[S02E12] Over the next few weeks we do the Golden Triangle, a hectic and touristic rite of passage. To ease ourselves into this trip we start with a gentle wander round the cool backstreets of Jaipur, the Pink City.
[S02E08] Escaping the hectic city of Madurai we fled towards the Queen of Hills, climbing 30 hairpin bends before we arrived in a haven that offers the greatest views of the Western Ghats. In this podcast we take in the views of the Ghats and Pillar Rock, when the clouds aren’t too low. This is an atmospheric ramble through the mountains on the day of Pongal.
“If you’re talking about a great place to live, I’d say Kolkata. It’s got everything: great restaurants, historic buildings, the Maidan, an excellent transport service and friendly people.” Upon this great bit of advice from a seasoned visitor to India we spent a few days in Kolkata and in this post we visit the untouristic Kalighat to view a few burning bodies.
As the sun began its rapid descent, the sky began to fill with black kites, some of them tiny specks a mile high. At first we took them to be of the raptor variety, but as we emerged from the undergrowth into wide grassland we saw a hundred boys and men wrestling with long twine stretching into the distance.
Liz has very kindly omitted the tale of our 17km trek to Kechopari Lake. In a nutshell it is the story of a 40 year old man realising his limitations. Realising them in a way that involves clutching the left arm, breathing like a 100 year old, having to walk backwards up hairpin tracks to avoid the constantly seizing leg muscles, all the while watching his girlfriend skip gaily by, light as a feather, hopping from leaf to cobweb like a woodland fairy.
Sitting on ankle-high stools we ate fresh pork straight from the flames of a dung oven, which we washed down with ‘Tongba’ and home made millet beer. After a few glasses of Rakshi this Arcadian village life became more and more attractive.
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