Category Archives: Adventure

Public Transport in North India: Part Two

The main reason I drifted from Rishikesh to Chandigarth is because I’d read somewhere that there’s an amazing train ride that ascends up into the Himalayan foothills from a place called Kalka.  Kalka is just a half hour by bus from Chandigarth.

Public Transport in North India: Part One

The three children standing in the back asked me to take this photo. Click on the picture to zoom in.

Upon leaving the hot but holy and laid-back city of Rishikesh, I took a local, one-hour bus ride along the Ganges to Haridwar

At the Rishikesh bus station there was one other foreigner,  a German who had been to India on numerous occasions.  He, like me, had a train ticket from Haridwar to Chandigarth.

Three Delhi Scams That I Fell Victim to

If you arrive in Delhi, or probably any huge city in India, and you stay in a touristy/backpacker’s location, you’ll be a target for certain scams.  I recommend you set aside $50 or so as psychological write off money just in case.   This way the potential trauma will be abated.

Don’t worry.  The cons are not intended to harm you.   They’re only to steal your money.

That said, following are three scams that I fell victim to in Delhi.

SCAM ONE:  As mentioned two posts ago, a beggar, whose name I’ve since learned is Rayna, managed to smoothly rip me off.  She’d asked me to buy milk for her baby.  I had originally thought that I’d spend just a few Rupees on the milk which ended up being a huge container of powdered milk for over 410 Rupees ($9)  Since she got me on that baby milk buying scam, she’s accosted me on several occasions, trying to negotiate more money out of me.

Drifting Through the Streets of Delhi

While walking around in the blazing hazy sun, I  lost track of time.  One moment blurred into the next. Subcontinental multiculture abounds.  This capital megacity seems to attract people of different ethnicities and language groups.

Welcome to Delhi

Despite needing to hustle to catch my connecting flight at Heathrow, all went very smoothly on my three-flight hop across the earth. I hardly interacted with anyone as I miraculously managed to get three seats to myself on all three flights.

I do remember one  experience with turbulence. While  in the galley pouring a cup of water from a two-liter bottle, the plane started jumping. This caused me to miss the pour completely. The friendly flight attendant and I laughed simultaneously.

Thinking About Another Drifting Endeavor

Never have I put myself in the position to take one trip after another. Utter frugality  over a long haul is allowing me to tentatively plan another drifting endeavor.

Perceived priorities, sacrifices and minimization are a part of the logistics involved. I’ve referred back to 9 Drifting Dreams  in order to  aid in spurring ideas. I shall also continue to consult my big model earth or globe that’s sitting right in front of me.

One side of me feels the need to plan while the other would like to drift aimlessly. My gut feeling is telling me that a happy medium is the best alternative.

A Few Days in Bocas del Toro

 The cool tropical rain dropped hard as the speedboat pulled in to Isla Colón. I walked into one of the first hotels that I saw and acquired a private room with private bath and cable TV for $15.

I spent my evening in the kitchen and balcony as that’s where the free (or included in the price of the room) wifi functioned. I ended up on the balcony as it was breezier than the oppressively hot communal kitchen.

How Three Hikers Became Separated

The reason my hiking partner Lienke and I stayed a couple of extra days in Boquete was to hike a pair of stellar trails together. The day after drifting up the Pipeline Trail, we took a short, $.70 minibus ride to the start of the lush Área El Pianista (The Pianist Area).

El Pianista boasts stunning, wide-open views.  Surrounded by rivers, waterfalls, dense forest and mountainous backdrops, this Boquete trail gives a sweet sensation for the visually allured.

Upon starting the trail we witnessed two young schoolchildren whizzing across a short bridge crossing a low river. They appeared almost oblivious to us as they’re used to seeing gringo-looking types in their tiny, idyllic neighborhood.

The Pipeline Trail

Before commencing my Central American drifting escapade over two months ago, I had it in mind to engage in various hiking excursions during the trip.  I enjoy moving my body along the earth, especially upward, and with a destination in mind.

After having my toe chomped on by a stingray at the Pacific beach of Las Peñitas near León in Nicaragua, that tentative plan was temporarily thwarted.

The good news two months later is that the toe feels around 95% healed.  Since hiking India Dormida in El Valle a week ago, when  mentioning that the toe was about 90% healed, I’ve managed more hiking in the gorgeous mountain-cloud town of Boquete.

Infinite Logistics

Realizing that a journey is but 72 hours away, causes me to be cognizant of the fact that there are still more logistics to be finalized.

Do I need a Typhoid shot? Apparently, I don’t need Yellow Fever and I’m probably all set with at least most if not all other inoculations.  I may need to be aware of places where there are mosquitoes carry Dengue or Malaria.  I should buy insect repellent with that nasty skin-debilitating DEET.

Do I buy travel insurance or do I wing it? If the need arises, I should easily be able to pay cash at a clinic that will probably welcome me with open arms as they’ll assume that I’m loaded.  By U.S. standards I’m not wealthy by any means; but, when I empathize with the clinicians in developing lands, I see myself as a walking wad of fresh dollar bills.