June 2012

Things To Do In England - July 2012


July is time for festivals and outdoor events in England


Traditionally being one of England’s driest and warmest months, July usually sees music festivals and outdoor events across the country. It’s prime holiday time and if you’re looking for something to do, here are To There and Back Travels ideas for July:



A series of outdoor concerts taking place at seven locations around England. Artists this year include The Wanted, The Darkness, Steps, Alfie Boe, The Wombats and

To There And Back Travels

Palma, Milan, Cornwall, Zanzibar, Marrakech, London

From June 2007 to December 2010 I ventured to many places; Spain, Scotland, France, Italy, Tanzania, Malta, New York, Morocco and of course I explored more of my own country - England.  I may at some point add these trips, but during that time I was saving hard to embark on a 6 month trip around the world.  This and all future trips will be shared here at To There and Back Travel ....... welcome to my journey.

Any Which Way Is Fine

Traffic in Delhi

After a couple of days wondering if our flight would actually take off, we finally took to the skies. The flight was as most flights are for me – not enjoyable, but pretty uneventful. Neither of us got any sleep, so by the time we landed in Delhi we were both feeling it a bit. We exited the airport terminal to a hoard of signs and shouts competing for our attention. I’d arranged for the guesthouse we are staying at to pick us up from the airport, so I was more than pleased to see a piece of paper, in amongst the sea of signs being waved about, with my name on it.

Markets, Forts And Temples

Jama Masjid

We've found our feet again today, yesterday we were so tired that when the lady at the guesthouse asked me to fill in a simple form, I found it a struggle to even remember my own name. It's amazing what a good nights sleep does for you and we woke revitalised and ready for what the day might bring.

A simple breakfast of bread, fruits and freshly cooked omelettes are included at our guesthouse, so we went and took a bite to eat before making our way downstairs to meet our driver for the day – Mohan. We got off to a great start with Mohan and had conversations throughout the day with him about the differences of our two countries. We had written a list of places we wanted to visit and asked him about the practicalities of getting round them today, he said that it was perfectly possible, so we set off in the direction of the first area we were going to take a look around.

Akshardham Temple, Humayuns Tomb And Qutub Minar

Streets of Delhi

I was running on 3 hours or less sleep today, so still very tired. My body clock decided that 2.30am Indian time was a great time to bing wide awake and that was pretty much it for the rest of the night.

Breakfast time came and we spent it talking to Angela an Aussie, before going downstairs to meet Mohan – or so we thought! When we got down there the 'boss' of the taxi company was there and basically told us we couldn't have Mohan and had to have another driver for the day, Naresh – and so it was that we spent the day with Naresh instead. When we got into the car we made it clear after several experiences that we'd heard about, that we didn't want to be taken to any shops or handicraft markets today and only wanted to go to the places we had listed, which he agreed to.

Last Day In Delhi

Fruit vendor in Delhi

Today we've had much more of a relaxing day, John was coughing much of the night so we really only got minimal sleep.

Breakfast was great today, we sat at the communal table chatting to another couple from England about their travels around India in the past and this time and they were asking all about our trip. We were joined by the Americans we met the other night and it turns out that the woman was originally from Thailand, so she was telling us all about places to go there and foods to eat, it was just wonderful. I am absolutely in my element here, everyone we meet has travelled and I can talk about travel and different countries and places to my hearts content, it's awesome.

The Overnight Train

Street Vendor

And then there were 12 of us. Our bus to take us to the train station was delayed in traffic due to a government ministers daughter getting engaged. Bunty, our group leader, was becoming increasingly concerned that time was being cut extremely fine for catching our overnight train to Katni. This led, once our transport finally arrived to a sprint across the city, well, as much as you can in Delhi!!

When we arrived at the train station Bunty's concern had grown, he told us to keep together and then he was off, like a greyhound at lightening speed, racing up the stairs and across the bridge, turning round briefly every so often to make sure we were all still with him – and often we weren't, well we (John and I) were, but others were lagging behind.

No Teasing Tigers!!

Tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park

John was a greener shade of white on the journey to the lodge and I was really worried. Bunty stopped at a market to get some bananas, which he shared around and it was at this point that we realised what most of Johns problem had been, he had been taking ibuprofen for his cold, antimalarials and cough mixture, but had barely eaten or drunk anything for two days, since our wonderful lunch in Delhi the other day in fact. So worried was he about getting a dose of Delhi belly for the overnight train ride that he'd decided not to eat anything to prevent it from happening. Once we realised, we knew he would be fine and he now promises me that he will make sure he eats something regardless of what we are going to be doing!! The good thing was that the journey to the lodge from the station was much shorter than I thought and only two hours long.

Into Tala

Langur in Bandhavgarh National Park

Today I felt like Sanka from the film Cool Runnings, it's very cold here early mornings and just about every piece of clothing I have in my backpack went on. A quick cup of coffee and a couple of biscuits in the dining area, then it was off for another game drive. There are 3 circuits allowed to be driven in the park, one of which none of the drivers like getting as they say there is never any wildlife to be seen on it. The drivers have no choice though as at the entry gate they are allotted two of the three loops and they have to abide by whichever they get. It was our turn to get the unwanted route and essentially this means that the driver hacks along the track at a fast rate of knots trying to get it over with, so that you can then get onto the second loop and start trying to spot things.

Wife Swappers

Lemurs in Bandhavgarh National Park

It seems there has been some descent within the group. Someone has decided that they are missing out on something, so even though we were told we'd have the same driver/naturalist all week, apparently people have complained, which led to us getting a different driver this morning …. and we would later get to appreciate just how good our driver for the last few days, Mahindre, had been.

There is a standing joke in our jeep about snakes following Alex shouting out snake yesterday, everyone in the jeep turning around to look, only to see a man standing having a wee, which caused much laughter. So at 6am this morning as we're heading down the road, on my side of the vehicle was a man standing at the side of the roadside having a wee, both Alex and myself were quick to claim the first snake sighting of the day – which again led to another bought of laughter.