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Leaving Colombo Sri Lanka for our overland excursion to India and the Taj

The Local Lion Beer in Colombo Sri Lanka

We pulled into the port of Colombo Sri Lanka about noon yesterday after two days at sea en route from Phuket Thailand. Seas were wonderful calm and blue. Temps in this part of the world at this time are rather warm. Bill and I walked for two hours following the wrong route out of port in Colombo while Dawn went on a shopping and art tour we were not needed on. One Thousand local Tuk Tuks asked us if we wanted a ride and we actually did because it was 90 and a feels like temp of 105 degrees. We were stubborn though because it was supposed to be a max 15 minute walk if you went the right way. We were finally so sweat bedraggaled (a word?) that we walked into the only American style hotel we saw and sat in the lobby for a while to cool off. Looking for the Pettah shopping street we found instead the rail station so walked on finally to find the shopping street that was filled with cheap stuff (crap) and so crowded we got out of there first chance. We have never been to India and Sri Lanka is the gateway. They were at war for many many years with the North and the Tamil Tigers but things are now calm but reading the paper not completely sorted out. We had a 2:45 am wake up call this morning to meet in the bar on deck five prior to 3:45am leaving on buses for the Colombo airport. Boarded a Sri Lanka Airline flight bound for New Delhi India a 3.5 hour flight with a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast of curry chicken, rice, etc. Flight was good in an ancient airbus A320-200. The Sri Lanka government is selling half the airline to wall street or others as it looses money big time but is nice like we used to be in the old days when they all lost money but had food.

New Delhi is about 24 million and grows every day. India is a third the size of the USA but has THREE times more people and they are everywhere. We have two big buses with 17 people each for our tours. Today we had some time so looked at the Presidential Palace here in New Delhi, the capital of India. Saw all the embassy's and missions and visited a tomb and the India Gate from the Raj Times of the British.

Oh, Colombo. For dinner we made a failed reservation by phone for the Ministry of Crab but managed to get in after waiting a while. Trip advisor listed #6 in Colombo but a magazine listed as #1, it was great. We had three XL sized crabs, one Chilli Crab, one chilli Garlic crab, and one curry crab. Lots of bread too along with a little water and wine. Tomorrow we leave by bus for Agra India to see the Taj Mahal Fort and a sunset viewing of the Taj from across the Ganges river. Its a 4.5 bus ride leaving at 8:00am. We are staying tonight in Delhi at the Oberoi and tomorrow the Agra Oberoi, Very nice hotels. Then off to Japuir for the pink palace hotel forget the name then off early to meet the ship in Mumbai. By the way, it was 103 actual F today and with a little wind reminded us of a convection oven. Forecast for Agra is 105 degrees.

Ministry of Crab. Owned by 3 Cricket Players from Colombo

Approach to New Delhi airport

Colombo market of dried fish, smells no charge

This tomb is the inspiration for the Taj built by the wife

Delhi Traffic, good luck

His Tomb

Yes a snake charmer and yes he got a dollar for the picture. and yes it was a real live cobra.

Oberoi Pool, we had a swim

Oberoi fountain pool lunch view

Gate at tomb New Delhi

Monkeys along street. The story is that this area was once forest with monkey's and when it was built up the Monkey's stayed.

This boy was the only reason the Monkey's were in this location. He has a big plate of small bananas for sale to locals. Hindu Karma says you may be bad but if you treat an animal to something good you increase your karma. Feral dogs everywhere for the same reason. They will feed them to feel good and protest groups won't let them neuter the dogs. Very sad but in a country with such unbelievable poor people life is cheap. They do have unionized beggars.

India Gate built by the Raj Much French influence in design

Ministry of Crab Dinner in Colombo Sri Lanka

Northern Sri Lanka coast

What a Great Place. No Air Con though. Ok it was only feels like 102 at dinner. The temp was only half the hot, spices the other.

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