TO INDIA

We fly out from Auckland 1st November at 1.a.m. and arrive in New Delhi at midday; yes the same day!

My first post on the site is background to my association with India. I did a nine month stint there in 1988 working at a Ryder-Cheshire Home located in Dehra Dun, a city spreading out onto the plains of northern Uttar Pradesh. I’d become so entranced with the culture of this wonderful country I ventured out a second time eighteen months later. The population then stood at 800million. Travel was difficult; easily disrupted and sometimes it never happened at all despite every suggestion it would in the ‘Lonely Planet’ . The second trip I travelled around the south of India for three months. I had no anchor this time as the Raphael Home had been the first trip. I travelled from Madras to Trivandrum at the bottom of the sub continent and back up the other side to Goa and finally flipped back to Madras. By the end of such an arduous trip I doubted I would ever return. However with the passing of a year the difficulty of travelling by myself and paying a kid to look after my backpack while going to the loo; paying anyone to hold my place in a queue while I searched for a loo, or just finding a loo saw me relocate to London and make my home there for the following decade.

I’m expecting this trip 25 years later to throw up a whole lot of new experiences. Like child-birth past hardships and difficulties have long since been absorbed into a warm memory of how wonderful it all was. I’ve posted some photos recording my first trip last millennium. They’re bad and had to be prised from a photo album, the reason being why they look the worse for wear. Hopefully digital photos I’ll be posting this time will be a little prettier!

Today the population of India is recorded at 1.237 billion and the differences I’ll encounter are unimaginable. Firstly, I won’t be travelling with a back-pack! I convinced Harry (it wasn’t hard – India is one of the few countries in the world he’s never been) that we should go, safe in the knowledge it would be with a suitcase on wheels this time and sleeping in a bit more luxury than experienced last time. I ditched intrepid travel along with the backpack in 2011!

Children of The Little White House boarding school, Raphael 1988.

Children of The Little White House boarding school, Raphael 1988.

My adopted family New Delhi, 1988.

My adopted family New Delhi, 1988.

Snake Charmer in Mussorie, Uttar Pradesh, 1988.

Snake Charmer in Mussorie, Uttar Pradesh, 1988.