merry christmas one and all!

in vagator at the moment. stayed up till 5 in the morning and some ludicriously priced rave. the trance scene here is utterly dreadfull. music that sounds as if it was produced by ltj with music maker on the playstation one. only bad. the place i went to is still belting out its hardcore beats. it in fact doesn’t stop for a full three days. they take their 24 hours trance sessions seriously here. thankfully our hotel is situated right next door to the party so we can enjoy the regular beats as we sleep. or try to anyway.

its a bit crap here to be honest, might go to palolem for new years.

have a fun christmas!

love julio

epic journeys

Your epic 40 and 25 hour train journeys makes our Christmas trip to Devon seem like a short excursion, it being a mere 4 hours away…

Shame you didn’t take a video of the epic pizza hut dancing for the enjoyment of fellow bloggers.

Things are pretty quiet back here in blighty. That is, apart from the hoards of crazed shoppers rushing around desperately trying to purchase ludicrous amounts of presents. Mercifully, due to our “secret santa” regime, I’ve been spared the worst and actually completed most of my shopping relatively early.

Work Xmas meals were good. Food at the Half Moon nr Knaphill was excellent and the Lloyds evening had live music from Sera Golding & The Men In Black, who were most skilled.

the golden triangle.


after a palacial flight from Bombay we arrived 2 hours later in jaipur. we flew with kingfisher airlines, a fairly new offshoot of the makers of kingfisher beer, a staple throughout india. on a par with british airways for pleasantness.

jaipur was a seething cesspool of noise and corruption. coming from the south where a taxi minion would take a refusal of his services on the chinand move on, i was taken aback by the insane tenacity of the jaipurian taxi-wallahs and bicycle rikshaws, some going as far as following you around for hours continually bleating about about their “indian helecopter”.

not much to see in jaipur apart from a much fabled pink city. the attraction being ofcoase, that its all painted pink. after a disasterous attempt to find it on the first day, which i blame entirely on the crappy maps in our respective guide books which sent us miles in the wrong direction, we went back to the hotel to rest, vowing to tackle it the next day. on the morrow we finally made it though it took miles of walking. i had become so affended by the constant barrage of transport goons, that i had decided to walk everywhere.

the pink city was if possible more dirty and smelly than the main town. its pinkness was infact non-existant, most of the buildings having turned a rancid shade of brown. there were countless shops and mini bazzars all selling pretty much the same thing. lucy bought some cheap bracelets. i sat on the sidelines soaking up the ambiance. it was what you might describe as livley, if by lively you meant to describe the roads like a river of cars and choking smoke,the screech of a thousand horns going off in your ear and every person who spots your pale skin leaping in front of you with the glittering eyes of a fanatic and gesturing wildly at their identakit shops. there were some palaces/temples or some such but finding them in the tumultious city was nigh on impossible. we eventually found a palace but it was pricey to get in and was apparently crud inside, on the plus side though, i found chap taking people’s photos with a 150 year old camera outside. i had mine done for a small fee. looks rather classy if i say so myself.

the place we were staying was next door to a really nice hotel which was unfortunatly fully booked. our place was a bit crap and filled with wierd surly staff. we made a point of going across and eating at the other place though. one nice thing about our place was the open roof which i would wonder of a night. all the roofs in jaipur are flat and the aquitecture is very nice, hints of arabian nights about it. gave flo a call with my super cheap new indian mobile.missing flo a lot since her departure. doesn’t seem the same without her.

the next day we went back to the pink city so that lucy (who liked jaipur for some reason) could get a bag and there was a possibilty of elephants being around in some location of the city. in the end both of us got a bit tired of it all and headed back to the hotel. tomorrow ho for agra!

as we left the pink city for the last time, on the way out we passed a man sitting on the side of the road screaming violently and hitting himself in the head. i sympathised. a couple of days more i would be hunked down next to him a broken man.

the train to Agra was at 2.00am. yay! to add to the excitment we didn’t know exactly when our train was set to arrive, so we could easily snooze right through our stop. intence! sleep was tricky and we arrived shattered. the cold at night up north is crazy! huddling on my bench a thin sheet keeping the morning frost of me, i considered the purchase of a couple of blankets might be wise.

agra, home of the taj mahal, is assentually a village with a touristy center. it is surprising that it isn’t more industrialised considering it is such a tourist mecca. on the first day we went for a bit of a ramble in a park, the first bit of greenery i have strolled around in india. quite nice if a bit run down, we met some small street urchins who followed us around a bit, demanding i take photos of them. we came to a rise and getting to the top we had an impressive view of the Taj. it is a majestic building, sadly tarnished by the smog of the nearby town, but still very nice. it costs rp750 to get in though, so we decided to give it a miss. content with exterior views.

the trouble with travel is one can end up going too quickly. days are are filled with booking onward travel, finding a sutable room, and the neverending quest of finding somewhere to eat that won’t give you dysintry. most of the days filled like this and it becomes less like traveling and a series of hoops you have to jump through. bit of a pain, and not much room for actual enjoyment of ones suroundings.

the origial plan was to go to delhi for christmas and then ninja it down to goa and have new year there. feeling a bit phaged by all the moving around i footed the idea of skipping delhi and heading strait to goa and there take a leasurely route around the south. things were looking a bit dicey though with trains to goa being booked by every christian in india. thanks to lucy’s perseverance and a helpfull guy behind the train counter we managed to scrounge a couple of tickets to goa on some speed train taking a mere 25 hours. nothing to a 40hour man like myself!

we are currently in a nifty hotel next door to the taj, in a very quiet area of the town. its nice to have a relaxing atmosphere. though nights are still broken by the bitter cold and the early morning yodeling from the muslim prayer towers.

the night before we went to pizza hut to eat. it took us a while to get there becouse once again the glaring inaccuracies of the lonely planet/rough guide maps came into play. the reason we went was becouse we were craving something substantual and familier. it was pretty run of the mill, substandard fast food. however after we had finished out meal and were waiting to pay the manager got up and announced something to general applause. we clapped, not clear what was going on. then five of the serving staff lined up and started to dance frantically to bollywood music. it was hilarious, and actually not bad. on a par with some of the bollywood dancers i have seen. this went on for quite some time with indian girls leaping up from tables and joining in to the dance fest. i felt my foot twitching but avoided ambarrasing my self. all in all a much more interesting place to eat than it’s english counterpart.

our train tomorrow is at six. must get an early night.

love julio


live has managed to set us up with wireless! i just switch on the new shiny lap top and there is the net ready to be surfed!

I had the cega christmas meal yesterday and geoff had his in stevenage so liv and han came over to babysit – the pibs sleped through lik a baby! then promptly woke when i got home. running out of battery so il blog later as don’t know where the lead is…


ahh yes the indian head wiggle. i was going to mention it before but it slipped my mind. it does seem to mean any number of things, and i have imployed it regulaly in my comunications with the natives.

not got to hampi yet, but no doubt we will in the near future. i swam out to geoffs rock but the tide must have been higher when you were here as there was a thick layer of barnicles which sliced my hands and feet to ribbons in my attempts to clamber up. we went all the way to the right of the beach though and swam across to the fantastically named “monkey island” (it looked like the one in the game aswell!) and leapt from boulder to boulder for ages. great fun!

just heading back to mumbai today. the mumbai-goa train journey has now become as familiar as the barnham- chichester route and just as tedious.