HOLY MAN, SNAKE CHARMER, CAMP CUSTARD – life on the road, 1976

[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 …]


“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!”


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