Sardinia: Beaches, Cork Trees and Cobblestone

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Over the span of two nights, I’ve had the two best pasta dishes of my entire life: One on a small farm in the mountains around Nuoro, the other in the seaside village of Alghero. Two weeks have past since we left the turbulence of Rome, and set foot on Sardinia, the southern of the two islands (Corsica to the north), directly west of mainland Italy. In this short time we’ve spent the days lying on pristine beaches, exploring and …

Rags on Sticks, and Pig Skin; or Rome pt. 2

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Rewind a couple of days. The flight was pretty standard: watched some movies, had some drinks and questionable food, and stared at the insides of my eyelids for hours at a pathetic attempt at airplane sleep. Landing in Rome, we cab to the centre of the city and find our hotel. Already over-tired, just looking to put our bags in a room and get some food, we attempt check-in. Here’s where the fun starts. Through one reason or another, when …

Sleep Deprivation is a Powerful Drug; or Rome pt. 1

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Three days in Rome should be enough. I’m thinking about monkeys. It’s sometime in the afternoon of the second day, the windows to our very small, though quite beautiful hotel room are shut, curtains doing their best to block out any shred of light from the outside, and the power is off entirely. Last time I was in the washroom, I avoided looking at my reflection in the mirror because the time before that, I barely recognized what was staring …

Eating at the French Laundry

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Our first real introduction to the French Laundry was many years ago on Anthony Bourdain’s first show: A Cooks Tour. We’d browsed the legendary cookbook before, but at the time couldn’t really grasp it’s magnitude. At the time, the restaurant held the number one spot in the world, a concept that simple line cooks in culinary school couldn’t fathom. Fast forward nearly a decade, and Kylee drops one of the biggest surprises on me, several months before my birthday. Now, …

Back to Mumbai… or a Little more Goa

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Well, the last day in paradise arrived. One last swim in the warm, salty waters of the Arabian sea, a quick breakfast, and we check out of our bamboo beach hut. After walking through the burning sand to the main road, we grab a rickshaw back to the ‘town’ at Palolem to catch our bus back to Margao.  From there, the plan is to meet up with the main bus back to Mumbai; and after that 16 hour bus ride, …

Goa

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And to think, of all our plans for this trip, we hadn’t included Goa. Thought about it yes, but thought it would actually happen? Goa is a tiny little state about 12 hours south of Mumbai, and thinking we wouldn’t even have enough time left after traveling the north, even making Mumbai in time was a minor concern. Long blog short, plans changed, and we hopped our train to Mumbai, and from there, the first one we could down south …

India v2.0

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The last week is a blur. As I previously mentioned, Udaipur was a great time. The guesthouse we stayed at was the first true ‘guesthouse’ of the trip. With only three rooms, one of which is occupied by the owner Johar, it is not you’re typical accommodation. First of all, Johar is a very westernized Indian, fluent in English, and sympathetic towards the small day-to-day bullshit a foreign traveler goes through in his country. Secondly, while staying with him, he …

Eid al-Adha

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About a week ago on the train to Jaisalmer, we were told about Eid al-Adha: the Muslim festival commemorating the story in which Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son Issac to prove his love for Allah, and at the last minute, Allah stopped him and provided him with a sheep instead. For the Western (Christian, Jewish…) equivalent, simply change Ibrahim with the obvious Abraham, and Allah to God, and you’ll find the same story in those their associated texts. …

Rajasthan: Into the Desert with a Bhang

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We knew all about Diwali, the Hindu equivalent of Christmas, the festival of lights… but for whatever reason, we decided to make this the day we travel to the next location, or at least begin the journey. Overall, it really wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as smooth as it normally would have been. Any other day of the year, a bus runs direct from McLeod Ganj, straight to Pathankot (where our train to Rajasthan leaves from). Being the …

Kulcha Shock: Punjab & Dharamsala

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After another less-than-pleasant overnight train, we arrive around seven in the morning at the city of Amritsar, in Punjab province. Walking through the city early in the morning, pre-traffic, we are accompanied mostly by a few random people, stray dogs, and burning piles of the previous days garbage on the side of the road. With few auto-rickshaws (therefore lack of competition) around so early in the morning, we decide to walk the whole way, just a few kilometers, rather than …