Saturday, January 19, 2008

India - The Golden Triangle - Delhi, Agra, Jaipur

The last 5 days have taken us to Agra, Rhanthambore, and Jaipur. The driving has been amazing and impossible to describe. The roads function with essentially no rules, laws, or enforcement other than pure survival and mutual respect. Of course cows rein supreme and next to the elephants, camels, pigs, and people they have the ultimate right of way. Vehicles travel at high speed throughout the constant flow, dodging in and out of available spaces, with horns constantly blaring. Our first full day of this experience had us shaking our heads at the end of the day after at least 20 near misses, by our standards. The truth is that our 'near misses' are normal driving tolerances for the Indian drivers, most of whom could successfully compete at any Formula One event back home. At the end of the day, we have had to close our eyes a lot and try to rest during our road journeys, and pray that everything will be fine. So far so good.

Seeing the Taj Mahal in Agra was worth the trip to India by itself. It truly is an awe inspiring, unbelievable set of structures with beautiful surrounding gardens. It's easy to see why it is one of the wonders of the world. Rhanthambore brought a safari into a wildlife reserve famous for it's tiger populations. We did not see tigers but were fortunate to spot leopard which apparently is even rarer! Our next stop was Jaipur, which is the sister city to Calgary. An eye hospital was built here by Rotarians in Calgary which apparently is state of the art. There are many high end medical facilities and wellness retreats in this city.

Today we head north to the Himalaya to spend time in Dharamsala. We are very much looking forward to experiencing the Tibetan culture, who knows maybe we'll have tea with the Dalai Lama!! 

That's all for now, we miss everyone back home lots....John  

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