Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

travel update from Diu India

"For the most part, only the light characters travel. Who are you that have no task to keep you at home?" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Greetings from Diu. Diu is a small island off the coast of the state of Gujaret in India. It is only about 11km long and 4 km wide. It is very close to the mainland and is attached by a bridge. I am only aboutr a hundred km from Pakistan, as the seagull flys...I have been here since 5/1/007. I just bought a train ticket to go to Udaipur from Ahmadabad on 23/1/007. Ahmadabad is about 10 or 12 hours from here by bus.
I have already been to Ahmadabad. it is very crowded and dirty and polluted. They have a great outdoor night time market there and some nice museums and a man made lake that is very nice. They also have a wonderful and very famous Jain Temple there and they are most well known as the place where Mohatma Gandi lived in his ashram during his non violent revolution against England.I was theres for 3 days and dont really want to go back but that is the way I must go.
Diu has been a FANTASTIC experience. It is a quiet and beautiful island. It is a former portugese posession and has lots of ruins of old walls and forts. There are also some nice old churches. The town of Diu is many hundreds of years old and so the streets are very narrow and the buildings are all old and really cool looking. because the streets are so narrow there is no bus or truck traffic here, there are also no taxis just the rickshaws and lots of motorcycles, vespa style scooters and bicycles. It is cleaner and quieter and much more pleasant than other places I have been so far.
There are two reasons one comes to Diu (pronounced like "D'you know what time is is?"). Peaople come here to drink alcohol. Because it is part of Gujarat which is a dry state and no alcohol is allowed. Here booze is allowed so lots of indians come here to get a little drinky-pooh. The other reason is the beaches.
The beaches here are not so famous as in Goa and they are much harder to get to. They are said to be less beautiful. But they are clean and lovely and almost deserted. Never more than a dozen persons or so. The waves are small or not at all so there isnt any surfing but the water is wonderful for swimming and there is nice soft sand. This place is also much cheaper than Goa. There are many nice enuf hotels for 100rps but I am in a place called Jay Shankar.
My room here costs 200rps (US$4.50per) night. I have a "one speed only" ceiling fan and a t.v. which doesnt work. A private bathroom which features cold slightly salty water and an aroma that I cant quite put my finger on but is not good!!! I believe they clean the bathroom quite on May 20th every year whether it needs it or not!!! The owner called Jay, is a grouchy grumpy old man who acts like he has shit in his pants and diaper rash. His staff is his wife whom he yells at all the time and 3 granchildren who he also is not kind to and who have learned from him to NEVER be friendly to a guest!!! He sells cheap alcohol and so-so food in his restaurant with 4 star pommes frites (french fry potatoes). So why do I stay there?
It has a wonderful balcony overlooking some 300year old ruins and the top of an old church and a tree filled feild which is home to scores of exotic fantasticly beautiful birds!! I see long tailed pistachio green parats all the time and beautiful doves with orange circles around their eyes. A black bird the size of a hummingbird which has a cobalt blue back. Yesterday a flock of 8 peackocks came in and landed. What a sight!! The males prancing around with their feathers all puffed out... They have a wingspan like a stork.
It is only 100 meters, just a 3 minute walk to the Arabian Sea. Because my hotel is not in town, there is no noise at night except for the sound of the birds and the distant low sound of waves crashing on the sandy beach. I wake each morning to the sound of birds singing on my balcony.
Diu is a place where one becomes un-stuck in time. All of a sudden it is 5 days later!!! Some people come here to party, thats for sure. It is India after all. My second night here I became friends with a bunch of Swiss Germans, two girls and a boy. I was invited to their room where We smoked opium, charas (potent black indian hashish which costs abaout US$2.00 per gram) Some indian ganga (lots of seeds and twigs not so good)and drinking Kingfisher Indian beers. A very stony night indeed. But most of the partiers go to Goa. Most of the Diu traveling folks are here to relax and un-wind.
After a few days here I ran into Tom, the American guy I spent New Years eve with in Aurangabad. He is staying at Hotel Nilesh for 100rps per night in a nicer room with a much better bathroom but he doesnt have the beach so close by or the nice sounds of bird songs. We have been eating dinners together and going to the market together in the mornings. And smoking a cocktail at happy hour before the sunsets.
India is great. I love Asia. You have to be a certain kind of person to dig this country. Aye Zukes it is filthy. There is no getting around it. Cows goats dogs sheep pigs oxen children...They all shit in the streets. People put their garbage out in littel piles for the pigs goats and cows to come and eat. The rest of the rubbish they burn on the side of the road. Everyone here , men women and children, walk around chewing beetel nut or Pan and spit this gross brown liquid on the streets all day and night. Really gross custom. Lotsx of flys and very questionable sanitation skills in the restaurants and the street vendors. The natives are friendly and the women are beautiful and what can I say? I love it here so far. Next update in a coupole of weeks.

"Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination." Roy Goodman

Peace and Love to all who read this