Showing posts from January, 2018

An Indian day

I’ve had an Indian sort of a day today. I wanted to go to Osian, an important temple town. I got a rickshaw from the clock tower in Jodhpur to the bus station; having got the driver down from 200 rupees to 50 rupees I then felt guilty because it was further than I expected but he seemed happy enough. At the bus station I located the bus to Osian, with some help. I got on the bus, which showed no signs of departing but had people already on it. The ticket collector arrived and told me to go to window 5 to buy a ticket. There was a little queue but woman are allowed to go straight to the front; unfortunately for me some old women had already done this and were making a tricky purchase which took ages. All the while I hoped the bus would not go without me. When I got my turn I could see why it took so long - the man typed the ticket order on an antiquated computer where several keys clearly didn’t function. He duly printed my $1 ticket and flung it on the counter. I boarded the bus and s…

First week in India (no running)

So I’ve been in India a week now and it’s time to reflect. 
 Getting through immigration was a joke as the fingerprinting machines just weren’t working properly and I got off lightly with only about five failed attempts per hand.
I set out for the city quite soon. I was surprised how busy everywhere was at this time of night. The driver couldn’t find the hotel. He got me to find it online but that didn’t help, then he tried to phone them without success. He went and asked a group of rickshaw drivers for directions and eventually I spotted the sign across the road. The man on the front desk woke up with a jolt when I walked in. I was dead tired as it was 3am on my body clock, but he insisted I look at two rooms to choose between them (and of course the lift wasn’t working properly); neither were very nice. Later I noticed dead cockroaches on the floor, mothballs in the basin (this is an Indian custom), no toilet paper, and a view of a grimy wall.
In the morning I ordered breakfast at the …

Mumbai Marathon 21/01/2018

Advance notice: this story has a happy ending.

When I got up this morning, before 4.30am, I was not expecting to have a good day out on the roads of Mumbai, and I had not been looking forward to this marathon at all because of the heat and humidity. The expo had been, irritatingly, an hour's taxi ride away and in general I didn’t have good vibes about the race. All I had been able to find to buy for breakfast was a packet of biscuits so I ate a handful of these and had a big drink of water.
I left my hotel just before 5am and immediately saw lots of runners in the street, so I followed them towards the start, which was a good thing since they clearly knew a better way than the route I had practised yesterday. As I was crossing one road a female runner (Indian) beckoned to me to join her and we continued together to the start. I was pleased to see she was wearing shorts, like me, because I had worried about getting to and from the race so scantily dressed. The start area, a large ova…

The Hong Kong Trail

Now I’m spending 4 days in Hong Kong before continuing on to India, rather than just the quick overnight I originally planned, so I decided I should do something worthwhile. Like a long hike. There’s a 50 kilometre race here in a couple of weeks' time which I’m not doing (but at one point I did look into doing it) and it’s on an established trail, the Hong Kong Trail. The trail is in 8 sections and it seemed feasible to hike it over 3 days, using public transport to get to and from the section ends.

On Tuesday morning, January 16, I took the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Central and then a bus to the Peak, the start of the hike. The first bus didn’t leave Central until 10am so it was a late start, compounded by difficulty in finding where the trail began. I located it eventually and was surprised how busy it was. But only up to the first lookout - which was a great panorama of all of the central part of Hong Kong Island - and beyond there the crowds dwindled to almost nothing.
Fairly s…