IMPORTANT: The following journal is intended for the use and viewing of approved persons only and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. Any dissemination, distribution or copying of this work is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word ‘absquatulation’ has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the creation of this journal and a minimum of Microsoft software was used. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards.

Year View| Summary| Highlights| October 2000 (Month View)

01.10.2000Sunday 1 October to Monday 9 October (9 days)

No entries.

10.10.2000October 10 Kuala Lumpur

Cooktown early. Flight ten to eight, arrived Cairns a quarter to nine. Taxi to Esplanade. Some shopping, traveller’s cheques. Flight left at ten to two. Airbus A330, 2/3/2 seats. Arrived KL xxx, bus to Empress Sepang Hotel. Slept well, hotel good.

11.10.2000October 11 Delhi

Breakfast at hotel. Changed $20 Australian dollars to Malaysian Ringit, and caught a bus and train into Kuala Lumpur. Very clean and efficient train. Went to the world’s tallest building, but could not go to the top as the tour was booked out. Lunch at the hotel. Flew on the same type of Airplane to Delhi, arriving around eleven PM. Ric changed $US50, of which I got half. We got on a bus from the airport to Pahar Ganj (the main cheap tourist area of Delhi). Halfway there the bus driver tells us to get off into a rickshaw, as this is as close as the bus goes to Pahar Ganj. We comply, and a few minutes later a policeman stops the rickshaw and tells us that it is not safe to go to the Pahar Ganj area, as there have been Muslim riots. Fortunately Ric sees that we are close to the Pahar Ganj and we walk the rest of the way. There are no riots; it is all a scam to get tourists to go to certain expensive hotels. We stay the night at Hotel Ashoka Ocean, paying 150 rupees for a double. It is not too bad but quite hot.

12.10.2000October 12 Delhi

I do some shopping in the main bazaar at Pahar Ganj. I go to an email place and email back home. I changed $US50 (at 45.6 rupees to the dollar) and payed back Ric his half. It is very slow but only costs 10 rupees per hour. I also went to a big market near to where we were staying, called Palika Plaza in Connaught Place. We booked a bus to RISHIKESH, which we boarded at 9:30Pm. We were made to sit up the front with the driver. We tried getting angry and demanding a seat, however it did no good. It ended up being not too bad as the driver was quite insane, often driving straight into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road, and I got a good view of all the excitement and near accidents.

13.10.2000October 13 Rishikesh

We arrived in Rishikesh early in the morning. It was quite cold. A foolish Indian off the bus tries to charge us Rs10 (10 rupees) for letting our luggage out. We refused to pay and eventually got it-free. We stayed at the Hotel Rajdeep at Rs150 for a double. A nice and clean, but somewhat basic hotel. Ric washed his undies down the toilet by accident, and then I washed one of my socks down as well.

14.10.2000October 14 Rishikesh

We walk to Rishikesh proper where Ric changes some money (which takes hours at the bank of India). I send an email that costs Rs50 per hour, but is a lot faster than Delhi. We stay at Rajdeep again, and meet two women who were on the plane with us. We book a bus ticket north.

15.10.2000October 15 Gangotri

We get up at 4:30 AM and make our way to the YATRA BUS STAND where we get a bus to GANGOTRI. There is no legroom in my seat so I have to go and sit up the back of the bus with a Dutchman and a Canadian man (there for the same reason). It is a 13-hour trip, with a 1-hour stop for lunch. The road is very steep and we risk falling off the edge all the time. We arrive in Gangotri at 6:30 Pm and get a double room for Rs100. There is no electricity but it is nice and clean. It is very cold in Gangotri. We have a nice curry and rice for dinner. It is slightly difficult to sleep due to the high altitude.

16.10.2000October 16 Gangotri

An uneventful day. I had jam and chapattis for breakfast, and some chocolate. The snow capped Himalayas can be seen in the distance. I get dry lips from the cold and have a fitful sleep.

17.10.2000October 17 Gaumukh

We left Gangotri around 9 AM on a 6-hour (19KM) trek to GAUMUKH, the source of the Ganges. It is nearly 4 KM high. We were both very out of breath due to the altitude, and it was also very cold. We slept in a Baba’s tent only a few hundred metres from where the glacier turns into water. It was extremely cold, and we were very tired from the altitude but could not sleep well because of it. The forest station on the way up charged us Rs50 each, which we found out later they had no right to do.

18.10.2000October 18 Gaumukh

We “donated” Rs200 each to the Baba and walked back, which only took 4 hours as it is down hill. All the water that had been running yesterday had frozen. I had a sort of cold-water wash, too cold for a proper one. We had an argument with our hosts as they said that we had not paid for last night when we had. A priest also tried to rip-off Ric and charge him Rs100 for putting a red string on his hand.

19.10.2000October 19 Rishikesh

We boarded the bus back to Rishikesh at 7Am at a cost of Rs155 each. We arrived in Rishikesh at 8PM after a “nightmare” trip looking down 300 foot cliffs only 1 foot from the wheels. We caught an auto-rickshaw to the bridge, then had some cornflakes at Ram Café. We got a Rs50 (for both of us) hotel room with very thin mattresses, however it was the cheapest I ever saw. A bit sore from the bus trip.

20.10.2000October 20 Pahar Ganj

Cornflakes for breakfast, then to the bus stand and catch a bus at 9:15 for Delhi. It took 6 ½ hours. We then caught another bus to CONNAUGHT PLACE and went to the bank to get some money. I went and sent an email.

21.10.2000October 21 Pahar Ganj

I went to CONNAUGHT PLACE MARKET where I bought a short-wave radio and a torch, and then I went back to the bank to get some more money out.

22.10.2000October 22 Pahar Ganj

I met an Australian man in the café whilst having breakfast and he came back to our room and talked for a while. I emailed and managed to find a torch bulb for my torch, very rare in India. We walked up to a really big Hindu temple and had a look around.

23.10.2000October 23 Train

Went to New Delhi train station, booked ticket to Varanasi. Left on train to Varanasi at 1:15 PM. It took 13 ¾ hours. We got a bit squashed, 4 and 5 (6 and 7 at one stage) people in my side (supposed to be 3). However it was okay when we followed the sleepers out.

24.10.2000October 24 Varanasi

We arrived Varanasi at a bit past 3 AM. Auto rickshaw to Hanumans Ghat, slept on ghat steps. Got room at place in morning, 100 rupees for double. I e-mailed for 30 Rs per hour. The connection was not too bad. Ric paid for the room.
  They were some fireworks at night, which sounded like a revolution.

25.10.2000October 25 Varanasi

I went shopping for blankets, but couldn’t find any good ones. There were some more fireworks at night.

26.10.2000October 26 Varanasi

I awoke sick. I tried to eat some cornflakes, but I could not. I lay in bed all-day only getting up at night, when I felt slightly better. There were fireworks all-night until 1:30 AM.

27.10.2000October 27 Varanasi

In the morning I walked to the burning ghats. I was ripped off 60 Rs. I walked to a Moslem mosque; it was very hot on the way back. There were some more fireworks at night. I think maybe I’m getting a cold.

28.10.2000October 28 Varanasi

I walked to the train station and bought a book “Trains at a Glance”. On the way back from the train station I was conned into going into a silk seller’s shop. I decided to go to place. It is a bit complicated involving two trains and two buses. I will try to leave 11:30 PM Monday. I sent e-mail and the connection was very slow, it actually took one-hour 15 minutes. I have slightly blocked sinuses.

29.10.2000October 29 Varanasi

I did nothing much. I bought some Pringles, which are very expensive in India. My cold does not seem to be eventuating; I only have lots of phlegm on my chest.

30.10.2000October 30 Train

I went to the train station to book a train at 8:30 AM. It cost 10 rupees to get there and 15 to get back. It was 140 rupees for the train. I booked out of my hotel room, 300 rupees in full paid. I caught an 11:30 PM train that was 90 minutes late, departing at 1 AM. I arrived in Satna at 7 AM. I am now travelling alone without Ric, who is still in Varanasi.

31.10.2000October 31 Satna-Khajuraho

I arrived at 7 AM. I booked a 50 Rs bus. The bus was near new; plastic wrapping was still on the seats. I left at 9:15 AM taking 4 hours. I paid 50 Rs for a room with three beds. I paid 10 $ US for a ticket to see temples, very expensive for India. I stayed at the Hotel New Bharat lodge. To Brussels of the train had had enough and were flying home. I had an okay dinner of spaghetti plus vegetables. I worked out my finances (I have spent $412 approximately so far). Probably on track I hope. The room has attached shower and toilet (Australian style toilet but no flush of seat, and the shower has no rose).

Year View| Summary| Highlights| October 2000 (Month View)

Be Amused

Printed on 100% recycled electrons
W3C CSS 2.0