/pics/2005 - Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, USA:  Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco "Love Parade", North India and Nepal. /pics/2005 Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, USA: Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco "Love Parade", North India and Nepal. 0 B  
/pics/2006 - 14 months in South Asia: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Bangkok and Myanmar. Also Zürich. /pics/2006 14 months in South Asia: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Bangkok and Myanmar. Also Zürich. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-09-30_Taiwan_Taipei - The beginning of my 14 month journey through South Asia.  A quick stopover in Taipei, Taiwan in my way to India.  Also the last meat I ate before becoming vegetarian! /pics/2005/2005-09-30_Taiwan_Taipei The beginning of my 14 month journey through South Asia. A quick stopover in Taipei, Taiwan in my way to India. Also the last meat I ate before becoming vegetarian! 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-10-01_India_Delhi - Delhi, India. /pics/2005/2005-10-01_India_Delhi Delhi, India. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-10-05_India_Agra - The famous Taj Mahal and infamous town of Agra.  Agra turned out to be a nice town full of friendly people despite the warnings of scammers, cheats, robbers, ogres, witches and monsters. /pics/2005/2005-10-05_India_Agra The famous Taj Mahal and infamous town of Agra. Agra turned out to be a nice town full of friendly people despite the warnings of scammers, cheats, robbers, ogres, witches and monsters. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-10-03_Delhi.html - First "Still Alive" email upon arrival in Delhi, India. /pics/2005/2005-10-03_Delhi.html First "Still Alive" email upon arrival in Delhi, India. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-10-14_Rishikesh.html - Rishikesh -- Holy Indian city by the Ganges River. /pics/2005/2005-10-14_Rishikesh.html Rishikesh -- Holy Indian city by the Ganges River. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-10-23_Bardia_Pokhara.html - Crossing the border between India and Nepal.  Crossed all of western Nepal going through Royal Bardia National Park and then to Pokhara. /pics/2005/2005-10-23_Bardia_Pokhara.html Crossing the border between India and Nepal. Crossed all of western Nepal going through Royal Bardia National Park and then to Pokhara. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-12-23_jc and dan backpackers at paulas tea house.jpgThis wonderful place where we stayed near Khecheopalri Lake in Sikkim, India. Photo taken by Jade. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-12-25_nina jc tim dan darjeeling.jpgEating breakfast back in Darjeeling, India. Photo taken by Jade. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-09-30_Taiwan_Taipei/01_JC SFO.jpgLeaving San Francisco on my on-way ticket to India. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-10-01_India_Delhi/01_Airport Tuk Tuk.jpgI was a bit scared arriving in Delhi alone at 2:00am. Had heard of the scams, etc, but got in the auto-rickshaw and just went for it. 0 B  
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/pics/2005/2005-10-01_India_Delhi/35_Salam Namaste Bollywood Movie.jpgWent to see this movie. 0 B  
/pics/2005/2005-10-01_India_Delhi/36_Chasing the monkey.jpgNepali hotel worker chasing The Monkey. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/South_Eastern_Asia.pngA map of my travels through Asia. Includes: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma (Myanmar). 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India - 4.5 months traveling in, out and through India (overland).  Includes Sikkim, Calcutta, Varanasi, North India, Mumbai, and various places down south until Kerala on the southern tip. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India 4.5 months traveling in, out and through India (overland). Includes Sikkim, Calcutta, Varanasi, North India, Mumbai, and various places down south until Kerala on the southern tip. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-01-24_Bangladesh/001_Border_Petrapole-India-to-Benapole-Bangladesh.jpgFrom Calcutta, I woke up early and went to Sealdah station. I took the Bangaon Local train to the end of the line, then a mini-taxi to the border. Walked across the border to Benapole, Bangladesh. From there got a cycle rickshaw a few km to the bus stand, then a bus to Jessor and finally another on to Khulna. