We needed a long and complete break after the loss of Phillie, Janie’s twin, in December. But this holiday was a long and ambitious one by any measure.
We were planning it at very short notice, by our standards, of course, but fortune smiled upon us in that planning. The Central Plains of India; Chhattisgarh and Orissa (Odisha) can be quite politically volatile, Foreign Office advice yo-yos between “no problem” and “only go if need be”, due to Naxalite/Maoist activity. But what a fascinating tribal part of India it is.
Anyway, it was a safe time to go at that time and the plan, through Steppes East who were excellent on this one, was to use the family of the Maharajah of Kanker as our guides in that region. This was a great idea; Jolly Deo, the Maharajkumar, was the perfect host and guide. We learnt lots and had fun along the way.
I have already posted the weirdest story from that trip; the day I was press-ganged into being a live cricket commentator, which was published on King Cricket a few months after the event.
We were also fortunate in the Sri Lanka leg of the trip; an opportunity to have a large villa in Galle Old Town all to ourselves for the price of a hotel room came up, by virtue of the villa only recently coming back onto the holiday market following a long-term family stay. I suppose our experience there was a bit like a cross between AirBnB (except without making life hell for the neighbours) and Lastminute.com.
In short, there are loads of adventures to write up from this holiday – pages and pages and pages of the stuff.
For now though, here are links to the photo albums, which I divided up into six short albums, one for each “leg” of the trip:
- 2011 India 01 Hyderabad 30 to 31 Jan 2011;
- 2011 India 02 Kanker 1 to 3 Feb 2011;
- 2011 India 03 Bastar 4 to 7 Feb 2011;
- 2011 India 04 Orissa 8 to 10 Feb 2011;
- 2011 India 05 Chennai 11 to 12 Feb 2011;
- 2011 India 06 Galle 13 to 25 Feb 2011;
If you are really keen to explore my hand-written notes before I write them up properly, here they are in pdf form and good luck to you:
- 2011 India & Sri Lanka Pages 1 to 9
- 2011 India & Sri Lanka Pages 10 to 13
- 2011 India & Sri Lanka Pages 14 to 19
- 2011 India & Sri Lanka Pages 20 to 27
- 2011 India & Sri Lanka Pages 28 to 30
- 2011 India & Sri Lanka Pages 31 to 32
Here is the Steppes East itinerary, also available for download – at least you’ll be able to read this one: Itinerary-Wormleighton.