Team Kevan’s Mom tells us about experiencing India, learning to ride elephants, Indian food, giant mice and successful luggage negotiations.
I am home safe and sound after a wonderful trip through India and Nepal on The Highway to Himalayas tour that proved to be an amazing adventure. It was great to see Katie and Evan again and it made me realize how much I miss them.
I was hoping to report back some interesting and funny anecdotes of traveling with Team Kevan but that backfired when they captured my failed attempt to gracefully mount Rapakali the elephant. I have to admit it was pretty funny and I can’t top that with a story of them, but rest assured I will get my revenge one day. The best I can do is tell you that they sure can make a mess in a hotel room in one day or less. Oh my goodness! But I can sympathize because they really have to dig through those monster size backpacks to find what they need. Carrying the variety of clothing and supplies they need for this long, diverse trip is challenging for sure. They went from hot to cold – Kathmandu to St. Petersburg in a couple of days. Bathing suits to toques and mitts.
We certainly saw some amazing sites and just a couple of the highlights were the Pink City of Jaipur. Touring the Amber Fort and the hot air balloon ride Katie and Evan and I took to fly over it was terrific. We have certificates of flight and are all now qualified as passengers and are well practiced in the landing position which means we can bounce along the ground in our basket on our backs without our hair catching on fire. That was fun!
We have all been on a trip where we are excited to see something grand but when we get there it is either nothing like you expected or half the size. The Taj Mahal is the exception; it was just as magnificent as I had hoped. What an experience to see one of the Wonders of the World. I can now check that one off my list.
Our time spent is Orchha was memorable because it was a small village and we could walk into town, shop and visit with the local people. We stopped just outside of village and enjoyed watching a group of kids playing cricket in a field. Speaking of cricket, in Canada it is way down the list of sports to watch and play but in India that certainly is not the case. The world championships were taking place while we were there and it was fun to be part of the excitement especially as India did so well. Hard as I tried, I am still no closer to understanding the game.
Probably one of the highlights was the time we spent in Chitwan National Park. We went for a canoe ride, took part in bird watching and of course my favorite: elephant trekking through the jungle. One of the funniest things happened just before bed one night, mine and Katie’s adjoining room was visited by what we saw and thought was a very large white rat but we were assured it was just a “Nepali Moussa” and that it was harmless –unlike the massive poisonous spider on the outside wall of our room that the night guard beat to death with a stick. I thought it was hilarious that the moussa had nibbled on the brim of Evan’s new poker ball cap and every time I looked at it I couldn’t stop laughing. Sorry Evan.
I am not a person who enjoys spicy food and I thought I would have trouble with Indian cuisine but I didn’t have a problem at all. Chicken Tikka Masala was excellent but my favorite was simply the Naan bread and daal. Oh yes and of course everything tasted better with an icy cold Kingfisher to toast with our new friends. We had a great group on our tour and it was fun to get to know everyone. Lots of laughs for sure.
I saw a couple of cheeky comments on facebook about my luggage and to be honest this is what happened. I knew I had a lot of treasures to bring home which included all the goodies Katie had picked up along the way. Knowing I would be close to the allowable baggage limit I went to a travel agent in Kathmandu to confirm weight limits. There was a wee bit of a communication problem and what I understood was 2 suitcases, 30kg each for an international flight. However, when I got to the baggage counter I was told I had to take out 10 kgs / 22lbs. You gotta be kidding me! My carry on was already going to be a hernia maker when I tossed it in the overhead. They sell nice brass in India but it is really heavy! I thought about wearing my massive new tablecloth and all the pashmina’s I had bought but chose option B that was suggested to me by the baggage handlers, give them a good tip and my luggage would make it safely on the plane. I emptied my purse of my leftover rupees and hoped for the best. I am a little suspect of the whole incident because the scales at the counter were not even working. What are you going to do except just play/pay along. Well they did make it on the plane and I now have all our treasures safely at home.
After a 30-hour extravaganza to get home I finally made it. I wouldn’t trade any of the
panic and chaos to get home because the trip was fun and worth every minute. However, I might try for a more direct flight next time. Driving home by myself from the airport it was dark and very quiet. I was the only one on the road and I felt really lonely, what a change from the absolute chaos of the roads in India and Nepal. My ears were ringing from the silence. I honked a little!
All in all it was a great trip and I feel very fortunate to have been able to tag along on part of Katie and Evan’s adventure. On the Go is doing an amazing job of coordinating their journey and I thank them for that.
I am a very proud and happy Mum….love you and miss you.
Team Kevan’s Mum XOXO