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-01_Rockin_Kolkata_2006.html - An unexpected New Years Eve in Kolkata (Calcutta). /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-01_Rockin_Kolkata_2006.html An unexpected New Years Eve in Kolkata (Calcutta). 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-03_Darjeeling_Sikkim.html - Back into India from Nepal -- traveled to the hill station of Darjeeling, then far north to the former kingdom of Sikkim. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-03_Darjeeling_Sikkim.html Back into India from Nepal -- traveled to the hill station of Darjeeling, then far north to the former kingdom of Sikkim. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-05_Extra_Sikkim_Pics - Extra photos for Sikkim and Darjeeling. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-05_Extra_Sikkim_Pics Extra photos for Sikkim and Darjeeling. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics - Pictures from my time wandering around Kolkata -- what many people believe to be India's cultural capital. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics Pictures from my time wandering around Kolkata -- what many people believe to be India's cultural capital. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India - A month spent wandering around North India including the holy Hindu city of Varanasi (Bernares) in Uttar Pradesh and Temples of Khajuraho and Orchha in the state of Madhya Pradesh. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India A month spent wandering around North India including the holy Hindu city of Varanasi (Bernares) in Uttar Pradesh and Temples of Khajuraho and Orchha in the state of Madhya Pradesh. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-13_Hindi_Music - A random selection of Bollywood's best for your enjoyment. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-13_Hindi_Music A random selection of Bollywood's best for your enjoyment. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai - Travels through Rajasthan (Jaisalmer / camel safari, Jodhpur and Udaipur) and Mumbai (AKA Bombay) India. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai Travels through Rajasthan (Jaisalmer / camel safari, Jodhpur and Udaipur) and Mumbai (AKA Bombay) India. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food - Delicious South India foods,  spices and tea/coffee plantations of Kerala. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food Delicious South India foods, spices and tea/coffee plantations of Kerala. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India - My travels from central to South India including the Ajanta and Ellora caves, Bangalore, Mysore and many places in the state of Kerala. /pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India My travels from central to South India including the Ajanta and Ellora caves, Bangalore, Mysore and many places in the state of Kerala. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/SealdahBazar.jpgI arrived in Kolkata at about 6:00 am and wandered out of the station. My trusty compass led me west and after a plate of Poori Sabzee on a bustling street, I wandered into this market. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/Potato.jpgRather than shying away, when people spotted me with the camera, an enthusiastic group fromed and they insisted that I start photographing their friends! This guy was a friend of one of the carrot sellers. For some reason all of the carrot sellers use blue lights on their veggies? 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/Coconut.jpgWandered on a kilometer or so, then came across this guy selling fresh coconut milk. Couldn't pass him up... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/Tobbacco.jpgA few days later on my way over to the Howrah Bridge, I saw this guy just chopping his tobacco and he invited me to a tea. After the tea, a local showed me how to prepare the tobacco with limestone paste for chewing. I was offered a small pinch of the stuff (people are chewing it everywhere here) so I gave it a try. Bad Idea...
I made it about 1 block before I got a debilitating head rush that nearly made me pass out! I staggered to some steps and waited there for 20 minutes for the nicotine to clear from my system. Little kids made fun of me and men gave me sympathetic smiles as word spread about my predicament. "Indian Ganja!" one man exclaimed with a smile.
