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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Andhra Pradesh, India

Feb 9, 2006 - "...the rain is gone"

Actually, I can't remember the last time I saw rain, but "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone," totally captures how I (sally) feel at the moment. This past week has been... um, ok no words seem to grasp what I want to say. You get the point, it's been real tough in lots of ways for Josh and I both. However, when we got on the train out of Calcutta, I prayed, 'Let it ALL stay there and help me to focus on what's next.' During that 19 hour train ride, which we've both really learned to appreciate as transition time, it seems that illness...

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...pure religion

Jan 17, 2006 - Return to Hyderabad

Hyderabad, India All the fun of the family festival came to an end and we returned to Hyderabad with the Raos. Once again, it was good to get back. After a very restful sleep, we went to the outskirts of Hyderabad - first to the temple to get blessed! then to see Mr. Rao's lens factory. (They make plastic lenses for eyeglasses.) About 15 years ago, Mr. Rao returned to India from the United States and began this enormous undertaking. Ann and I (along with Mrs. Rao) got a whole tour of the plant, and for anyone who can appreciate the...

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Jan 16, 2006 - Off the Map

After spending a couple of days in the small city of Tenali, we ventured so far into rural India that the village isn't listed on our trip journal map. It's the village of Ventapragada where Mr. Rao hails from originally. It wasn't too far of a drive and it was all through peaceful landscapes of rice patties and harvested haystacks. When we arrived at his sister's house there must have been 30 or more relatives there waiting to greet us. I had bought flowers to give to the ladies and everyone put them in their hair. Since Brad and I are...

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Jan 15, 2006 - Sightseeing with the Family

Tenali, India Nagarjunakonda was a convinient stop about half way between Hyderabad and Tenali. The site is on an island in a reservior created by the Nagarjuna Dam (consequently the second largest earthen dam in the world) and has a representation of Buddhist ruins that were flooded. Unfortunately, the museum on the island was closed, and I hate to say it, but the ruins weren't terribly remarkable (hence the lack of photographed ruins). It did however break up the road trip nicely with a lovely boat ride on the reservior. There was even a...

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Jan 14, 2006 - Sankrati

Thank goodness we got lucky and our visit coincided with the Rao's family holiday!! The Sankrati festival is a Hindu religious festival for the harvest that lasts for a few days and involves lots of visiting family, lots of fun, lots of devotion, and lots of FOOD! Brad and I had an absolute blast being with the family on such a special occasion. First stop on this three day affair was to Mrs. Rao's sister's house in Tenali, about five hours east from Hyderabad. All sorts of relatives descended on the house and the merriment began. To mark...

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Jan 12, 2006 - A Respite from the Madness

Hyderabad, India A short plane ride took us from Delhi to our next stop in Hyderabad. It also took us straight through our comfort zone in terms of temperature -from uncomfortably cold to uncomfortably hot. (Keep in mind that comfort zone falls somewhere between 67.999 and 68.001 degrees F, so its easy to miss.) Coming to Hyderabad was the central focus -even prehaps the whole reason for our trip to India. For those of you who don't know, Rob Rao has been my closest friend since somewhere around the first grade. We've had loads of fun and...

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Jan 5, 2006 - Samba and the Dharma

The beach is old news, but the heat is on. Its 39 C, and there is not a bit of shade. I am in the middle of nowhere. Amavarati is a one-horse town on the eastern coast of India (7 hours north of Chennai). A long time ago, the great Buddhist scholar Nagerjuna wrote his masterpiece "The Wisdom of the Middle Way" in Amavarati. I don't think I lot has happened in Amavarati since then. That is until 10 months ago when the Dalai Lama decided that he was going to host the Kalachakra at the home of his most favourite Buddhist scholar (you guessed...

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Jan 5, 2006 - Samba and the Dharma

The beach is old news, but the heat is on. Its 39 C, and there is not a bit of shade. I am in the middle of nowhere. Amavarati is a one-horse town on the eastern coast of India (7 hours north of Chennai). A long time ago, the great Buddhist scholar Nagerjuna wrote his masterpiece "The Wisdom of the Middle Way" in Amavarati. I don't think I lot has happened in Amavarati since then. That is until 10 months ago when the Dalai Lama decided that he was going to host the Kalachakra at the home of his most favourite Buddhist scholar (you guessed...

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Oct 21, 2005 - Bhubaneswar

Arrived in Bhubaneswar and checked into a scabby hotel where the toilet was filthy and didn't work (hmmm). Had them come and clean it and only half way through the cleaning Heath had to go. It was halarious (as always, halarious if its not happening to you)- she had no comprehension from the cleaner that she needed the loo - even with her pants practically down by her knees! He just wasn't getting it! She did finally shuffle him out and only just made it! We wended up getting on a bus to Konark to see the Sun Temple and were crammed on like...

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Jul 22, 2005 - A day at the museum

For those of you who care, the bump on my head is receding. Better than this, today I visted the Salar Jung Museum, a collection so vast that I've just returned to the hotel after seven hours exploring the galleries of a single building. I've had to rethink my views on Indians and museums, since prior to this visit I've always thought it a poor mix. They tend to stuff a whole bunch of items into dark corners and ill-lit cabinets, let the dust settle, then permit building and exhibits to fall into disrepair. So today is a pleasant change....

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Jan 13, 2005 - Hampi

We decided to break the journey from Mumbai to Hampi and stop for a few days at Pune. There was not much here but it had a pleasant feel to it and had lots of parks and gardens. There was a big shopping exhibition across the road from us so we went there during the evening and had fun testing the exercise machines and bean bags! We sat in a park for one afternoon and drank whiskey (discreetly) and played cards with an audience of children. We left Pune after 2 days and carried our train journey to Hampi. I loved traveling by train in India....

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Gemma's RTW trip

Sep 20, 2004 - Journey to Madras via Bangalore

On our return from Ooty we spent a night with Renjini chechi (Kiran's cousin) and her 2 cute daughters, Anamika & Ananthika in Coimbatore. Our journey from Coimbatore to Bangalore was by an overnight bus. On first impressions, It looked very luxurious with comfy reclining seats, ac and warm blankets. However as the journey progressed, Kiran's gymnastic performances in an attempt to fit in his seat became less amusing; a symphony of snores reached crescendo and the bus made several impromptu stops on pitch black streets. Needless to say we...

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