Tag Archives: Asia

Varanasi

I read today that Varanasi is the world’s oldest inhabited city with an unbroken lineage back to 800BC, and there is evidence of early Aryan settlements as far back as 4000 years ago. I can certainly believe it, the small alleys and dirt roads that snake around the back of the ghats look timeless, every nook and cranny seems to have grown as slowly as a snails shell, encrusted with time. Continue reading Varanasi

Mahindra College, Pune to Varanasi.

I woke to a sunrise that calmed the clamorous valley of the previous night. I walked up the arcing stairs of the YHA to the roof and was met with a far warmer world. The laborers on the neighboring building site were huddled around warming morning fires, Pune had become solid after the little pinpricks of light had joined together.

Continue reading Mahindra College, Pune to Varanasi.

Bombay to Pune YHA

Arriving in Bombay was like going straight from Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here on a walkman to having Johnny Rotten singing in your face. I’d think it a privilege if Johnny would do that, but I’d have to be in the right mood and when I arrived in Bombay I wasn’t, so I muttered my way to an overpriced hotel and battened down the hatches until I felt cheerful enough to make the journey to see my daughter at her college near Pune. Continue reading Bombay to Pune YHA

Paragliding Course day Three FLIGHT

Twas up at 7am like a good pupil and out in the paragliding shop by 8am to use the internet to do some work, then we gathered in the bus (that had been topped up with kerosene due to the fact that it wasn’t possible to buy fuel in Pokhara for various reasons) to head out to a place called ‘Sarankot’ to take our first flights. Continue reading Paragliding Course day Three FLIGHT

Tioman Jungle Trek

At the North end of Salang Beach the footpath winds up past an impressive abandoned bungalow complex. I say impressive becuase the bungalows cling to the steep slopes teetering on high thin legs and actually blend into the hillside quite well.

The path quickly turns to a winding jungle camino that follows the electricity cables that come from the islands capital.

My T-shirt was soon turned into a sopping rag as the humidity and the heat took their toll, but after a good hike up and down you come to the deserted white sand beach of Monkey Bay.

At Monkey Bay I stripped my sopping clothes and skinny dipped in the cooler waters of the sea, floating around I could look back at the jungle wrapped around the bay like a shawl.

Continuing on was an easier walk even if the distance was farther as the slopes became kinder. Monkeys followed me in the trees making sure I wasn’t up to no good, monitor lizards scurried out of my way and I teased tree snakes with sticks as butterflies flapped dreamily around as if in an opium den. The noise is hypnotic in the jungle, a constant rythm that has kept us entertained for all time, before the electronic rythms this was our melody and it has stayed fresh.

Eventually the path reaches habitation again and after another set of stairs and a hill reaches the long arc of a bay that the small airport sits on. I came across a fellow I knew was from Salang and hitched a ride back in his boat along with his son that he was accompanying from school. Perfect timing for the perfect day.

Jungle with gorgeous beaches

I love the fact that Tioman has a heart of solid jungle that can be explored, but must be respected. I spent a long time on Koh Tao in Thailand but found the fact that it had evolved from one vast coconut plantation had left it featureless in it’s interior, but Tioman still has the monkeys, monitor lizards, butterflies snakes and everything that goes with this hemisphere and location.