December 26, 2012

A Loose Of Limits Christmas!

Happy Christmas from Pushkar, Rajasthan, India!

While we had our first strong pangs of homesickness this week, we managed to make the best of Christmas in this holy Hindu town.  Pushkar is very devout, so alcohol and meat are banned (even eggs!). I was still recovering from being sick, so we laid pretty low. We took a walk around town, did a bit of shopping for each other, decorated our "tree," opened presents, had dinner, and watched a movie on our laptop in bed.

You'll hear more about Pushkar soon, but, for now, here are a few pics of our small Christmas celebration.

Our Christmas "tree" was really a potted plant from the hotel lobby that we decorated with my earrings and bead necklaces! We used a wool sock as Tom's stocking, and a sport sock as mine! Material scraps and a sarong doubled as wrapping paper!

December 22, 2012

Riding Roller Coasters in India

Of all the forms of transportation we've hopped on and off in India - taxis, auto rickshaws, bicycle rickshaws, canoes, trains, busses, airplanes, ferries - the most consistent mode of movement we've ridden is a roller coaster. We ride it every single day.

And while I would be hesitant to ride any actual roller coasters I found in India, we've basically accepted the inevitable emotional roller coaster we board each and every day just by being here.

I Love Hampiiiii! Hampi, I Loooove Yooooou!

First - we need to clear something up. We're a bit behind on the blogging, but we're still presenting it in chronological order for the most part. Right now, we're in Jaipur, Rajasthan, and it's December 22, 2012. We were in Hampi in mid-November, 2012. So we're not there now. We're trying to catch up now on blogging and you'll probably read about where we are now in a few weeks time!

Get ready for a love fest, folks. We love Hampi. Big time. If they had a Nordstrom shoe department and good whiskey, I might spend the rest of my life there. But, alas, the shoe shopping options are limited and the bourbon is crap, so I find myself still searching for mecca.
This is us, loving Hampi

The Least Luxurious Night of My Life quickly things can change. About 24 hours ago, Tom posted on how much we love train travel (read here). And now, only a day later, we are amending that statement. We love train travel for trips less than 10 hours when we're not violently ill and, preferably, for trips during the day. Sometimes, we hate train travel.
This is me, in simpler days, when I
naively loved train travel

December 21, 2012

Come On Ride the Train

After 2 great weeks in McLeod Ganj (more to come), we just got to Amritsar, Punjab, India a few days ago, which is right on the border of Pakistan and home to the Golden Temple, a major pilgrimage site for Sikhs. Leaving, McLeod Ganj, we woke up at 3am (I actually just never went to sleep and Steph only slept for about an hour) and grabbed a taxi in McLeod Ganj to Dharamsala, and then rode a local bus for 6 hours to get here. Like we told you in a previous post, the busses can be pretty scary (read here), and the ride to Amritsar was no exception. The bus was old and rickety and noisy. We were cold. The bus driver was aggressive (like all Indian drivers), and we didn't enjoy a single minute of our journey. After that experience, I thought it would be good to tell you about our favorite kind of transportation in India; the choo choo.
On the top bunk of the choo choo

December 14, 2012

Cocktails & Dreams in Palolem, Goa, India

While we got our first glimpse of the long-term, hippy-twirling, dreadlocked, bare-footed, San Francisco-esque travelers in Gokarna (read about it here), we knew the patchouli-scented masses were waiting for us in Goa, so we took a quick train ride up the coast to Palolem in south Goa. (Get ready for a tutorial on Indian train travel soon...Tom's working on a post.) Our main plan was to do nothing and, after our first few weeks in India, which were great, but certainly an adjustment, we were thinking of our time in Goa as a true vacation. Now, I know most people think of what we're doing as a year-long vacation, and I understand what you're saying. But most people go on vacation so that life is easier, and most of our days in India have been more difficult than our days at home, so I'm not sure most of this trip qualifies as "vacation," but more as "traveling." So we were looking forward to some beach time and I, specifically, because Goa is a little tourism bubble where customs and traditions aren't as conservative (like most beach destinations around the world), was looking forward to wearing less clothing in the sweltering heat. I'd been promised I could wear a swimsuit on the beach without being hassled and even a sundress in the town without being ogled. 
In a bikini and free of ogles

December 6, 2012

Feeling Beachy in Karnataka (Gokarna, Karnataka, India)

Sneak Peek of McLeodGanj
Writing to you today from McLeod Ganj (near Dharamsala) in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. This is where the Tibetan government-in-exile resides, including the Dalai Lama. It's a very special place. We are LOVING it. Hampi (which we'll tell you about soon) and McLeod Ganj have been our two favorite places in India, so look forward to those posts. We are seriously behind on blogging because, in stark contrast from the beginning of our time in India, we've been quite busy - 2 weeks of yoga in Goa, followed by flying to Delhi to meet up with Tom's mom, attending a friend's wedding there and then heading up to the mountains, we haven't had a lot of free time on the internet to post. we are now, with lots to tell you - some bad (India really is a fickle b!+@#), but mostly good. Stay tuned.