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1 month down, hopefully 11 to go!

sunny 20 °C
View World Wide Wander on millfred's travel map.

No. of different beds slept in = 21
No. of days rain (pretty much just a light shower for less than an hour) = 2 / 34
Ratio of cows to people in Mahabalipuram = 1:1
No.of mozzie bites on feet = 14

We've just about survived the first month, although Pauline has thought about coming home about 10 times! Seriously though we have a great Christmas and New Year and hope you all have too.

So we left Mysore for Chennai and stayed with the Shah family who were amazing hosts for four days. We had a cracking time modelling for a new fashion store (see our celebrity interview), going to the cinema and were privileged enough to have an audience with a guru at a Jain temple. Richard also got to experience life on the back of a motorbike on the manic indian roads on a trip to the post office. No protection (helmet/jacket) deemed necessary!

After Chennai we went to a small beach village called Mahabalipuram for Christmas and Boxing day which was just the chillout we needed. Spending the day in 30 degree heat on the beach was certainly different for Christmas. We decided to try and make it more like home by buying as much chocolate as we could (not an easy task) and Pauline had a cheese toastie for lunch. SANY0415.jpgSANY0444.jpgOn Boxing day we got up at 5am (yes 'we', Pauline did get out of bed) to see the sun rise over the east facing beach, which was made more surreal by the realisation that it was the anniversary of the tsunami that affected that coastline 5 years previous. Later Boxing day we got the bus to Pondicherry to experience a french colonial town on India's south east coast. By far the cleanest place we've seen and some great ice cream.

After two days we got the bus back to Chennai and then straight onto a 17 hour overnight train to Nagpur. SANY0508.jpgThe trains have been a breeze and much more comfortable than the buses. Not much to see in Nagpur though, we just used it to break up our journey North. We did try to go to the cinema but the rickshaw driver took us to the wrong one inside a different mall so instead we ended up eating pasties in the supermarket! In the hotel in Nagpur we had our first cockroach in the bathroom experience too so we didn't come away with an affection for the place. The staff in the Hotel however were a class act, and actually booked our next two nights accomodation for us!

We left Nagpur on another overnight train to Jhansi, which is the furthest North we have been, and a bus to nearby Orcha for New Year which is a nice quiet riverside village with some good temples. Can't say we larged it on New Years Eve though. We gatecrashed a party in a nearby hotel but found it to be a big cheesefest and we sloped off at 11.00pm. On New Years Day we went white water rafting and trekked the local nature reserve. We stayed in posh swiss tents on the night which was the best 'payed for' accomodation so far but we spent the night shivering only to realise in the morning there was an electric heater under the table!SANY0550.jpg

So we're now in Khajuraho and today had two full games of cricket with some local kids. Richard was rubbish and embarrased by the nine year olds and Pauline turned out to be a bit of a pro (1 over, 2 wickets)!270_SANY0577.jpg

Anyway, will try and do this more regularly so its not so long winded.

Till next time...

Posted by millfred 05:04 Archived in India

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Comments

Sounds like you are having a lovely time. Hope you had a great xmas and new year. x

by Sarah & Tim

Great update and it was lovely to hear from you over Christmas - how is it that everytime you mention the heat......we get more snow....first day back at work today and we had more snow last night as well as an earthquake in North Yorkshire!!!! well hardly quake it was really a small tremor 3.5 but at least something to talk about other than the weather! Loved the photos and am still laughing at the Store Ad didnt think that would be your colour Richard but you cedrtainly carried it off ...Paris and Milan catwalks are preparing for your return ! !! Love to you both x

by Ma Baker

Hi P and Richard, it looks like you are both having a wonderful adventure! Glad to hear your xmas was good (and hot!! unlike ours) and Happy New Year!! It's a joy to read your blog and look at your photo's, India looks like an amazing place. Keep it coming!! Apart from the cockroaches, what a nightmare! I'm keeping busy by trying to become a wii tennis pro and learning to play the guitar (not at the same time although it's early days yet!) Free Spirit are playing Foggies this Sunday, I'll miss seeing you guys there and will dedicate Fire to absent friends. Take care guys xx

by Steph

Hi! great blog love reading it, anyway if you have the time and space you can try NE india, states like Meghalaya wud be worth a visits. For any queries feel free to drop a mail at gio.onassy@gmail.com

by onassy

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