Saturday, January 01, 2000


September 26 - October 16

We arrived in India by plane from Bangkok early on the 26th. We spent a few days in Delhi getting the lay of the land, visiting with Kohl, and seeing some sights. Next it was up to Shimla by train, over to Dharamsala by bus, up the mountains by foot, then back to Delhi by bus. We spent less than a day in Delhi (not our favourite town) before getting a train down to Bombay (Mumbai) where we spent the remainder of our time. We left India on October 16 on a Sydney-bound Qantas jet.

Day by day breakdown:

  • Mon Sept 26 - land around 04:30, collect bags, take taxi to YWCA, wake up staff and check in, mike naps until around 14:00, jason breakfasts and naps, hot showers than out on town, meet a guy (govindah?) who takes us to get SIMs then to do a bit of shopping, head over to connaught circus to internet cafe, mike gets shitbombed on return trip, quick stop at ATM then back to hotel to await kohl, meet up and head to Parikrama rotating restaurant for dinner, kohl back to slum and OC back to hotel to sleep
  • Tue Sept 27 - up around 07:30, breakfast at hotel, tuk tuk to kahn market (sp?, not closed despite what driver says) to buy books, walk up raj path to national museum (also not closed despite what guy on the street says), excellent collection, dosa snack at museum, tuk tuk to C Circus for internet, walk to nearby market (name?) in search of pharmacy, find cloth store (mike's turban) and watch repair and shaving gel shops instead, walk back to hotel to shower and relax, tuk tuk through Old Delhi to Karim's near the Jama Masjid mosque (biggest in India), nice dinner on busy side street, bicycle rickshaw over to Lal Quila (Red Fort), meet kohl for sound and light show - kind of lame, short walk for cup of tea on the street, walk back through narrow streets to big mosque, part company with kohl and head back to hotel to watch sitcoms (friends and seinfeld!) and sleep
  • Wed Sept 28 - up around 08:00, breakfast separately at hotel, arrange train tickets to Shimla at YMCA travel agent, check out and leave bags, tuk tuk to the hare krishna's iskon temple, walk over to baha'i lotus temple, tuk tuk to Tughlaqabad Fort, walk among 14th century ruins now inhabited by monkeys and "volunteer" tour guides, tuk tuk back to hotel to pick up train tickets, walk to park hotel for tea and cake and relaxation, over to south indian place (Banana Leaf) for a very satisfying vegetarian meal, walk back to YMCA, almost pick-pocket attempt en route, pick up bags and take taxi to old delhi train station, board 2nd AC sleeper car and leave 23:00
  • Thu Sept 29 - up around 04:00 to make toy train connection to Kalka, nap and read and take pictures, very lovely scenery - green trees and buildings clinging to the sides of the hills, arrive Simla 11:00, check into White Hotel, lunch on restaurant terrace, internet at tourist center, to hotel to relax for a bit, mike back out to research plane tickets, rejoin at hotel for dinner in empty basement restaurant, sleep
  • Fri Sept 30 - up around 08:00, climb to monkey temple, late breakfast at indian coffee shop, brief break at hotel, walk winding bazaar, jason to hotel, mike attempts to walk to waterfall but gets lost and ends up drinking tea at hotel on valley floor, rejoin at hotel, dinner at park cafe, over to terrace restaurant for a drink, up to local disco for a few more, city quiet, retire early
  • Sat Oct 1 - up around 08:00, pack up, board bus at 10:30, long day winding way to dharamsala (sp?), arrive around 21:00, check into hotel tibet after taxi up to mcleod ganj, dinner at hotel, sleep
  • Sun Oct 2 - up around 09:30, breakfast at local cafe (peanut butter on tibetan bread), hike up to mountaineering institute to arrange trek, down to internet cafe to update blog, a bit of shopping for trekkie goods, walk around tibet-in-exile complex, view tibetan museum, screening of refugee documentary, tibetan dinner on terrace of local hotel, early to bed
  • Mon Oct 3 - up early to prepare for trek, over to lodge to drop bags and get equipment, up to mountaineering institute for final pack-up, head up the hill, stop at a few cafes along the way, overnight at Triund
  • Tue Oct 4 - up early, breakfast and break camp, head up the hill, lunch at the cave, walk over to stream, dinner, early to bed
  • Wed Oct 5 - up early, breakfast, drop bags and head up to pass, back down, lunch at cave, break camp and back down to triund, dinner with local booze, sleep
  • Thu Oct 6 - up early, breakfast, leisurely stroll back down to macleod ganj, arrange stay at harish's lodge, hot showers, sort photos and burn CD, chat about search engine marketing, internet cafe, sort travel options for next day, cafe to work on trek blog entry and photo gallery, back to hotel, meet up with harish and SK for nice dinner at posh hotel, back to hotel to archive bits, write custom file splitter, sleep
