Archive for Travel Memories
December 2016 was marked by the third tour to the 'wild' North-East India. The group was very composed and we were able to do everything as planned and even more:) We had a lot of beautiful moments. We wandered into a distant village on Majuli island where local people literally ran to see us; an elephant was assisting his family to cross the road in Kaziranga National Park; we were lucky to reach an old palace near Shivsagar right before the sunset and had just enough time to explore the labyrinths of rooms inside — that was the first time the group had enough time to make it that far! It was also the first time for my group to see the tea factory while operation — unfortunately we were not allowed to take any photos inside but I will remember that wonderful tea smell forever. I liked Shivadol temple in the morning and a talk to the pandit there. I liked the amazing sunrises on Majuli island and also our bamboo huts at the pond in the paddy fields. And an ancient temple ruins we saw on the way to Nagaland. A merry crowd at the Hornbill festival. And I remember the faces of my ladies at the market in Shillong — they finally satisfied their passion for exotic things and strong desire to 'be closer to the people'))) Lastly we were welcomed to the amazing landscapes of Meghalaya. One of the ladies separated from us here for an individual 2 day journey I prepared for her. The rest 4 of us went trekking into a canyon near Cherrapunji. These places are some of the best discoveries of my traveling life. I was happy to share this beautiful experience with you!
P.S. I have to admit, this tour was not easy for me — because of the notorious money reform in India started in November, because of misfortunes and accidents in the lives of the people close to me. But during the hard times one finds real friends (or realizes that some of the friends are real people, worthy people whom one can rely on
). It was my great luck to see that I have many good friends! I'm very grateful to them. Thanks to them I could settle the troubles beforehand and I with my group didn't face any money issues during our tour. Everything went very well!
A very nice company came to travel with me this May. It was the first time that I had met men who have remained close friends for more than 35 years — since they were at school! That is even longer than I have been alive in this world, so it was very interesting and inspiring for me to see such an example. I created this tour program especially for them. We spent 10 days in the Himalayas. There were a lot of walks in nature — sometimes across wild slopes without any trails. We had lots of good talks over tasty food. The experience would not be wholly authentic without bumpy jeep rides on mountain roads — we couldn’t avoid the rough roads even though we tried our best :). The weather was mostly nice and sunny during our travel! We only had a couple of, somewhat, rainy days. Good fortune allowed us to witness how the gods of Kullu valley were socializing with one another. It was lucky of us to visit some of the holy places in the region, soaking in their vibrations, to be invited to a traditional Himachali house and, finally, to join a bunch of Hindus constructing a temple for a night bonfire and Bhajan-song session at the altitude of 3000 m. It is my belief that the trip was well worth the effort and my guests were all able to peek into the mysterious souls of the Indian people.
This was the second time we went wandering around North-East India during the winter of 2015—2016. It was so delightful!!! Words are not enough to describe this beautiful experience. The group felt very friendly and comfortable with each other since 3 out of 4 guests came to travel with me for the second time. We were having fun with elephants, rode bicycles, swam in waterfalls, fought leeches, tried home-made rice beer, listened to fascinating sounds of subtropical jungles and communicated to so many different people — unbelievably different in 3 individual worlds of Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya. I want to thank all the travelers. It was great! Thank you!!!
‘Wild’ North-East India feels dearer to my heart with each time I go there. The people are absolutely wonderful. The nature’s beauty is fascinating. This relatively small territory encompasses unbelievably different realities, sometimes even contradicting to each other, but the most amazing aspect about this region is how it has very little in common with the general image most of us might have of India. That is what I like most about it; that is what I admire — India allows people to be the way they are. These people are ‘tribal’ aboriginal people, but they were never moved to special reservations. No one tried to eradicate them, which was generally the case historically of some ‘civilized’ countries. They were allowed to remain as themselves, having been given a special status in the constitution of India. Of course, today’s progress and economic development can be seen everywhere and globalization is slowly penetrating this region as well, but, nonetheless…I’m happy to see them going their way all by themselves.
And, meanwhile, we go our way! This trip was important for me as I was presenting these places to someone else for the first time, and I am especially pleased that my first guests for the new tour were real men who tolerated all minor difficulties as they presented themselves. Many Thanks to Vladimir and Dmitry and because of them there were no worries and no fears even when we discovered a couple of human scalps on the wall in our guest house ;).