All posts tagged: Fujifilm XT100

The Gateway To India

I will forever have a lasting memory of my first sighting of Mumbai formerly known as the city of Bombay. I was flying in from Goa, it was mid afternoon on a beautiful sunny day and I was unable to see the landscape below sadly due to a heavy layer of smog.  The approach into Mumbai felt similar to flying into Queenstown in New Zealand, out of nowhere appeared rocky formations outside the plane window giving you the sense that they were too close!  But what really struck me as we descended low enough to see what was on the ground below, was the extensive rows of slums, falling on top of each other. It is believed that over 50% of Mumbai’s population are living in slums. Once on the ground however you discover a bustling cosmopolitan city which I loved experiencing what culturally they had to offer with their museums, restaurants and shops putting them on par with other great cities around the world. You could sense the Bollywood revenue infiltrating its way through parts of …

Under The Goan Sun

It was time to head north to relax and enjoy some time on the beach.  I had ten days to experience the beaches of Goa and I was planning on splitting my time between Arambol, Vagator and Palolem.  All had been recommended by friends to visit. Known for their party vibes, I was warned Arambol and Vagator wouldn’t be quiet destinations, however the beaches were very quiet everywhere, but it was still nice to see more foreigners around. It was now April and with the season starting to wind down, each day resorts would dismantle their properties in preparation for the monsoon season ahead.  It was quite eerie to watch especially when the restaurant I had dined in Palolem the night prior, had disappeared the next day. Arambol with its long stretching coastline was an idyllic spot to rest for a few days. It was windy making it a popular destination for kite surfers, but it was nice to walk along the beach and enjoy the warmth of the sun.  I was greeted with the Buddha …

Old Versus New

Goa was one of those intriguing places I wanted to visit.  I had heard so many mixed stories about it, from people loathing the place and it’s trance party night life, to others who never wanted to leave.  For me, my purpose was purely to relax by the sea. I was warned it would be quiet as it was heading into low season, but that didn’t bother me.  It had been quiet generally everywhere anyway. My first stop was in Panaji, in central Goa.  I arrived late on Good Friday evening, and I spent three nights there.  With it’s Portuguese influence, it was a great place to wonder and admire the architecture. Being Easter places were closed, but there was enough to do and see to keep me occupied.  I spent my first day walking through the streets of the new town and my second day visiting Old Goa.  I stayed in a fabulous guest house in a great location which made my stay that more enjoyable. NEW You can catch a bus from Panaji to …

The Only Way Is Up

After leaving Amrutham Ayurvedic Village Resort refreshed, revived and rejuvenated, I was getting ready to head back up the continent with the view to visiting Hampi, Goa and Mumbai.  But before I made my way there I wanted to visit Madurai and Thanjuvar for their magnificent temples. Logistically it was a large area to cover on my own and I was having a dilemma of how to travel to each destination as I didn’t want to miss anything. But because I had diverted slightly at the start of my trip to meet a friend in Bengularu, I was going to have to zigzag my way back up which was proving to be difficult due to long train journeys, and flights weren’t flying directly to where I wanted to be.  In the end with another recommendation from a friend, I hired a taxi and looped from Kovalam down to the very bottom tip of India to Cape Comorin and then on to Madurai. Kovalam was my least favourite place and I couldn’t wait to leave.  I felt like I was on set …

Hitting Rock Bottom

After travelling for over a month on my own I was ready for some company, and with the indulgence of a house boat all to myself and some time relaxing on the beach in Varkala I was looking forward to the week ahead.  I had booked into Amrutham Ayurvedic Village Resort based near Kovalam.  It was a short taxi ride from Varkala to the retreat, and being slightly out-of-the-way, we were greeted at a junction by a resort escort to guide us to what was to be my home for the next week. After experiencing the five-star treatment at Shreya’s Retreat I knew it would be a tough act to follow, but I had searched for hours trying to find the perfect retreat that would suit what I was looking for.  It had to have yoga and meditation, I wanted to try ayurvedic treatments and it needed to offer the flexibility of free time by a pool and be close to a beach.  All was going well, I had made it safe and sound, I was blessed on …

Sweet Varkala

Varkala was an idyllic place to stay in Kerala. It was recommended to me by a friend and I wasn’t disappointed by adding it to my itinerary. My only regret was that I couldn’t stay longer due to a retreat I had booked near Kovalam.  I spent three nights in Varkala and I could easily have spent a week.  With its beautiful red cliffs, it’s long stretching beaches and the sound of breaking waves, Varkala had a vibe where you could park up and lose yourself day after day. Varkala was my first beach experience in India and having read about the warnings of some of their beaches, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Being a beach lover, I was ready to enjoy sinking my toes into some sand and thankfully it was like spending time on any other beach I’d been too.  The water was clean and the beach was predominantly clear of rubbish. Sure there were roaming eyes and walkers, but there were patrols whistling them away and I was able to really relax …

Chasing Tona

I was buzzing when I discovered the graffiti artist Tona on arrival in India, it was an unexpected surprise.  My first glimpse of the artist was in Puducherry.  I was captivated by the images in front of me, hidden amongst the stunning architecture of the French Quarter.  So much so was my captivation that when I caught a glimpse of the artist again while on a tuk tuk in Bengaluru, I made my friend walk the streets at night in search of this mysterious artist. Sadly we didn’t have any luck that evening in finding Tona, but we did stumble across the Ritz Carlton! To my delight when I saw his art again in the Fort Cochin area I really got excited, they were everywhere. From there on in as I continued to travel through India I was on the look out for Tona.  I discovered more in Varkala (on a boat), and again in Cape Comorin.  From what I can find Tona is a stencil artist based in Hamburg. Sadly I didn’t find anymore …