Pizza with black olives

Spanish Camino or Italian Via Francigena – which one is for you?

Since 2013 I have walked three caminos, all concluding at Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. The ever-popular Camino Frances was my introduction to the wonderful world of long distance walking. Bitten by the bug, I returned to Spain for the Via de la Plata from Seville in 2014 and then stepped out on my own on the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon in 2016.

With all those caminos under my belt I thought it was time to break out of Spain (J) and, for something different, last year I walked 1046.9km through Italy on the Via Francigena.

But what is the difference between the two? And which is the right one for you? Continue reading “Spanish Camino or Italian Via Francigena – which one is for you?”

India Steals Our Hearts

The Indian adventure continues…

Each day brings exciting, and sometimes challenging, new sights, sounds and smells.

We are now down in southern Rajasthan at the romantic white city, Udaipur. In the last week we have:
• been stunned by the living city inside the Jaisalmer Fort,
• ridden camels across the sand dunes of the Thar Desert and walked bow-legged for a while afterwards!😉
• listened to soothing chakra music in the imposing Mehrangarh Fort and
• stood amused and confused in the colourful chaos of the old Jodhpur bazaar.
• bumped and jiggled and rattled over the back roads to soaring Jain temples,
• edged slowly through, joyous singing and dancing weddings and
• had more selfie photos taken than I have had hot dinners!
• Laughed at the traffic and the ability to fit a complete car chassis in the back of a small tuk tuk,
• Visited a small desert school to drop off some school supplies. The children stared at us as if we had dropped in from out of space, but hopefully the pens and pencils will be useful.
• Stared open mouthed at the opulence of the City Palace in Udaipur, and
• Watched the golden walls of the Palace glow at sunset as we bobbed around Lake Pichola.

What an amazing country!

Rolling Through Rajasthan, India

We are not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

More accurately, we are not in little ol’ Mudgee anymore. Instead we are in a car driving through the depths of dusty Rajasthan, India.

Today will be day five of our Opulence of Rajasthan tour and I am struggling to put into words all that we have seen. India is such a land of contrasts – from gobsmacking beauty to heartbreaking sadness, and always an eye opener.

Our little traveling party of three women, and our patient driver, left New Delhi on Monday. We have been working our way eastwards and arrived in Jaisalmer yesterday afternoon. As we have travelled, the terrain has become increasingly desolate and now we are well and truly on the outskirts of the Thar Desert. To the point where this afternoon our plan is to pull on our johdpurs, mount up and head off on our camels out over the sand dunes.

In the meantime I will try to share a little of what we have seen so far. Even in the middle of nowhere there is something to look at, even if it just the crazy traffic.

Asif, our driver, is great company and is happy answer all our crazy questions and sometimes even he has his camera out taking photos too!

Enjoy the snaps below. I will try to be a better blogger over the next couple of weeks, but no guarantees!

Chandi Cowl market in Old Delhi

Through the streets of Jaisalmer

Sunset over Jaisalmer

Views from the car

Making new friends at Ramdevra Hindu Temple

The inhospitable countryside as we edge closer to the Thar Desert

Happy pilgrims on their way to Ramdevra

Transport in India!!

Thousands of rats at Rat temple at Phalodi

A rubbish mountain (the photo really doesn’t show its true size) at Bikaner

Beautifully painted houses at Mandawa

One of our hotels…

Road conditions are a little basic in places..