Varanasi. We camped a couple of nights in tents on the sandy river bank. All our meals (vegetarian only as it's not 'kosher' to eat meat on the Ganges) were prepared on board with the freshest ingredients and were delicious. It was a most relaxing and pleasant way of seeing a part of India, life along the river, that most don't get a chance to experience.
How did you arrange that? Sounds great!
#22 May 17th, 2005, 01:24
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#22
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Originally Posted by machadinha How did you arrange that? Sounds great!
Yea - tell us, tell us!!
Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma
#23 May 17th, 2005, 02:52
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#23
It was part of a 15-day trip with Intrepid Travel. It's called "Slowly Down the Ganges" if you want to check it out on their website.
#24 May 17th, 2005, 02:54
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#24
And their website kindly is....

Pretty please? I'm guessing it's that gang that was brought up a while ago that looked both pretty enticing and unaffordable for the likes of me. Nice initiative all the same.
#25 May 17th, 2005, 02:57
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#25
Riding on the back of a motorcycle down the Kanyakumari coast road. Miles and miles of tropical paradise.
#26 May 17th, 2005, 03:15
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#26
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Originally Posted by machadinha And their website kindly is....
Sorry - It's: http://www.intrepidtravel.com

Their prices are pretty reasonable. This one is US$955. Their 'basix' and 'exploritory' trips are cheaper and less structured.
#27 May 17th, 2005, 03:24
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#27
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Originally Posted by skell Their prices are pretty reasonable. This one is US$955.
Ouch. Thanks for the link though, should be interesting for those who are up to it.
#28 May 17th, 2005, 03:27
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#28
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Originally Posted by machadinha Ouch.
Ditto. Machadinha, shall we build a raft?
#29 May 17th, 2005, 03:30
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#29
Aye WK. We might just be able to afford a cute little Indian to fan the sails

<ouch neo-colonial remarks alert>
#30 May 17th, 2005, 03:46
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#30
Hmmm tough one, like steven i also opened the carriage door and sat on the footplate watching another world go by, nearing goa it was special as we went through dense woodland/jungle type terrain.
Then there was the jeep ride from pathankot to mcleod ganj winding up the mountain roads.
Finally dehli to bikanar, falling asleep in the dark and wakingup to dessert and camels

Ps the bus ride at night from cmleod going DOWN the mountain roads was not so pleasant!!!
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