International Hop-Scotch

I’ve started writing this in the departure lounge at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, India; my second time visiting this amazing country, a country full of contrast. Life in the rat race provides unexpected opportunities at times and an expansion of my IT support team means that this is the first of at least three, possibly four, trips to the city of Pune, Maharashra, that I plan to take this year.

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Three flights each way to get here and return home Birmingham > Dubai > Delhi > Pune : hence the title of this blog.  On my return home I’ve just spent a very brief night stopping over in a marble palace ; the Sheraton Hotel in Delhi.  I’m not used to such glitz and luxury but I’m sure I’d wouldn’t want to pitch one of my tents out on the streets of this city of almost 12 million people. The city sees the whole spectrum of humanity, for the untouchable beggars sleeping rough on the street or under makeshift shelters to rich businessmen and Westerners like myself living it up in swanky hotels where the absurdity of a choice of 6 different pillows is on offer contrasting with the squalor and extreme poverty that can be seen out on the streets …



My week has been spent in Pune.  It’s been a flying visit landing there at midnight last Sunday and flying out directly after finishing work yesterday (Friday).  Memories of my last trip to Pune in 2006 remain vivid. I suffered 3 weeks of violent stomach upset and the consequential antibiotics meant I was not overly keen to return…  …but this trip has been wonderful with no food poisoning and it’s been very productive workwise.  I’m genuinely sad to be leaving and now wish that I could stay an additional week here.  As I said, it’s a country of extremes and the colour and vibrancy of the city contrasts against the poverty that I’ve already mentioned. It’s been a nice 30°C here this last week and it’s been a great perk to escape the depression of the cold and damp British Winter; It was -6°C there last week when I left.

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With such a short trip and my time being taken by work and meetings with my team, unfortunately I’ve had little time to explore but I hope to make amends in April when I return once more. My time in Pune has been taken with work and with taxi journeys too and fro from the office and so all the photos here have been snatched from the window of a moving car.  I apologise for their quality. The video below is a short collage that I’ve taken with my small olympus mju 770.  It gives a feel for the hussle and bussle of the city where 2, 3 and 4 wheeled transport mixes side by side with 2 feet and 4 hoofs…  Secretly I’m quite pleased with the result, but don’t tell anyone… ;o)





About Andy Harpur

Interests : The Scottish Highlands, The Pennine Alps, The Milky Way, Abbot Ale, Mountaineering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Sea Kayaking, Astronomy, Guitar, Penny Whistle. I live and breath for the outdoor lifestyle. New places, new faces, new adventures....
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