We arrived here at 5 am via the infamous train trip.  The train trip made me so ill; I feel so bad right now, and have been feeling very bad for the two days we where here.  The first morning when I woke up here, I was in “full retard” mode (Tropic Thunder), i.e. I think I had minor heat stroke; it was the most bizarre and scary thing that has happened to me in my life.  My mind felt like Hal 9000 out of 2001, except the core processing units where being put back in, after removal.  I thought it was a game at first, but I was just messed up.  To start I had trouble even putting on my trousers, and then when I realised my T-shirt had gone missing, it blew my mind.  I could not imagine where it could be or what could of become of it.  It is really hard to explain, but it felt like “my mind [was] expanding (Dave)”.  This is the strangest thing that has happened to me in my life.  My mind was being blown from sensory overload and concepts for allot of the day, until I  returned to “normal”.  I swear I did not take drugs, heat stroke did that to me.


Our hotel the Shri Maya here is very Silent-Hill-esque (according to Lauran) with long empty corridors; foreboding doors and various other scary nick nacks, like the red hand marks down stairs.  The toilet in our room looks like something out of a insane asylum.  I can’t explain how creepy it its.  Anyway, the food here is very subtle, which is what I need, but the buffet breakfast consists of raw toast and corn flakes with water.  The other guys have eggs etc, but I wont eat non-vegan food still.  I am a little less strict, but my body would not want to know even if I allowed my self that “food”.


  We checked out two series of ancient temple cave structures here: Anjuna and Ellorra.   We hired a guy to take us to these places, at the same price as a coach, except without the suffering.  Ajuna was a major pain: they make you pay the “tourist tax”, which is something I don’t believe in, coming from London where all Museums are free to anyone; they made us buy four tickets in Total on the trip, and on every occasion the person selling them tried to rip me off.  When it came to the final ticket, it was being sold my some anonymous PR at the bottom of the hill, who looked to be a scam man and was ignored by us; you really can’t tell who is legit and who is official here, as they feel no need for uniform and the con-men and legit guys, all have the same lines i.e. at the train station, there will always be conductors asking for you tickets, who are in fact thieves and conmen, but you just can’t tell, so you walk away until you find out you made a mistake.  Anyway, we walked a massive hill and lots of paths to reach the security gate and some guys telling us to walk back down the hill, for our purple tickets.  The caves where fairly amazing, but the conservation policy toward the best one is stupid, as they will not allow you within six metres of the barely visible decor.  They had “scientific, restoration” in a few caves, the scientific was in bold, as if to try and convince us and them selves, they know what they are doing.  The fumes where not pleasant, and I expect in the EU, no one would be allowed to breath them. The heat was so bad, even for me, which is very strange.  The heat here is too much for me of all people.  I was suffering heat-fatigue towards the end of the day and had trouble doing much of anything; I skipped a few caves, because it was to hard for me to take off my sandals and then walk… so I sat in the shade for quite a few as the guys explored.  The puter for tinternet here is windows 98… so I am will probably be posting this and two other blogs in Delhi, where we are heading tomorrow.  Ellora was an easier version of Anjuna, with very few hills and equally beautiful caves, including a very sick  good temple to Vishnew (don’t know how to spell take) which featured bats as well.  The main temple there is an absolutel huge tomb raid / Indiana Jones temple carved into the rock.  The guy who ran the restaurant their, was very decent and he offered to split our bills individually, which was shocking as no one has done that before.  I spent most of the day suffering heat exhaustion and involuntary coughing and sneezing; while I have been here, my nose has not stopped running at all, my nose is raw from being blown every five minutes; I was to spaced out to realise that it is allergies; I took an anti-histamine and that seems to fix it.  My cough got progressive worse throughout the day; I was unable to eat earlier, but had some pineapple juice and bill-sweets.  After this evening, we headed back to the place, where I have adopted the foetal position for a few hours.  I was just coughing so bad, it caused me to vomit; I believe the “vomit” which is just water and junk, may have come from my chest, as my chest immediately began to feel better. 





We looked into getting me onto a plane to Dehli instead of the 24 hour train, but it is to expensive.  I couldn’t deal with the idea earlier, but feel a little better now.  The train may kill me, in which case I will load up on Amoxicilian in Dehli, as Tom’s mum recommends. The queue for the train tickets was unreal, with the Indian queuing system of barging in.  We waited maybe 40 minutes to get to the front, only to have some guys who had ticket issues attempt to muscle us out of the way, even though we where far faster in getting our tickets.  The queue made jokes at our expense as they attempted to butt in, even a Lieutenant and other lower rank police officer thought it hilarious to mock us.  We have 2 tickets together and two apart, which means I will have 24 hours of train fun, on my own, with no food to eat.  I will load up on snacks before hand, as sweets are the only thing I can stomach right now.  Luaren reckons my recent low calorie diet, due to lack of appetite, post sickness, may be keeping me perpetually ill.


  The moving from place to place thing, is really hurting me, so we will be spending up to 5 days in an Ashram for some yoga and meditation.; but I still have to get through a 24 hour train journey and another train into Rajistan from Delhi a day or so later.  Oh yeah, I shaved my dreads off in a fit of rage last night at 4 in the morn as it was itching so very much and it is hard to sleep with anyway.  The attention I was getting, was getting to me also.


The people here are really nice! They want to say hello to you and don’t want to take your money, which is very refreshing.  The people at the caves all wanted to have their picture taken with foreigners, which I guess is for status or something, but one person hysterically laughed after have a picture taking with me, with was very scary, as if he thought he had stolen my soul; some kids wanted their picture taken with me and Tom… which was a massive no-no and run away (for reasons you should be able to deduce).  I have one bad thing to say about our hotel: they charged our two separate rooms, and four separate people in one bill, with no real way to verify the charge.  Mike reckons it is okay, but we all had different meals, and different drinks plus different laundry, so a four way split is unfair and is only good for a lazy hotelier; it also makes it easier to inflate the price.


  I am getting tired of being ripped off, but Lauren and Mike say I need to chill out and just accept it.  Every shop or merchant, except a few will attempt to rip you off.  Barter is fine in my opinion, because they are exploiting your ignorance legitimately, but having someone attempting to sell you water etc at an inflated price to the MRP (max retail price) printed on the bottle is demeaning and upsetting, especially when you have to point it out to them.  I really do not want to be making these comments, but it is the truth of what is happening; I suspect my long illness is tainting my mind with negative thoughts though.


  Sorry for the length of this, I suspect most wont get this far anyhow; but I am just trying to take my mind off the flu.  One last thing: this place reminds me of all the videos I have seen, of Americans in Afghanistan; I half expect an M1 Abrams, to go across the central reservation and take out a few cars, at any moment; it is a scary comparison, but the cheesy and ridiculous advert boards, are somehow comforting. Delhi tomorrow.





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