ok ok – i know i haven’t emailed since leaving for india and many of you have been emailing to find out where i am (i am assuming it was because of concern…) – so first, yup, i’m ok. and second, sorry for not replying directly. what can i say, i’m lazy… 🙂

anyway, after going through london, limoges (france) and dubai, I finally got to bombay (apparently the ‘cool’ people still call it that here) on christmas eve and had two days to check out the typical sites – the taj palace hotel, the gate of india, etc, before going on the charity hike. after 8 days of walking up and down hills to see cave temples, of sleeping in tents, outdoor bucket showers, and using hole in the ground toilets, i made it back to bombay in more or less one piece.

i got some pictures up at www.flickr.com/photos/funkstop/sets/72057594050247599/ and blogposts at www.internetplus.com/thefunkstop/?cat=19 (you can add your email address to get updates on the right) – i don’t have many pics because on the fifth day, I ended up giving my cameras to Shiva (a hindu god) as an offering – unintentionally… we were climbing a rockface to the bihari caves to see some holy sites and the strap to my camera pack broke. i was already freaking out because we had barely enough room to stand and i was looking back over my shoulder to watch my cameras tumble and bounce down in slo motion about 300 ft… after that i still had to climb up a make shift ladder made from bamboo which was made to carry 150lbs skinny indians, and not 200lbs overweight bums like me… the guide said ‘we replace the ladder every 3 years’, but he wouldn’t say at what point in the current three year cycle we were in… one of the steps actually broke on the guy after me. here’s a pic (http://www.flickr.com/photos/funkstop/88178090/) of my fat ass climbing up the ‘ladder’ – see the stumps on the side of the stick? those are the ‘steps’ and check out how loose the safety rope is… in the pic, i’m at the top of the ladder and the rest of the way, i had to pull myself up with the rope. and the only way to get down was to repel down about 100ft with rope! the point at which you stop repelling is still on a cliffside! i thought i’d signed up for walking…

anyway since the hike, i’ve been hangin out in bombay and will be traveling around starting tomorrow – i’ve been lucky so far with decent toilets and all and with my stomach behaving but the scary parts of india are still to come… wish me luck… btw – thanks to everyone who gave me tips – they’re life savers!

l8r