Friday, February 3, 2012

You Gonna Go Crazy For This


A great many days have passed since I started this journey. I am finally coming up to the end of it; a mere 9 hours remain for me in Bharat. Jordan and I will do a combination post soon as we discuss dealing with the idiosyncrasies and fervor of Indian travel. But for now, I write my last narrative:

I left you last in the clutches of Margao, Goa. We arrived in Hampi amidst a great argument between a cheating passenger and the bus fare conductor. The bus was late and packed, something we're quite accustomed with. We found the hotel Vanessa stayed at and spent a few days roaming around Hampi on rented bicycles. I was able to boulder but only for a day as a foolhardy leap around the waterfalls had given me a sore heel. I was eager to have Jordan join me in a little rock wrestling. Hampi was as pathetically touristy as Rishikesh: dry, veg, and inflated prices ruin an otherwise scenic region. No harm, however, as we vacated several days later and headed to meet Donald in Raipur. We took a series of trains, eager to return to them, booked under waitlist and RAC status, that would cause us several social agonies.

Sharing under the RAC status is one of the crucial rules not clearly explained on any Indian rail sites. It's what happens when the trains are fully booked with confirmed passengers and their corresponding berth yet still allows you to board the train and somehow share those berths with existing passengers. The conductors will designate these seats and notify you at the last minute as the charts are prepared for the trains' seating arrangements. It's all very confusing, a feeling compounded by snarky women we argued with about sharing seats. In theory, we were incorrect but enough refusals and talking to English speakers earned us a place to sleep for our 30 hour ride to Delhi.

Jordan has an explanation of our voyage in Chattisgarh with Donald written much better than I could as she delivers an ego-driven retelling of the stomach bug that was.

Lastly, Delhi, as mentioned before, is the bane of this trip. Perhaps one day I'll see it differently (like a visit to India decades later) but for now, it rests among my least favorite locations on the earth. I didn't even bother charging either of my camera batteries for the stay. We bought our gifts for family and friends on the last day, even having tea with a jeweler and weaver in their shop after adoring their wares. It was only upon Jordan's departure eve that I decided to live in IGI Airport instead of spending two days solo in Delhi. I hit up reddit to relieve myself of boredom.

In all, this trip has been worthwhile and sentimental. I feel more connected to my ideals than ever before and only when I get to practice them again at home will I truly feel integral.

Thanks for reading along with me all these months! Stay tuned for the mini-guide and be well, wherever you are.

Slogging through banana plantations, Hampi.

The slogging leads us to a clearing where water falls rest in the background, Hampi.

Carved sandstone temple, Hampi.  Inhabited by Chipmunks, Pigeons, and Macaques.

Aforementioned Macacques and modern electricity wires contrasting the ancient temple, Hampi.

Cow, tickling her rectum with a coiled tail and staring at baked goods, Hampi.

Handwashing, Hospet.

En route to Hyderabad.

One of many bellies, Raipur.

A lake few venture to visit, possibly because of the mosquito curtains, Chhatisgarh.

Bulls on parade, Chhatisgarh.

Jordan fashioning earplugs, Chhatisgarh.

Handmade earthenware, Bastar.

Dal for all, Bastar.

Red ants for sale at the market, used in Red Ant chutney, Bastar.

Forested waterway, Bastar.

I'll miss these fellows.

A fantastic waterfall, Chhatisgarh.

Jordan and the gosling, Chhatisgarh.

Thirsty cuties, Chhatisgarh.

Train fellows and victims of a marauding shoe-shiner, Delhi.

Reddit, IGI Airport.

I finally tasted a chicken burger, IGI Airport.

My holdout, IGI Airport.