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/Hanuman.jpgThis boy was repainting a statue of Hanuman (monkey god) in front of me as I sat on the steps. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/Robot.jpgOne evening, I took a walk into the dark area between a carnival and the old bus stand. Here I found mystics selling potions, tigers teeth, etc and doing palm readings by candle light. I also found this Robot that could predict your future through the attached headphones! He predicted mine perfectly! But it was in Hindi, so I didn't understand. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/Conch.jpgA couple days ago I took a river boat north along the Hooghly river, then wandered around a while. I got to visit factory where workers made those cheap leather construction gloves seen all over the US. Later I wandered down an alley and found this workshop dedicated to cleaning Conch shells. Outside the shells were engraved with designs. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-01-08_Kolkata_pics/HooghlyRiver.jpgAh... and a beautiful sunset over the river as I went back south again. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/00_Map.gifMap of the Indian subcontinent detailing where I have been traveling over the last 5 months. Started in Delhi, traveled north-east through Rishikesh, into and through Nepal for 2 months coming out in Darjeeling, India. From there I went north into Sikkim, did a loop and came back to Darjeeling for Christmas, then headed south to Calcutta. From Kolkata (Calcutta), I crossed into Bangladesh and made a big loop through the south to Chittagong before turning back, heading north through Dhakka and back to Calcutta, India. From there went to Varanasi, then did another loop through Satna, Khajuraho, Orcha, Jhansi, Mohranipur and back to Varanasi. Then it was up to Sarnath and finally back to Delhi! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/00_Varanasi.jpgThe holy Hindu city of Varanasi (aka Bernares) by the banks of the Ganges. Beautiful twisted little streets, funny people, and one of the filthiest places I have been. Came across this goat while wandering along the Ghats. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/01_Train.jpgNina and I decided (somewhat spontaneously) to leave Varanasi and consequently ended up with 3rd class tickets for the 6 hour train ride to Satna... which in the end actually took 12 hours. It was a cool experience though, so many people crammed into the most ridiculously small spaces, still smiling, sleeping, making jokes -- singing even! This is a photo of Nina as she literally crawls through people and luggage to get back from the bathroom. I wasn't brave enough to attempt the gauntlet. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/02_khajuraho.jpgThe great temples of khajuraho. They were in kinda in the middle of nowhere, its a mystery why they were built there, but were pretty impressive. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/03_khajuraho.jpgSome of the semi-erotic stone carvings inside one of the cool, dark temples. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/04_khajuraho.jpgGot to attend a Shiva Puja ceremony at sunset in the sanctum of one of the temples. It was just about 10 of us standing around a huge Lingam, everyone was singing and playing instruments. The sound was a bit deafening, but the whole energy of the place was pretty exciting. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/06_Orchha_Sunrise.jpgFrom khajuraho, we took a local bus towards Jhansi, and got off early at a dirt cross road, then hopped in a shared tempo going to Orchha. Orcha was calmer, less touristy and more exciting than khajuraho with dozens of old palaces and temples scattered around the tiny town. This is a picture taken in the forest at the edge of town at sunrise. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/07_Orchha_Sunrise.jpgThe deep blue Betwa river flows around the main fort. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/08_Orchha.jpgIt was great because we got to just wander through these amazing stone palaces, crawl up 4 or 5 stories and into the towers, through twisted little hallways, into damp forgotten basements, etc. I felt like a kid with a real fort to play in! There were also local kids playing there as well! 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/10_Orchha.jpgAlright... so I took a lot of temple pictures -- but they are amazing aren't they? 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/13_Orchha.jpgI (and later a couple Indian men) had a daring climb into one of these domed towers. As usual... coming down the stone dome was slightly more difficult than I anticipated. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/14_Orchha.jpgOuter wall of the Jehangir Mahal and the algae covered Betwa river. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/16_Orchha_Residents.jpgCurious, good humored locals that we came upon while trying to chart a path to the gardens we saw across the river. Everyone was really excited to have such strange people wandering around their neighborhood. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/17_Fashion.jpgThis boy just ran up, requested a photo, made this pose, then ran off. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/24_Chai.jpgAhhh... nothing beats a nice glass of chai after a long day of playing in the fort. The best chai always comes from a well "seasoned" grungy little burnt pot like this one. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/26_Hospital.jpgAfter Orchha, we went back to Varanasi to see some more temples and just enjoy the atmosphere. But soon after arriving, I got really sick and was eventually diagnosed with an E. Coli infection. Nina also got sick from E. Coli, but the symptoms werent as bad. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-08_North_India/27_Auto_Richshaw.jpgAfter being released from the hospital (each with a huge prescription of heavy duty antibiotics) we decided to lay low and go to a small town called Sarnath just north of Varnasi to recuperate. Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first teachings. On the way our mini-taxi lost its breaks and we made an unexciting crash landing, nearly hitting a chai stall. Nobody even put down their glass of chai. We drove on (with no brakes), trying to find someone to fix the problem, but ultimately were begrudgingly handed off to another taxi driver. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/00_Jaisalmer_Train.jpgAfter a 20 hour train from Delhi, I was greeted by the most ridiculous sight upon my arrival in Jaisalmer. While I was taking this picture, the officers laughed and threatened the mob of anxious hotel touts as they inched towards me. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/01_Holi.jpgI had planned on meting Nina, Tim and Daniel in Jaisalmer and due to a strange series of coincidences, we happened to end up at the same hotel! This is a photo of us after celebrating the "Holi" festival. It's a fairly crazy holiday in which colored pigments become a weapon and the whole population goes to war (or hides). It was actually a bit scary, had a small confrontation with a mob of drunk teenagers that got carried away. Still had some fun, but there was a serious edge I didn't like. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/02_Safari.jpgThe four of us arranged a "Camel Safari" which began 50km from Jaisalmer and continued into the Thar desert for a 3 day loop. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/03_Safari.jpgThis is JahMe, his father was a camel driver, but was unable to work. So this little boy was responsible for his father's camel and worked with the two adult camel guides. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/05_Safari.jpgThese large beetles were all over the place, and they would bite! They were tricky, because they would never bite you while you were looking, but always when your back was turned -- I am totally serious! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/06_Dunes.jpgWe made camp amongst the dunes the sun went down. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/07_Nina_Dunes.jpgWe all had a great time just running around, rolling down the dunes and completely coating ourselves in sand. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/12_JahMe.jpgJahMe riding on the back of Kareem's camel. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/14_Safari.jpgThe guides brought us to this abandoned town in the middle of the desert. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/15_Abandoned_City.jpgHad a good time just wandering around the old ruins. This is a view from the fort. Had to leave fairly quickly to avoid the late morning heat. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/18_Jaisalmer_Fort.jpgWe returned to Jaisalmer after three days and my three companions had to immediately catch a bus south. I took a lonely walk around the fort; finally climbing over the backside wall (which made me feel much better : ). 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/19_Girl.jpgJust some random girl that insisted I take her picture. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/20_Shrine.jpgHad a really nice time wandering around the fort, chatting with people, etc. Found this alter at the end of a dark alley. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/21_Jodhpur.jpgI awoke the next morning to the sound of a train whistle at 5:15AM. I was sleeping on the roof of the hotel and quickly threw everything in my bag, ran to the station -- actually beat the train! 6 hours, two chais, and 3 chili pakoras later I was in the blue city of Jodhpur! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/22_Jodhpur_Door.jpgA wander through the old city. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/23_Mehrangarh_Fort.jpgHigh on a hill overlooking the town was the Mehrangarh Fort. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/24_Girls.jpgWhile I was wandering around, I struck up a conversation with a boy who was peering down at me from his roof. I was invited up to get a better view, then upon seeing this, neighbors called out to me that their roof was higher and so I climbed up there till I was on the highest roof around! After a Nescafe with the family and some obligatory photos, I was back out again, completing my circuit of the fort. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/26_Jaswant_Thada.jpgJust saw this one form far off. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/27_Umaid_Bhavan_Palace.jpgThis one looked about 50 miles away, but was huge. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/28_Stone_Cutter.jpgMy curiosity led me to hang out with these stone cutters for a while. A few minutes of my own clumsy chiseling just added to my appreciation of the beautiful precision and power the possessed. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/29_Fort_Backside.jpgI walked completely around the entire fort. This is the no-mans land behind the fort. Finally found the legendary "back gate" into the fort which made the burning hot hike all worth it. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/32_Setu_Fruit.jpgCool stuff! Imagine the most lush, huge clump of green grapes. Then imagine you could shrink it down to 1/10 its normal size. That is what Setu tastes and looks like! