Travel Stories

These stories are from my travels in Asia in 2003, except for the top post which is from my 2005 bike tour in France. You may also be interested in this blog of the 2012 bicycling honeymoon throughtout Europe.

Travels With Valentine (Cycling Ireland and France) (08/31/2005)

"I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from. We got tons of history lying about the place, big old castles, and they just get in the way. We're driving-'Oh, a @#$% castle! Have to drive around it...' Disney came over and built Euro Disney, and ...

Delhi, The Sikhs, and the Tibetans (04/11/2003)

As I sat waiting for the Karnataka Express to take me from Gulbarga to Delhi, a man covered in grease approached me and asked me a few of the standard Indian questions: what is your good name? are you married? what is your job? Since I was unemployed, ...

Hampi (12/19/2002)

In the fourteenth century, two Telugu princes founded the city of Vijaynagar on the shores of the Tungabhadra river, near the modern village of Hampi in what is now central Karnataka. The city grew, and by the early sixteenth century it was the capital ...

Hyderabad (12/10/2002)

As we walked up the stairs to his parents’ second story flat, Hari turned to me and said, “You know what to say, right?” “Uh, namasté?” “Namasté, Auntie.” This made sense; Hari had just instructed me when he and his father had picked ...

The Ooty Hills (12/07/2002)

The Nilgiris were good sized hills, they rolled out into green carpets and then pinched into dark wooded valleys. The peaks were covered in scrub; the sides were dotted with water buffalo, who kept the grass mowed like a lawn. The wooded gullies were ...

Madurai to Ooty (11/28/2002)

From Kodaikanal I went to Madurai. I left one of my favorite pairs of pants in the United States, and after learning it was possible to get a tailor to make a pair of pants to your description, I was eager to get them recreated in India. I asked them ...

The Tea Plantations of Munnar (11/22/2002)

The bus ride from the plains of Kerala up into the Western Ghats, the moutains that line the southwest coast of India, took my breath away: partly from awe at the view out the window, and partly from fear that the bus would drive off of the precipice ...

Munnar (11/22/2002)

The bus ride from the plains of Kerala up to Munnar took my breath away: partly from awe at the view out the window, and partly from fear that the bus would drive off of the precipice that followed the right hand side of the road. Munnar in a town in ...

Fort Cochin (11/18/2002)

The weather in Fort Cochin is Floridian, and the geography mimics the Bay Area. The air is warm and muggy, and the waters are clogged with water hyacinths. On the Eastern bay, analogous to Oakland, is Ernakulam, which is industrial and has large boat ...

The Kanyakumari Express (11/16/2002)

Victoria Terminus, if you come at it walking in from the north, does not initially appear to be the grand old cathedral of a building that it actually is. The business end of it, where the long distance trains originate and terminate, and where tickets ...

Kodaikanal (11/16/2002)

Joseph Iype, the man who ran the cottage where I stayed in Munnar, told me where the bus station was, where I could catch the morning bus to Theni at 7:30, and from which there would be a connecting bus to Kodaikanal. Since we were high on a hill, he ...

Mumbai Encounters (11/15/2002)

The day after I visited Nirav, I meandered about south Mumbai; I made a first failed attempt at getting a train ticket, and then ate at the Leopold Cafe, the best place in town to get clean, cheap food, and stopped by American Express to change money, ...

Mumbai - Lakshmi puja (11/04/2002)

In the month before arriving in Mumbai, I had vicariously travelled with Paul Theroux by rail around Europe and Asia, and then down the length of the Americas; I was now in the land of Indian Railways, which at 1.6 million people is the world's largest ...

Mumbai - Arrival (11/02/2002)

We seemed to move through a city of the dead. There was hardly a suggestion of life in those still and vacant streets. Even the crows were silent. But everywhere on the ground lay sleeping natives -- hundreds and hundreds. They lay stretched ...

Transit (10/30/2002)

29 Oct 2002, 6:45 am, Michigan City, Indiana. I was sitting on the same United Limo bus I've used to get to the airport for the last decade; I've ridden it dozens of times to get to college, and recently to return to California where I work and live. ...

The (sort of) Plan (10/26/2002)

The greatest thing since the creation of the world, except for the incarnation and death of Him who created it, is the discovery of the Indies. — Francisco Lopez de Gomara I'm about to leave for Mumbai in three days, via Seoul. I wanted to ...

Smelling Good in the Khan al-Khalili Spice Market (07/27/2001)

"You want to see real Cairo market? I show you the real spice market," said the old man standing on a corner of Khan al-Khalili, the great bazaar of Cairo. Had it come from someone younger in a country with more lax laws, it might have sounded like ...

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