[As I write in a letter home, “India is fantastic!” We were on the road again, bumping into snake charmers, fellow Swaggies and a cheerful holy man. By night we were camping under the stars and eating custard. Life on the trail …]
FRIDAY 10TH DECEMBER, 1976
“Late start after washing, sitting in cafe etc. Bank stop before left Agra. 10 minute stop at village with loads of flies and a snake charmer – 2 men, one playing pipe and other handling snake.
Crossed Chambal River by pontoon bridge (ferry to the left – Greyhound group we met in Athens came off it!). Bridge to right being rebuilt – washed away in about 1971 by floods. Nice greeny-blue colour of wide river – sandy low ground all around.
Stopped for lunch at a bridge with little platforms and towers all the way along. Motor boat with red flag kept zooming up and down river. White crane-type bird in the reeds and people sitting in the water beating their washing.
Nice old holy man came up and sat on wall with us – bright orange smock, scarf and woolly hat, horn-rimmed specs, staff and long white beard! Very friendly – put hands together in greeting or blessing. Asked Chris for a cigarette. Other locals translated for him. He was carrying a silver teapot too!
Nice red sunset over the fields and lot of stars tonight (O’Ryan’s about!) Camped at Gwalia. Ground incredibly hard – all pegs bent now. Cooks made successful custard tonight!”