Be Back Whenever


“A few of our favorite things …”

Now that the trip is coming to an end, we reflected over a gin and tonic about the good and the bad of the last 8 months. For what it’s worth …

  • Favorite “normal” places we visited – Seychelles (Mark);  Split (Susan)
  • Favorite adventure – Rwanda trekking with gorillas
  • Least favorite “adventure” – hike across Le Curieuse Island in the Seychelles
  • Least favorite town – Bundi, India
  • Least favorite “things” during the trip – Food poisoning (Susan); Bad tour guide in Bundi and Kota

Best place for a drink

  • Beer in Serengeti
  • India Pacific train
  • Catamaran to MONA in Hobart
  • Beer while watching the total lunar eclipse from the rooftop in Bundi
  • Wine on the twilight sailing yacht in Fremantle

Best place we stayed (Other than with friends)

  • Meridien in the Seychelles with an oceanfront room
  • Sheraton in Koh Samui – best A/C of all!
  • Meridien in Koh Samui with a plunge pool

Worst Hotel – Bundi Vilas Halewi

Best Hotel Lounge – Bangkok Westin

Best flight – Munich to Bangkok in First Class on Thai Air

Worst travel day – Port Macquarie to Hobart – 4 hours of flying time turned into a 14 hour trip

Best restaurant

  • Steak at the Jail House Inn, Launceston
  • Mexican food at Terminal 21, Bangkok after 5 months of no Mexican food

Best restaurant view – Indique in Jodphur

Worst food – Colonel’s Retreat, Delhi – Susan’s food poisoning location!

Worst roads – India, hands down!

Rudest person on the trip – UK couple on the train in India

Weirdest person we ran into on the trip – the Indian guy who stared at us for 4 hours on the Indian train

“Glad it wasn’t me” event – Aileen not getting her luggage for 5 days on the safari

Great coincidence –  Aileen didn’t have her phone charger and she used her phone to take pictures. Mark had his camera since he used his phone for pictures.  He loaned Aileen the camera but didn’t have the charger for it.  Annie from Tennessee had a charger that fit the camera! All was well in the photography world.

Unexpected experiences

  • Twilight sailing in Fremantle on a yacht and dinner at the Fresh Water Yacht Club
  • Seeing 2 kills in Serengeti by 3 lionesses. They killed 2 wildebeests
  • Landing in Mwanza, Tanzania, to clear immigration leaving Tanzania
  • Food Walks in Delhi and Jaipur

Little too close for comfort – the airline we flew in Tanzania crashed a plane into Ngorongoro Crater National Park just a few days after we used them

Illnesses – 4 colds (2 each) and 1 case of food poisoning and 1 sprained wrist

New friends and acquaintances

  • Avijet – Indian in Ranthambore NP from CA – works for EAS
  • Ana – met in Split – anesthesiologist from Singapore/Malaysia/Cambridge
  • Nora and Juhis – Finland met in Seychelles
  • Rob and Justin; Sonya and Graham – Australians met in Split
  • Peter from Melbourne via Rob and Justin
  • Gayle and Mark – Sydney
  • Margarida – Sydney Sheraton clerk from Portugal
  • Ben and Belinda – from Geneva – met in Golden Monkey trek
  • Uta – from Germany met in Tanzania
  • Ryan from Malta – met in Edinburgh
  • Clifford – from Madagascar – doing laundry in Bangkok
  • Suchin Shah – from South Carolina – sells RV’s
  • Per and Lise – from Norway
  • Debbie and Tim – from London

Even more signs

We have LOTS of sign pictures!

Warning sign in Jodphur, India – selfies and the guard rail warnings are good.

Snake warning sign

Snake warning signs are everywhere in Australia! We never saw a snale, thank heavens.

Sun warning sign

Yes, this sign really exists. We’ll pass on the political thoughts that came to mind when we saw it in Western Australia.

Ladies out of order sign

Mark thinks there must be a joke in these signs somewhere.



First stop was the Jaswant Thada Memorial to the Maharajas where they are cremated and then a memorial is built over the ashes.


More mausoleums on the same site.

memorial to Maharaja

Jaswant Thada. It has translucent marble walls. They are beautiful when the sun shines through them.

Jodhpur has a current maharaja but he has no power.  It was all given up in 1971. The maharajahs could keep their land and holdings by paying a tax to the government. This maharajah kept the palace (Now a Taj hotel is on the property.) and deeded the Mehrangarh Fort and other palaces to a trust in the same form as in England. He became King at age 4 and was educated in England so likes the UK form of trusts for national monuments.

Amber fort and walls

Mehrangarh Fort from across the lake. We could walk, take an elephant, or have Sonu take us to the top!

Amber Fort

Mehrangarh Fort  Jodhpur

After we finished at the fort, we walked down through the blue city – home to Brahmin caste and jewelry smiths, historically – through the temple area, past the public kitchens, bangle market, wholesale spice market and grain markets.  We ended up at the clock tower where the clock was built using the same type of mechanism as Big Ben.  It was a block from the hotel!

Yes, potato chips can be bought loose. I have no idea what a kilo of these costs. I stuck to finding strange flavors of Lay’s potato chips!


A bangle bracelet vendor. Pick your favorite color!

The country people buy the bangles in wholesale and mark them up a bit, selling them in small quantities.  They come to the same location every day to sell them.  The sari section sells used saris. The people buy old ones and then resell them here for uses as curtains and other items that need large quantities of fabric.

fireworks stand

One section of the market had fireworks stands everywhere.

Michael, tour guide, was great! He’s from around Goa and earned a MS in Tourism Mgmt.  Told us good info and answered questions about India. He’s Catholic so no long weddings for him but he did have receptions on different days from wedding – one for his veggie friends and one for his non-veggie friends.

building scaffolding

Makeshift scaffolding for carrying bricks and mortar from one level to another.

We watched construction across the street – ramps used from one story to the other to move cement and bricks!

We could see this groom on a horse from the rooftop restaurant where we ate dinner. He was accompanied by friends and a very loud music truck!

A procession for the groom came by the hotel so everyone was watching from the roof.  The groom-to-be is on a white horse.