On The Road

  • Looking for a tiger in India....part 3
    Wednesday, 18 January 2012

    Looking for a tiger in India....part 3

    The story so far. I had arrived in Mumbai, toured Udaipur and drove through Rajasthan. I had also broken my leg. I refused to go back to Mumbai as I was searching for a tiger. We drove into Jaipur to the Hotel Alsisor Haveli. The hotel was built in 1892 as the family mansion of the Shekawat clan. In 1993 they turned it into a heritage hotel.

  • Looking for a tiger in India....part 2
    Sunday, 15 January 2012

    Looking for a tiger in India....part 2

    The story so far.......we had arrived in Mumbai and after a week I flew to Udaipur. I was driving across Rajasthan to meet a tour group in Jaipur. http://dianeworland.blogspot.com/2012/01/looking-for-tigerpart-1.html I’m a smoker and although my driver, Shivanth Singh Rathan, said it was OK to smoke in the car I respected that it was his place of work. This was my second more serious mistake.

  • Looking for a tiger in India....part 1
    Wednesday, 11 January 2012

    Looking for a tiger in India....part 1

    I was going to find a tiger. There are only around 3,500 tigers across the entire Indian continent. They are endangered and sightings are rare. I realise that looking for wild animals can be very dangerous. I didn’t realise that this search would have me rushed into hospital for emergency surgery. In 2005 we had gone to Mumbai and Tamil Nadu to pitch for our first Indian client. By mid 2006  the contracts had been signed and work had begun. Omar went to Mumbai start the implementation of the program. He was meant to be away for three weeks and ended up staying  for two months. He stayed at the Taj Lands End and had wonderful views of the start of the monsoon season breaking across Mumbai from the Arabian Sea.

  • The start of a love hate relationship...India
    Wednesday, 04 January 2012

    The start of a love hate relationship...India

    We had always wanted to go to India but couldn’t think of a reasonable excuse. In 2004 Sterlite Industries, with head offices in Mumbai and smelters on the port of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, contacted us expressing an interest in MINEMAN Systems. They asked for a submission and we felt that to do a proper submission we needed to visit both Mumbai and Tuticorin and talk to them face-to-face. Just before we left there was a terrible tsunami and both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka were badly affected and we thought that the trip would be called off. Tuticorin was lucky in that it was in the shadow of Sri Lanka and was hardly damaged at all. We had to fly to Madurai to get to Tuticorin and it was decided that I would stay there because we didn’t know what we would find on the coast, despite Sterlite’s assurances. So off to India we went.

  • Kite Flying at Chowpatty Beach
    Saturday, 31 December 2011

    Kite Flying at Chowpatty Beach

    In January India celebrates Makara Sankranthi, the world's largest kite flying competition.  The major competition is held in Ahmedabad. Mumbai celebrates it in a smaller way on Chowpatty Beach. Chowpatty Beach is on the most northern part of Marine Drive and is Mumbai's most favourite beaches. The kite flying competition involves fighting kites. Fighting kites have fins but no tails. The kites become very dangerous when the lines are embedded with an abrasive. This is usually made of finely crushed glass and glue and turns the kites into attack weapons. Some also have metal knives attached to hook and cut the opponents line. Prior to the actual festival people congregate on the beach for the simple pleasure of flying kites.

  • Bali Part 1
    Thursday, 29 December 2011

    Bali Part 1

     I have been visiting Bali for decades and felt it's time to explain why I keep coming back. I'll start with a potted history of Bali. In approximately 2000BC Bali was inhabited by Austronesian people who came via China. They bought with them Indian, Chinese and Hindu culture. In both the 11th and 14th centuries Bali was invaded by the Javanese. When the Javanese left they had the luxury of 100 or so years of peace. The Portuguese discovered Bali in 1585 when a ship was wrecked off the Bukit Peninsula. They couldn't see any tourist potential and forgot to take time to smell the spices. They went home empty handed and with nowhere to go for Christmas holidays.

  • Shanghai...a city on steroids
    Sunday, 25 December 2011

    Shanghai...a city on steroids

    It's was my birthday and I decided that there were better things to do than the laundry back home. Quickly got on the web and decided to go on to Shanghai. We had been in Shanghai in 2007. Then it was a city on steroids. Massive building and growth. All the older areas were being knocked done in preparation for the 2010 Expo. We had stayed in the French Concession area which had a certain Sino-European charm to it. This time I chose to stay near The Bund at The Peninsular. 

  • A birthday among the ruins
    Sunday, 25 December 2011

    A birthday among the ruins

    I decided that I really wanted to be floating down the Nile with a glass of champagne. This was before the Arab Spring. This was before there was death and destruction on a vast scale. This was before brutal despots had been thrown out by brave people wanting their freedom. Not being so brave I didn't want to be ducking for cover and spilling the champagne.

  • Let the blogging begin
    Thursday, 22 December 2011

    Let the blogging begin

    This is the start of what I hope will be a daily blog. So there will be mistakes as I learn. As 2011 comes to an end it is opportune to reflect on the year. It started slowly. The first frisson was an overnight stay at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in January.

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