Pushkar

The Year That Was 2011

The Year That Was 2011
Another year. Another set of to-dos. And a time to look back and take stock …
Yes, I know I am late to do this post but by only a few days and since I am travelling, I can be excused. 😛

Sometimes we travel to too many places and at times we don’t have enough.
The year 2011 started in the Philippines. We celebrated our Christmas & new year in that country. Besides the capital Manila, we could explore some part of it but Batad was a place which left mark on my life. However, as I always say, any place on this earth can never be counted as ‘done’.

The year 2011 was not very good in terms of travel. There were always some issues cropping up and I had to cut short or cancel many trips either midway or before the start irrespective of the locale, foreign or Indian.
This time when I was about to leave India, my doctor, instead of telling, asked me “Are you fit to travel?”. So, that’s about it.

Anyway, I’ll let the pictures speak of the places I visited in the year 2011. I think I did more than this. If anyone of you recall, please let me know. I always think I have more memories than photos of a place.

Batad.

hiking in Batad @lemonicks.com
Looks easy? It is world’s one of the most difficult places for hiking and any other

A day in camel fair ground

As I walk towards the camel fair ground, I have a preconceived image of the fair in the back of my mind. From what I have seen in the photos till now, visit to Pushkar is a very colorful atmosphere with decorated camels on sand dunes, tourists galore, stalls and so on.
The shops are open on both sides of this narrow road. It is around eleven in the morning and there is no rush to lure the tourists. Also, there is no sign of sand anywhere. Am I mistaken?
At a distance I see a Ferris wheel being fixed up. Oh that’s the ground! I run towards it. I hear some strange grunting sounds. Do camels sound so? I am excited. With rucksack, camera and water bottle I go in the direction where camels are parked.

My first impression on seeing the camels is a disappointment. There is only one color and different shades of it in the vicinity. Brown. There are more camels than men in this huge ground. The whole atmosphere is a little languid. Under the scorching sun I see people lazing on string cots or near their carts which serve as their temporary homes.

Pushkar camel fair @lemonicks.com

Walking is a bit difficult now and I realize

New challenges of travel

You must be wondering where have I disappeared to.
Well, there is always a new set of challenges in travel and I like to set new bars for myself.

Recently I visited Pushkar International camel fair. It was an impulsive decision.
While people booked their hotel rooms and train tickets at least three months in advance to attend this annual event, here I was without a confirmed berth on train and without knowing where I was going to stay.

pushkar camel fair @lemonicks.com

A decorated camel in Pushkar.

The challenge was to budget travel without any advance reservation and like a local… in those local ‘khatara‘ buses, shared autos. No taxi allowed. And wherever possible, eat street food.

And that is when you realize that the journey is your destination too. The agendaless journey was fun and there were surprises too. I started tweeting from the railway station at Mumbai itself about my journey.

People on my Twitter Timeline were constantly watching my moves and advised, requested and queried accordingly.
I am copying below, few, very few of