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The road to Nepal - West Terai - Bardia National Park - Nepalganj
Sunday, 11 March 2007
Coming from Rajasthan we planned a few days in Agra to see the Taj Mahal and to hide for the Holi festival. Agra in in Uttar Pradesh, the most populated state in India. It’s just over the state border with about 2 million people. As usual we arrived in total chaos. Just before entering the city we were greeted by a detour through a busy bazaar area packed with people in very narrow long endless streets. It’s a miracle we got through without ripping electricity cables, crashing merchandise, crushing bicycles, rickshaws and people. But Agra is tourist tout heaven – this is where the real tourist haggler learns the trade – with the Taj Mahal and the Agra fort as the main play area. With Nepal on our minds we decided to make it the last stop in India before heading for Pokhara.
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India - Generator heaven
Sunday, 04 March 2007
Follow the news about India and you hear and read about incredible growth of the economy, booming IT industry and the Bollywood movie scene. Travelling through India with all this news on the background raised a big question, how are these developments possible while electricity supply in India is so unreliable? We assumed there would be some sort of continuous electricity supply. After 1 month of India we’ve experienced the total opposite. India’s electricity supply is limited and discontinue on a daily basis for most of the country. To make matters worse, it’s winter time now. Big electricity consumers like air conditioning devices are switched off. So we’ve seen the best of India’s electricity supply – and it’s not good news by far.

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Incredible Rajasthan
Saturday, 03 March 2007
With the relatively quietness of Jaisalmer and it’s desert surrounding behind us we headed east again now for Jodhpur, Pushkar and Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. After 3 weeks of India one thing has struck us – this is a country which gets a lot of foreign tourists. In fact we haven’t seen the real package tourists being brought in by the busloads since France and Greece. Maybe Rajasthan is a very touristy part of India – but this was something we didn’t expect to find. We arrived in Jodhpur on local roads passing many small villages with local crowds on the streets same as we seen in Pakistan. Our first impression of Jodhpur was absolute traffic chaos – we arrived in the stone cutter area west of Jodhpur.

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India - First encounter
Sunday, 11 February 2007
Going to India – something we have long looked out for. We’ve heard a lot about India from other travellers – good and bad experiences. One thing’s for sure – India must have a LOT  of people, each and every traveller from India has mentioned this explicitly. With Pakistan and Nepal (1998) as context we’re curious and somewhat anxious how we will experience India. We’re not crowd maniacs and both appreciate a ‘bit of air’ between people. Anyhow India happened quicker than we expected – we left Islamabad on the 25th, the next day we already sat in the garden of Ms Bandari’s Guesthouse.
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3 months in Pakistan
Saturday, 03 February 2007
We stayed for about 2,5 months in Islamabad for many reasons. We’ve seen many travellers come and go at the Jasmin Garden campsite and got the opportunity to roam in and around Islamabad for quite a bit. We experiencing the heat (+35 Celsius), the cold (- 3 Celsius), long rainy days and the humidity of Islamabad.
People here are quite used to western influences, unlike most other area’s of Pakistan. The presence of the United Nations and the (heavily secured) diplomatic enclave undoubtedly causes a steady demand for many things from the western world. Of course Pakistani life-style in Islamabad is clearly and irreversibly influenced by the influx of “lifestyle” technology (music, films, mobiles, fastfood etc). This mixed into Pakistani tradition and culture results in amazing contrasts, sometimes into the extremes.
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