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/33_Pichola_Lake_Palace.jpgFrom Jodhpur, it was a good bus ride down to Udaipur. Udaipur is a really nice old city with numerous palaces on and around various lakes. Really nice place to just chill and listen to the desert wind. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/34_City_Palace.jpgThe main city palace... 1/3 of it is open to the public. Really beautiful stonework. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/35_Mumbai.jpgIt was then a 14 hour bus ride all the way down to Mumbai (aka Bombay). I have only been here a few days, but this place feels very different than the rest of India. Like a tropical version of London or something. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/36_Agent.jpgIt is also the home of Bollywood (Bombay + Hollywood) which cranks out more films than any place on earth. This is a casting agent that picked me up on the street and invited me to be an extra for 500 rupees. He showed up the next morning with his Motorcycle and sunglasses. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/37_JC_Cricket.jpgI was an Australian cricket player in a commercial for Monster. Even though I and my other "teammates" didn't know a thing about the sport, we had a good time and faked it pretty well! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/38_Chowpatty_Beach.jpgChowpatty Beach is right in the middle of town. It is full of families just chillin until late in the night. Really good atmosphere, kids playing in the cool breeze from the Arabian Sea. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/39_Chowpatty_Dinner.jpgThe southern section of the beach has a number of food stalls where you can get Masala Dosa, Pau Baji, Kulfi & Faluda. You then sit and eat your food on a little mat under the palms. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-27_Rajasthan_Mumbai/40_Rides.jpgThere was a set of man-powered rides on the beach as well. These guys performed death-defying acrobatics, using their strength and weight to start and stop ferris wheels, rocking ships, etc. I met one guy and sat with him under the massive steel contraptions. Apparently his family has been doing this for 4 generations! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/00_Vada_Sambar.JPGVada is sort of a dense savory donut. Eaten with sambar (gravy/curry) on top. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/01_Masala_Dosa.JPGMost famous south-indian dish. Huge, light, crispy crepe-type-thing full of spiced potato mixture, then folded. Serverd with rassam and coconut chutney. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/02_Thali.JPGJust a nice thali. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/03_Paratha.JPGFlakey paratha with sambar, some other curry and rassam (sort of a spicy soup). 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/04_Wunu-Meals.JPGThe best places still seem to use banana leaves instead of plates. I added the pieces of jackfruit in the bottom-right corner. This is a typical "meals" (yes, it must always be plural in order to be easily understood). Local Malayalam word is wunu. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/05_Vanilla.JPGVanilla beans. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/06_Pepper.JPGBlack pepper vine. The "exotic" red, green and white peppers are actually just the same plant. Black (from aging the skin), white (skin removed) and the green/red are just different stages of ripeness. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/07_Cardimon.JPGCardimon blossom... the tasty seeds of this plant are often added to chai tea (amongst many other things). Fresh seeds taste great! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/08_Curry.JPGThese small "curry" leaves are added fresh to many dishes in the south. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/09_Cloves.JPGThey turn black and hard when dried. The leaves have a similar flavor and can be used for cooking. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/10_Cocoa.JPGBasis for chocolate. Rather big seeds (5 inches!) 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/11_Tea_Storm.JPGTea plantation during an unexpected storm. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/12_Tea_Sort.JPGChecking the quality of the days harvest. Ideally, only the sweet, young shoots are used from these old, stunted trees. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/13_Tea_Picker.JPGThis woman was "volunteered" by her friends to be photographed. She (and I) thought it was pretty funny, she was laughing as her pickings of the day were weighed and sorted. 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/17_Bananna_Chips.JPGGuys in Kumily were making huge vats of banana chips. They used bananas that were similar to plantains (not so sweet, or soft, but easy to grate). They would grate 5 at a time and each shop seemed to have several hundred pounds of fresh chips! Not sure who was buying all this. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/18_Pee_Pee.JPGThe best name in spices... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-03-30_Spices-Food/19_Jackfruit.JPGA jackfruit tree... really tasty, but labor intensive fruit, almost like eating thick, sweet, juicy rose petals! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/00_Map.gifMap of My travels with updated path from Central to South India including the Ajanta and Ellora caves, Bangalore, Mysore and many places in the state of Kerala. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/01_Ellora_Caves.jpgFrom Mumbai Victoria station (CST), I took a last-minute train to Aurangabad and visited the famous Buddhist and Hindu cave-temples at Ellora. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/02_Ellora_Caves.jpgWhat I didn't realize until arriving was that these are all carved directly into stone mountains! Nothing was "constructed", but rather pieces of stone were removed to make these tranquil/magnificent temples. