On the road in the state of Gujarat. We arrived at Rann Riders late morning yesterday. It’s a resort of sorts because it is close to the wild donkey area and a lake where there is a lot of wildlife. There are no other guests here right now, tourism is down due to a hike in prices because of high GST. The GST has been lowered but somehow it prevented Indian tourists from traveling this year. The 3 hour drive from the city was peppered with interest. First of all the roads are busy and very narrow in the country and there are speed bumps every half mile so progress is slow. I’ve encountered it before, but I always forget about it until you are actually on the road. We passed fields of cotton and I was able to get out of the car and take photos of it in the field. The temperatures are very high, almost 104 yesterday and I find it hard to see the people working in in that heat. Granted …
Cups of creamy fresh yoghurt, served in earthen ware cups and deep fried chilli stuffed with cottage cheese and other things that I’m not able to remember added to the monkeys in the tree above us stealing bananas from the vendor. In the mean time, the traffic passed us by in it’s alarming constant stream punctuated by the sound off a hundred horns.
Images of a visit to the puppeteers village in Jaipur, the pictures tell the story.
Day one of our Indian Textile tour. Take 12 people from 4 different countries who know little about each other. Put them on a plane to travel for 24 hours (or a little less) and they come together to create a memory in a country far from their home. The feeling is carried forever, the experiences are exceptional and many years of thoughts of the past are intensified with the images you carry in your heart and your hand. I don’t always give my memory the chore of storing the amazing things I see and do, I rely on my images. I know how to take a good picture, I’ve been practicing all my life, but if you don’t have the image experiences that I have, you can still learn to take a soul stirring picture to remind you of those wonderful moments. That’s part of this happening. Early morning and the sun glowed orange and we took advantage of the cooler part of the day to visit India gate. India Gate is a memorial …
Preparing for all eventualities in travel is really important. I know I take too many things sometimes, but most of the time I’m very thankful for my forethought.
There is a careful selection process and it takes me several weeks to pack correctly. I have to live out of a case for months.
Our travel companions will be exposed to the beauty, the day to day workings and sometimes, the sheer luxury of India. For me, the excitement of my trips is waking the senses and being challenged. I enjoy exploring and capturing what some would say is the mundane with my camera. So we will source our tools to work with in the markets of Old Delhi.
Today I’m working on my classes that will be held in India on our Craft Tours trip in two weeks. Watching the families create beatiful things with Indigo is magic, pure magic.
Down cobblestone streets full of color and noise. The temperature is in the high 70’s and the air is clean. The streets are full of people, I’m sad to see so many children working on the street selling things. My Pollyanna persona hopes that they go to school later or earlier in the day. Many women still wear traditional dress, and the color combination is astounding. I learn so much about color from just observing. There is often music in the air and the smell of coffee emanating from the little boutique shops is tantalizing. That said I’m not diminishing the fact that the wages are very low here and for many people life is hard. I hope you don’t mind my perspective of what I see. Just walking, fountains and feathers. The beautiful Chicken buses. The local market. Huipils. A huge warehouse full of surprises. I visit it every day to see what new goodies have arrived from the countryside. And then there are the churches.
We don’t stay in Guatemala City, but venture out to the city of Antigua, an hour and a half away from the main city. Antigua is a small city surrounded by volcanoes in southern Guatemala. It’s renowned for its Spanish colonial buildings, many of them restored following a 1773 earthquake that ended Antigua’s 200-year reign as Guatemala’s colonial capital. Notable architectural examples include baroque La Merced, a squat, yellow-and-white church. It’s an integral part of the city’s famous Semana Santa, a holy week with parades and rituals.
The second part of the trip will be to stay at Lake Atitlan at a hotel nestled on the lake. The beauty will take your breath away.