Author: El Gringuito
Date of Trip: January 2004
My thoughts and impressions of eight weeks teaching at a school for the deaf in Bangalore and of my travels around India during and after that time. You can see the full blog and pictures at this website.
Highlights: Teaching: Helping people and putting smiles on kids faces. Getting that “I understand!” look from a kid who never thought they would.
KERALA A tropical paradise; it’s the kind of place you don’t feel you’re doing justice to by attempting to describe it with words.
HAMPI Don’t miss it. It’s quite touristy, but it’s a good type of crowd since it’s so remote. Climb the rocks, explore the ruins, and relax with great food under a setting sun by the river. OOTY For a work out and a chance to see picturesque terraced farms and colorful villages, ditch the town and bike off all day in the hills.
ELLORA The most amazing rock sculptures ever. In one of the cave temples, there is the biggest monolithic structure in the world. Basically, they started at the top of a mountain and, cutting downwards, removed all the rock that didn’t look like a temple.
VARANASI Not for squeamish souls. Try to get lost; you will even if you don’t try.
Quick Tips/Suggestions: Skip Jaipur whatever you do. ALWAYS remember that the vast majority of the people — especially in North India — hounding you in all their various ways for your money are doing it so they can eat. Just remember that and it will help you put up with it. As with all travel, at least once ditch the Guide Book and do something impulsive even if it is potentially dangerous.
Best Way to Get Around: Trains are wonderful; they go where you need and cost close to nothing. An added bonus is the romance of old-fashioned rail travel, which is, of course, because it is old-fashioned rail travel. Never make plans dependant on trains getting anywhere on time.