March 27-28, 2011 (including time travel)-
Two weeks after returning from South America, I’m on the move again—this time to India for 5 weeks.
Why India, Blake? Well, good question, Blake.
Honestly, India isn’t the big attraction for me: it’s the Himalaya.
Ever since I watched Seven Years in Tibet and met my friend Dan, a Brit who treks and works in Nepal, I’ve had the urge to visit the Himalaya mountains. I have no desire to do some monstrous climb of K2 or Everest or something like that, and I never have. I just love the beauty of the mountains, and the Himalaya combines that with the chance to experience a new (and, for a westerner, affordable) foreign culture.
So when I was planning my year out, slapping an India trip into my travels just made sense. I had the time, money, and no binding commitments in the States, so I jumped on the opportunity. I’m going to die sometime, right? Do it while you’re still young!
Another big plus for India was that my girlfriend, the esteemed potter Brenna McBroom of Asheville, NC (www.brennadee.com), also wanted to visit India. She threw a bunch of pots and saved up, and now we’re traveling together. Hot dog! It doesn’t get better than this.
A final motive for the trip is: to do research for a potential future Unschool Adventures trip. India is not a place that I would send a group without checking out myself, so here I am, and maybe we’ll run a trip there in 2012 if it all feels right.
Okay, enough background story. On to the photos!
Directly after the conference, Brenna and I got a ride to Chicago O’Hare airport to await our direct flight to New Delhi on a big fat 777 aircraft. Here she poses with our chariot.
The big novelty of this flight is the length: 14 hours. This is my longest flight ever. We entertained ourselves with reading, movies, uncomfortable napping, snacking, and joking about the older Indian man behind us who would forcefully push our seats into their upright positions when we attempted to recline.
My eyes often returned to the big flight information board in the front of the passenger area. Those hours ticked away slowly.
Arriving at New Delhi, Brenna was confused by the airport’s lack of bathroom signage. Which one to choose??
We waited around for our pre-arranged hotel taxi, which was an hour late, and then we waited a bit more for the driver to get gas, since he was on empty. In India, you have to pop the hood to fill the tank.
Now it’s 5:30am Delhi time, which is really 7pm Chicago time, and my body is hating on me for the jet lag. Our next stop is Chandigarh, four hours north of Delhi.