Free Spirits Around the World in 99 Days travel blog

Historic Hampi

The stone chariot


Tuned columns

Mysore is perhaps one of the largest archaeological sites we have ever seen. We were told it would take two months to see it all.

Years ago, Jim acquired a book by the late adventurer Galen Rowell called Many People Come Looking Looking. The title is a quote from a Sherpa guide during a high trek in the Himalayas. Rowell had noted the difficulties faced by the Sherpa people, and the guide said to him, Many people come looking looking. You come, see.

In other words, the guide knew Rowell was trying to understand.

India is far too complex to allow one to see and understand even in a month.

The diversity of landscapes, people, languages, religions, food, and living conditions is simply incredible and at times overwhelming.

There is a sense of the precarious. There is simply not the security, physical or otherwise, we enjoy in the US. Our trip leaders can lose their jobs through enough bad reviews by disgruntled tourists. People can get killed trying to cross a road. Two million people die annually in reported traffic accidents. Unreported deaths may be two or three times higher. We had a night bus trip that made us wonder if we would become part of the official count.

The air pollution in major cities is horrible. We both developed smokers cough from the air pollution in the north.

Yet there is a serenity in Hindu temples that sometimes overflows into the streets. The people are physically beautiful, friendly, and helpful. Everywhere there are efforts to make India better, cleaner, more efficient, and more secure. Jim thinks India will surpass China in becoming a world leader in the next 100 years.

On to Goa.

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