Travel Theme : Transportation

What a great theme Ailsa has given us this week, “transport“, it is the very heart of travel. To travel is to go, and to go you need some form of transport to get from point A to point B.

This theme sent me to the big cupboard full of old photo albums and a trip down memory lane. Another opportunity to scan my old photos and travel back to 1988….

India is the destination. For me the country is shrouded in mystery, strange caste systems, hundreds of gods, spicy food, vibrant, colourful, noisy, dirty. A hole in the floor toilet system that defies description. inquisitive, friendly locals that watch your every move from eating to using that hole in the floor.

I joined Venturetreks and with an intrepid group of 19 other brave souls we journeyed around for 3 weeks using different forms of transport…

A flight from New Zealand to Delhi, then the crowded but amazingly efficient train journey into the Thar Dessert of Rajasthan…

Now the real adventure starts. Our camels await us. For 4 incredible days we cross the desert accompanied by three camel carts that carry all the tents, food, luggage and 2 talented musicians. After the first day they also carried a few of the 19 intrepid travellers. They lay on their stomaches to relieve the pressure on their sore behinds. I brought with me a New Zealand sheep skin pad, it was worth its weight in gold…

Note the sheep skin on the saddle...

Note the sheep skin on the saddle…

The musicians kept us entertained

The musicians kept us entertained

They smiled all the time

They smiled all the time

I have many wonderful memories of the endless desert landscape, the spicy tasty meals eaten round a camp fire each night, the dancing and music before climbing exhausted into our sleeping bags. Being woken next morning with a cup of chai and hot water for washing. Then another 6 to 8 hour ride to the next camp site. My camel being on his first trek and previously being a racing camel always led the pack. As we approached camp each afternoon it would be an exhilarating race to be first in, we always won!!!!

Next leg we travelled round the golden triangle of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur on a coach. Visiting the opulent palaces, mosques markets.

Now back onto the saddle, but this time it is a bike saddle…

Basic but comfortable bike

Basic but comfortable bike

For 3 days we biked through agricultural land of rolling hills. Often other Indian bike riders would bike alongside me and practice their english. They were unfailingly friendly and though I was often way behind the others ( I stopped often to take photos) and on my own I never felt threatened.

I passed various forms of local transport, here’s a selection…

5 minutes dow the road and I passed this bus

5 minutes dow the road and I passed this bus

Buses always full to overflowing

Buses always full to overflowing

Colourful, decorated trucks

Colourful, decorated trucks

Trucks full to overflowing too

Trucks full to overflowing too

Bikes full to overflowing too

Bikes full to overflowing too

Nothing is impossible...

Nothing is impossible…

Some time you just have to have a rest

Some time you just have to have a rest

More big loads

More big loads

Cattle cart

Cattle cart

Poor half starved horse

Poor half-starved horse

This part of the adventure ended when we biked into Agra and arrived at the Taj Mahal as the sun set. ( I have posted photos of this awesome creation of one mans love for a woman in a previous post you can see them by clicking here)

The final leg of this once in a lifetime journey took me down the mighty Ganges. Starting at Allahabad we sailed and rowed for 5 days observing life along and in the river. Sleeping on the boat and occasionally being put off to walk along the banks through the villages and meeting the people who lived and worked in the area. The journey ended at Varanasi the most holy of cities in India. The place that Indians bathe in the Ganges and burn their dead along the banks on huge fires.

Sailing down the Ganges

Sailing down the Ganges

It must be hard work for this oars man

It must be hard work for this oars man

This is just a very brief outline of the 3 weeks I spent in India. An amazing country that gets right into your soul. It is chaotic, crowded, confusing and cheerful. Looking through my photos brought back those memories from 25 years ago. The people, the stories, the sights and sounds. The constantly blaring horns and ringing of bike bells, the cows wandering every where, the smells, the delicious food, it all flooded back as if I had been yesterday.

Thank you Ailsa for this theme.

Yes we definitely need photos to keep our memories alive…

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Categories: India, memories, transportation, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Travel Theme : Transportation

  1. Fantastic photos for this theme. You’ve had some great adventures that make me more than a little envious.

  2. Colin's Blog

    Great photos! I love the one of the guy on a tricycle with such a disproportionately large load!

  3. I thought for sure I was going to see Matilda, but I love this also!! Wonderful photos.

  4. Amazing images PP…what fun they all are

  5. Brought a smile 🙂 fantastic world images 🙂

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