|Hey guys! After a very long and chilled out time with the Tibetans it was time to get back on with some real travelling! So we hopped on a couple more lovely public buses (gotta love those roof racks!) and headed of to Amritsar on the Indian/Pakistan border! For the weather worriers, its been hot and sunny all week cuz we're in the NORTH WEST not the north east as some of you think (Mummy Short, get your geography right!) We had to change buses at a town called pathenkot, which was quite routine.....untill, whilst steve tied our bags onto the dodgy bus roof the driver decided it was time to go and set off! Steve had to climb the ladder down the bus, jump off the bus and then run to catch up and jump on while Loz was sat on the bus with a load of Indians giving her funny looks and laughing! (steve not amused!) We've come to realise this is pretty much the standard Indian way- when one's ready all are ready! Our bus arrived in Amritsar at about six and where met by the usual suspects wanting our company in there hotels so bad! Sorry lads, going to have to say NO NO NO! We both thought Amritsar was a bit of a dump (how wrong we where), so got a nice guest house, which was a bit pricey but a nice retreat! The next morning we set off on our toes ready for some Delhi-style action but we were pleasently surprised with the greeting we got- except at the train station, when one of the local pigdeons desided to shit on a guy just in front of us in the queue! Naturally Steve found this hiliarious (boyish humour) and then proceded to get shat on himself! So after a bit of turmoil trying to by a ticket to the dreaded Delhi the following day, we set off to explore Amritsar. We headed straight to the cities most famous landmark, the Golden Temple, it was a stunning building and looked amaizng in the sunlight. The atmosphere around the temple was very relaxed and we felt very welcome by the Sikh people. We had to wash our feet and cover our heads- Stev's white hanky made him look like a sun bather on Brighton beach back in the 50's! There was a lot of worshippers there, and especially more because it was Gandhi Memorial Day (or something!) We found it nice that lots of people wantd to talk to us, and it made a nice change that there were no alterier motives, just nice people. After a nice wonder around the temple we sat to gather our thoughts on a wall just outside he temple complex and an eldery man approached us and started reading our Lonely Planet out aloud- we think he was practicing his English! We then arranged a jeep to take us to the Indian Pakistan border... maybe a bit of a dodgey deal but it turned out to be a fantastic bargain! We got to the border and joined hundred of Indians in the stands as we all watched and cheered on the Indian guards as they paraded up to the border gate to face the Pakistani soldiers. The marching was ridiculously animated but it was all good for the croud who loved it! Lots of national pride! COME ON INDIA! We left the border at dusk and got back to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple at night. Words just don't do it's beauty justice, it was lit up with huge spot light and the temples reflection on the water bellow was crystal clear! What made to experinece for us those was a 15 year old lad, who walked with us round the temple with us chatting away to steve about all the past history of the temple and the Sikh culture! Such a nice lad, then we met his dad to, proud farther i think! We headed back to the hotel and prepared ourselves for the early morning ahead. The train to Delhi left at 5.15am! Luckily the train station was 2 minutes walk across the road. The train felt like luxury compared to the buses we've been on and they even surved us free water and breakfast too. We are just chilling in Dehli now, second time round has not been half as bad, must be the experince paying off! Had a nice quite afternoon in a roof top cafe and our just waiting for our overnight train to Udaipur!
Anyway hopefully get some more pics up soon! Keep the messages coming, great to hear from you all!
Love Steve and Lauren xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx