A Sidestep off the beaten track
Visiting hidden gems both East and West…
One could say that seven visits to a single country would be enough to know it at least a little bit but regarding India I feel I have only seen the tip of the iceberg. My hunger for more adventures in this fascinating country hasn’t been satisfied yet. Yes I have seen and experienced a lot during my previous trips but just looking at the map I can easily point out numerous places I have not seen yet. With the diversity India has to offer I can give you plenty of reasons why I want to go back.
And so I decided to return for the 8th time… Since I retired I have made a long trip to India every year and 2020 will be no different, however…
There are two states in India that have been intriguing me tremendously but somehow I had not made it there yet.
The first one is Gujarat in the west, which is unfairly overlooked by many travellers scurrying between Mumbai and Rajasthan. Still it has the reputation of being an easy and highly rewarding sidestep off the tourist trail. In its major city of Ahmedabad one can experience a deep sense of culture and remarkable architecture. The countryside holds some of the state’s best treasures like asiatic lions, as well as sacred Jain and Hindu pilgrimages. Also Gujarat claims a special relationship to Mahatma Gandhi, not only was he born here, but it’s also the state he made his famous Salt March. No other excuses needed to explore this unknown state.
Completely at the other side of India, in the east, is Odisha. It’s a favourite destination for adventurous travellers. Although off the beaten track it’s an intricate patchwork of archeological wonders, fascinating tribal culture, natural beauty, and has a generous sprinkling of sun and sand. More than enough reasons I would say to go and have a look myself.
For me no trip to India is complete without a visit to Goa and spend some time doing yoga, meditate and relax at my beloved Little Cove before returning home. This year however I have to split up my time in as my good friend and yoga teacher Ravi has opened his own breathtaking resort on one of the most southern beaches in Goa.
Everything comes at a price and this year I was not so sure whether I had made the right decision… I cannot deny that on one side I was extremely excited about this trip but on the other side it meant being separated from Vladi for such a long period of time. I had very mixed feelings about this and although I knew he was really happy and excited for me it without doubt was hard for him being home alone. During my trip I missed him tremendously and in spite of our almost daily WhatsApp chats and video calls it simply was not the same without him. I knew I would have a fantastic time but innerly I was also be happy to return to Dusseldorf where Vladi was waiting for me at the airport…
So here is the story of my 2020 India adventure.
An adventure that saw an abrupt ending four weeks early due to the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19…
Although I was devastated at first looking back it was good to be home again! And when I look back to my memories no one can take those away from me now. It was a fabulous time!
Champaner & Pavagadh
Gir national Park