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/03_Ellora_Caves.jpgThis one was great! The huge, vaulted ceiling, the 12' high Buddha and the entire space itself was just carved out of the mountain! Beautiful, cool spaces -- it was 103°F outside! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/04_Ellora_Kailasa.jpgThe most awesome of the temples at Ellora -- Kailasa. Known as the largest monolithic structure in the world --Its estimated that about 200,000 tons of rocks was scooped out over hundreds of years to construct this monolithic structure... Rooms, windows, walkways, arches -- everything carved out of the mountain as one piece of stone. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/05_Ellora_Caves.jpgHindu temple relief carving. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/06_Ellora_Jain.jpgIn addition to the Buddhist and Hindu caves, there are some really beautiful Jain caves. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/07_Ellora_Jain.jpgAlthough they were more simple, the Jain caves were still my favorite. Just "felt" like holy places. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/08_Bats.jpgWhat would caves be without them? 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/12_Ajanta_Caves.jpgThe next day I woke up Early, packed my junk and went to Ajanta. It took a while to get there, but I made it in time. The caves here were much more "developed", which means very little room for playing, lots of roped off areas so you can't see the details and dramatic colored lighting. The security/safety precautions (to be honest) were nothing compared to what we would have in the USA -- I am just spoiled I guess. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/13_Ajanta_Children.jpgBut, they were still really beautiful... there was so much more detail -- paintings, carvings, etc than at Ellora. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/14_Ajanta.jpg 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/15_Painting.jpgThere are still some caves with paintings visible on the walls. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/16_Ajanta.jpgSome really nice grand entrances... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/17_Ajanta_Buddha.jpgAlmost every cave had a Buddha statue in it. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/18_Stone.jpgDetailed carvings. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/19_Funky_Chicken.jpgA really funny guy at the Jalgaon train station. What is he doing? Don't know myself. He was kinda making fun of me, but also of himself... he bought me a mango juice, then I found out he sold peanuts on the trains (which indicates he really didn't have extra money to spend). Life is never boring... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/20_Bangalore_Park.jpgTook a super-long train ride all the way to Bangalore. I had a mild interest in seeing the "Silicon Valley" of India, but ended up there just because it was the only major destination to the south that was available! I bought a "wait-list" ticket (no guaranteed seat) and just got lucky (25 hours of standing is not fun)! Oh, found some nice parks in Bangalore. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/21_Bangalor_M.G.Road.jpgI really saw many similarities with "Silicon Valley", not a bad description. Really "felt" similar to the South Bay to me, very unlike other parts of India. Needless to say, it was not my favorite place, but glad I saw it. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/22_Mysore_Palace.jpgFrom Bangalore, took a bus to Mysore. Just happened upon the Palace while looking for a hotel my first night. Had some wonderful street food (biryani with coconut chutney on a large leaf). 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/23_Mysore_Design.jpgAs I wandered around Mysore, I saw various designs like this in front of most homes. Most had been made with some kind of powder -- really nice! I was told they were "Hindu", but couldn't find out anything else. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/24_Movie_Billboard.jpg"Men who get angry!" Seems to be a popular plot for films here... maybe everywhere... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/25_Bekal_Trees.jpgI flew through Mangalore and got on a train going south to Cochin, Kerala. But after an hour or so, I just got so excited by the lush Kerala landscape, that i jumped off the train in Bekal. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/26_Bekal_Kappil_Beach.jpgFirst beach I had seen in India... was so empty it was almost scary! Met a nice boy that lived nearby though and the Muslim villagers helped me find the beach in the first place. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/27_Bekal_Temple.jpgThe colors hurt my eyes to look at them... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/28_Bekal_Train_Station.jpgHopped back on the train the next day and continued south. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/29_Kochi_Trash.jpgJust looks like it once was a cute character encouraging people not to litter... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/30_Kalarippayattu.jpgIn Kochi. (aka: Cochin), I found a really nice Portuguese-style room at the Kathakali center and went to see a Kalarippayattu demonstration. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/31_Munnar.jpgFrom burning hot Kochi, I got a bus up to the Munnar hill station. It was very cool there... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/32_Munnar_Walk.jpgTook a random walk out of town and found this stream... decided to just follow it. