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The India chronicles continued: The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

Ah finally, peace and quiet! Don’t get me wrong I love Evan and I have enjoyed every minute of my Mum’s company on our Highway to the Himalayas tour but our tour ended two days ago and I finally have the room to myself to blog, organize photos and make videos!  We have had a pretty hard time getting a decent wireless internet connection while we travelled through India but here in Nepal at our hotel it is really good. Although internet is not impossible to get, it is hard to send large files of photos and videos without a strong signal. Now, allow me to share with you our adventures of our tour!

Meeting the locals in Chitwan

As you know it all started for us in Delhi, and from there we travelled to Jaipur where we toured the Pink City, the Amber Fort and had a wonderful hot air balloon ride over the city. We have travelled a fair distance by bus, train, plane, rickshaw, jeep, tuk-tuk and our new favourite mode of transport – elephants!

We have been so lucky this entire time away to have had such great groups of people join us on our tours. I believe our most memorable tour friend will be Bob. He is an 81 year old man with two brand spanking new knees and he is on a journey of a lifetime! There were times where I was feeling pretty tired but when I looked at Bob and saw him bobbing along I was motivated by his determination. He was truly a pleasure to get to know. Evan and I have enjoyed plenty of worldly brews on our journey so far and we are enjoying them in moderation to allow us to ensure we have the funds necessary to keep us drinking our way around the world but Bob sure rubbed off on us! Every meal Bob had a beer and if he was enjoying a sip then we were too. I feel sort of bad that Team Kevan rubbed off onto Bob as well! I’m not sure if this is a good thing, but we introduced Bob to MacDonald’s and Pizza Hut all in one day! I was so worried that he was going to get sick because he had never ever eaten at these fine establishments before! I assured him that lump in his stomach from the MacDonald’s was normal and he had no reason to worry.

The Taj Mahal with Team Kevan

A highlight of the tour is definitely going to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. When we arrived in Agra we enjoyed a horse cart ride to the entrance of the site. Evan and I have been trying really hard to bring out the “Team Kevan Is On The Go” Canada flag for a photo at the most recognizable landmarks we visit around the world. We were hoping to bust out the flag at the Taj Mahal but that was a big no-no and it was confiscated by security and we had to negotiate to get it back.  Our options were to leave it with them and possibly never see it again, have Evan or me wait outside or have a shop keeper across the road take care of it. We opted for the shop keeper and although we thought it might be a ploy to visit the store after our sightseeing, it was the best option. To thank the shop keeper my Mum bought a nifty little Ganesh statue.

The Taj Mahal was amazing, the grounds and gardens were well taken care of and the sight was absolutely spectacular. It was a nice sunny day and we were able to take a lot of great photos. I didn’t know until we arrived that we were able to go inside the tomb to walk around. This was where everyone had to take off their shoes to enter. The guards inside were armed with sticks and whistles but I think that they should also be armed with a cans of air freshener. With the heat outside and all our sweaty bare feet, it was a little stinky!

After seeing the site we had a chance to wander through the tourist shops back to

Evan steps in to help out

where we were meeting the bus. Several times we were offered rickshaw rides by adult male drivers but it was one special driver that caught our attention. He couldn’t have been any older than ten and could barely ride the bike because his legs weren’t very long! He was very persistent and kept assuring us that he could bike all three of us back to our bus. We thought that would have been a very exhausting task for the youngster so we came to a compromise and Evan gave HIM a ride back to our bus! It was a win for all of us! The kid made an easy twenty rupees and we got some great photos!

- Katie Powell

Keep a look out for more from Katie and Evan in India.

 

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