Visit India

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Collymarps's Goal

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In December 2010 we embarked on an ambitious journey to India.

Starting in Delhi we explored Rajasthan with the blue city of Jodphur, pink city of Jaipur, spotted monkeys in Pushkar, watched the sun set over the stunning lake palaces in Udiapur, hunted in vain for tigers in Rathambore national park and saw our first wonder of the world - The Taj Mahal!

We then headed south to the laid back, steamy backwaters of Kerala for beach life, riding converted rice barges and drinking beer from teapots.

India is a difficult, dirty, polluted and heartbreaking country to visit in some respects. I thought I was prepared for the poverty and the chaos, I wasn't.

People sleep on the streets in the shadows of multi million pound sky scrapers, children starve and people still die of treatable illnesses.

Despite wanting to visit India for years, half of the time I wanted to go home.

But just as you think you've reached the end of your patience, tolerance or wits, India has a way of showing you exactly why you wanted to come in the first place.

Whether it is architecture so exquisite it makes you cry, or whether it is a crowd of local women in jewel bright saris, a market full of exotic produce or simply eating peanut curry on the rooftop of a havali overlooking a tranquil lake.

Make no mistake, seeing the real India is hard work, it isn't a holiday, a lot of the time it felt like an endurance race.

But it was worth it. For every grim, upsetting, gut wrenching sadness, there was always something uplifting.

Despite saying I'd never go back, enough time has passed for me to remember the good and to know that I'll be heading out there again.

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