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/33_Munnar_Mango.jpgStopped on the grass to read and eat this huge juicy mango -- my first real mango in India! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/34_Munnar_Bug.jpg 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/35_Munnar_Waterfall.jpgFollowed the stream crawling over boulders and under them. Into these little caves... really nice afternoon. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/36_Munnar_Walk.jpgJust before cutting up to the road and heading back, I took this pic of the stream. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/37_Kumily_Periyar.jpgNext place was Kumily, close to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Rode a bike into the reserve and did the touristy boat around the lake. Saw these elephants come to the water to drink. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/39_Girls_Water.jpgAlthough its against the rules, I took a "detour" off the road while leaving the park. Found a group of villagers fishing by the river. People were really nice and surprised to see a white guy wander out of the "tourist zone". 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/40_Family_Tree.jpg.jpgThis family was across the river, just chillin, eating, cooking (maybe even living???) under this large tree. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/41_Boy_Umbrella.jpgEscaping the sun... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/42_Woman.jpgOld woman fishing on the riverbank. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/43_Kumily.jpgView from the walkway of my hotel... 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/44_Kottayam.jpgStayed in a small village on the edge of Kottayam. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/45_Kottayam.jpgWas surprised by the number of Christians I met here in Kerala! I figured they were converts from the colonizers. But then found out that no -- St. Thomas brought Christianity here almost 2000 years ago -- well before it came to Europe even! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/46_Ferry.jpgYep, its actually water! Covered in various plant life though. This ferry ride from Kottayam to Alappuzha (aka Alleppey) was one of my best boat rides this trip! Really nice trip through the semi-saline "backwaters"! 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/47_Alappuzha.jpgEnded up staying much longer than expected in the small town of Alappuzha. It was just so nice and calm. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/48_Alichet.jpgMet this boatman named Alichet. He totally hooked up a really nice afternoon, of canoeing though the backwaters, drinking tea with friends in a tiny village on the banks. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/49_Boats.jpgPhoto of the traditional rice barges which are now used as luxury house boats. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/50_Backwaters.jpgAlichet and I paddled our way along with paddles carved from coconut palm wood, saying hello to people, picking mangoes off the trees that hung over the boat. He was a really intelligent man and we had some good talks about many things, including communism in Kerala (the first freely elected communist government in the world!). Although I was paying him, the whole experience was just so nice -- really not the typical "tour". 0 B  
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/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/52_Fisherman_Net.jpgSome fancy net fishing, a friend of Alichet. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/53_Yellow.jpgMy bus just drove by this lively street festival everyone dressed in yellow, many elephants decorated in elaborate gold jewelry. I tried to find out if April, 24th, 2006 was a special holiday, but neither the internet, nor locals could tell me what it was. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-04-26_India/2006-04-26_South_India/54_Rubber_Tapping.jpg This photos is of a rubber tree being "tapped" by a plantation worker. The white line is liquid latex oozing from the tree. This was on the small plantation owned by the family of Sony Thomas a co-worker from San Francisco (and also a native of the Kottayam district, Kerala). Got to stay with Sony and his family for a night, really nice way to say goodbye to India 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-09-20_Penang_Bangkok/04_View_of_Penang.jpgView of Penang... I hadn't been there for about 10 years and was surprised by how developed it had become. Still, the street food in little India was amazing! Best south Indian I have had outside of India! Banana leaf vegetarian meals, etc. which were not much more than they cost in India. 0 B  
/pics/2006/2006-11-29_Switzerland/02_ICE_Train.jpgEven the trains blew me away... the only sound was that of whispers or crinkling newspaper. Nina met me in Basel on the German / Swiss border and we continued to Zürich together. 0 B  
/pics/2007/2007-01-05_USA/13_Christmas Indian.jpgAn Indian food feast for Christmas (just like last year), I went up to see my father and step mother in Willits. (from left to right)
My father, Brenda (his friend), Julie (Andrea's mom), Diana (my step mother), Jeanie (my aunt), Andrea (Dillon's girlfriend), Dillon (my brother), Myself (the j-man), and finally, on the right is my other brother Nick.
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/pics/Other/Funny Swiss Ads/Ein Indianer kennt keinen Schmerz.jpgTranslation: "An indian doesn't know pain" 0 B  
/pics/Other/Language-Cards/Hindi-India-Malayalam.pngHindi (हिन्दी) and Malayalam (മലയാള) - India. 0 B  
/pics/Other/Language-Cards/Nepali.pngNepalese (नेपाली) - Nepal / India. 0 B  
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