  • Fri Oct 7 - up at 08:00 to continue archiving work, leisurely breakfast at french cafe, get bus tickets for delhi, back to hotel for more bit-herding, pack up laundry, internet cafe, catch overnight bus to delhi, sleep little
  • Sat Oct 8 - arrive Delhi 07:00, cycle rickshaw to train station, tea and toast, buy tickets to agra, stash bags in cloak room, off to c. circus, hour in post office mailing stuff, hour in flight office getting cheapo tickets to Oz, hearty lunch at The Host, mobile top-up for jason, walk back to train station, retrieve bags, tea, board train 17:30 (AS class), get moving on schedule at 17:45, nice chat with folks on the train, work on chinese catfight vid, arrive agra 21:00, tuk-tuk to hotel, arrange for 05:00 meet on Monday to go to Taj, check in and sleep
  • Sun Oct 9 - up around 09:00, mike reads about earthquake in north over breakfast while jason sleeps, jason tries to get exercise but local park is not sufficient, breakfast, arrange tickets to mumbai, line up taxi to local ruin, take off to abandoned mughal capital, pick up guide, spend a couple of hours there seeing sites and making wishes, back to agra, quick stop at craft shop, mike buys a christmas gift for his mom, back to hotel, futz about with computers, sleep
  • Mon Oct 10 - up at 04:00, pack, leave bags at hotel, grab tuk-tuk, tea and toast with lots of butter, breakfast at a different hotel, back to our hotel to grab bags, to train station, get unreserved ticket and jump first train to bombay, manage an upgrade to 3-tier AC after some doing, lunch, read, work on chinese catfight video, dinner, sleep
  • Tue Oct 11 - up at 07:00, bread omelette (egg sandwich) for breakfast, work on blog and catfight video, arrive Victoria Terminal 09:30, taxi to Godwin Hotel, hot showers, walk to India gate, across cricket practice to Marine Drive, walk back to Taj Hotel for ocean-view tea, back to our own hotel to bathe and get dolled-up for an outing, very nice SE asian dinner, next door to Indigo for expensive drinks and posh (but cold) company, home around 01:00 for sleep
  • Wed Oct 12 - mike up around 11:00, no jason in sight, mobile missing, room-service breakfast, jason back from exercise and has been approached by scout for bollywood extras, out to get jason some eats, dine at leopold's, over to internet cafe to blog up a storm, mike ducks out to retrieve phone from Indigo, walk to local theatre to see No Entry, dinner at Sundance Cafe near theatre, back to hotel for sleep
  • Thu Oct 13 - up at 06:30 to prep for a day on set, breakfast at Leopold's, on bus for an hour or so, spend the day in a musical number set in the Vancouver Yacht Club on a sound stage, jason is a bartender, mike is just some guy dancing and drinking, very nice lunch and dinner-ish snack, bus back arrives at about 22:00, drinks and some more food at Leopold's with other folks from the shoot, retire to hotel to watch a bit of TV and fall asleep
  • Fri Oct 14 - mike up around 09:00 to blog and relax, jason up shortly thereafter, lunch of bel puri (sp?) - a local snack specialty, walk over to stadia to see about cricket, meet ali along the way, he takes us into stadium for a quick look but there are no games to be had, stick with ali for view from top of hotel and a cup of tea at the art gallery, agree to meet again tomorrow for some sightseeing, back to hotel to relax, long taxi ride to juhuu (sp?), unwilling to pay $350 USD to get into Enigma at the JW Marriott but classy drinks and nice cashews are enjoyed with relish (that is supposed to be salsa), walk around a bit looking for alternative, return to hotel, some TV then sleep
  • Sat Oct 15 - mike up around 09:00 to finish Shame, jason up a bit later, breakfast at Kamat (south Indian), meet Ali at art gallery, jump in taxi and head to area of temples around terraced pond, over to jain then hindu temple, quick stop at hanging gardens, drive by tower of silence, some stops to shop along the way but nothing purchased, tea at cafe and give Shame to Ali, walk to oval to see cricket but game is complete, split up with ali and head back to hotel, relax and shower and work on videos, meet Ali to visit night Ramadan night market, bus back to hotel, sleep
  • Sun Oct 16 - up around 09:00, mike meets Ali at Taj Mahal Hotel to shoot interview, late breakfast at Leopold's, jason joins up, say goodbye to Ali, relax at hotel after trip to book store and cybercafe, taxi to airport, flight for Oz leaves around 18:30

Photo Albums
India Overland
Himalayan Trek

Video Clips
Drive Through Agra
Taj Mahal Tour