South India: Paradise Found.
When I pictured India, I pictured Rajasthan. Of course being that India is a sub-continent, this assumption was pretty ill-informed. Upon arriving in India and being able to spend six wonderful weeks there, I was continuously blown away destination after destination, and (usually) in a great way!
We enjoyed touring what we saw of North India in Delhi, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Jaipur, Sawa Madhopur, Rishikesh, and Varanasi. At times travel was frustrating and we found ourselves in less than ideal situations, but overall, the history, culture, and constant chaos left us craving more.
Varanasi in rush hour - not recommended!
The Holy Ghats in Pushkar- A beautiful but hectic place.
We headed south to Mumbai with no idea what to expect. We spent a few days in Mumbai relaxing in the ease of life in our first taste of modernity in a few weeks.
Shopping in a store rather than bargaining at the market in Mumbai, an overpriced experience
We headed to Anjuna, Palolem, Munnar, Allepey, and lastly to Kochi. On the 10 hour overnight train from Mumbai to Thivim, I pondered what we were in store for. Our first night in Anjuna we were blessed with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life. As if the sky was opening itself up to welcome us to paradise.
The sunset in Anjuna - our most beautiful sunset in ten months of travelling.
Beautiful cows on the beach every evening.
Hiking from Anjuna to Vagator.
Anjuna tourist markets set up near the beaches
Anjuna was nice, but in my mind little compares to our slice of paradise: Palolem. On the way through Goa to Palolem, I was glued to the window the entire time. Pictures cannot capture the emotion we felt while soaring by fields of natural palm tree forests and beautiful waterways. I suddenly felt so far from home, yet somehow like I had finally reached somewhere I belong.
Palolems beautiful curved beach from the path to Patnem
Palolem has a beautiful stretch of beach lined with leaning palm trees like something out of a movie. Although the food wasn’t particularly good and there weren’t many ‘tourist attractions’ nearby, we extended our stay here for a full week. Our accommodation was a simple hut right on the beach where the ocean sound put us to sleep and singing birds and sunlight woke us up.
As cliché as that sounds, it was one of the highlights of our trip.
The world's most amazing pineapples: we ate atleast two of these a day!
Allepey and Munnar are spectacular on their own and deserve their own blog post! If you are looking into backpacking India, I suggest starting in the north and ending in South India. There is so much beauty there and the people live at a much more relaxed pace.