EMERALD PUNJAB – palms, crocodiles, milk bars, bright green parrots!

[Now back in the Punjab after Kashmir, I was excited by everything I saw and aware that my grandfather Bob Gorrie could have been responsible for some of the trees planted 50 years previously.  One of his areas of expertise was the problem of soil erosion.  Trees were crucial in stopping this erosion from hillsides and from silting up fields and river courses.

His photo shows where ‘a big dam of earth and sand has been built by 14 villages each doing their share of the digging and carrying.  It is to keep a river in its proper place and stop it cutting away villages and fields.  It has since been planted up with a lot of trees which I had to arrange for.’]

SUNDAY 5TH DECEMBER, 1976

“Geoff on the rampage because us cooks had slept in!  Lovely sunrise and ball of fire through the trees.  Locals watching but at a discrete distance.  Puffer train went by.

Interesting day’s drive – oxen pulling ploughs in greeny-brown fields – some green quite emerald in colour.  Palm-like trees among the others.  Big hay stacks and smaller cone-like grey ones.  Bright green parrots flew across road.  Plenty of horn blowing at slow oxen and carts and public buses.  Stopped to shop in village.  Medicine man sitting with bottles and baby crocodiles!

Next stop at a milk bar by a very pleasant garden – lawn and lots of flowers, 2 coloured umbrellas – part of a new dairy complex (project mostly in Punjab and nearby state).  Really nice cold milk drink – supposedly pineapple but tasted like the last one which was chocolate!

Stopped for lunch at cay shop – great little fellow collecting cups – big smiles, great concentration for job!  Builders nearby – wooden rough logs as scaffolding.  Very dark skinned workers.  Bill got left behind – Shirley only realised quarter of an hour after we left!  She suddenly shrieked “Where’s Willy?”!  Bill drove up in a truck a few minutes later!

Interesting countryside – little mud huts.  Great crowd by the road and going along parallel railway – great collection of trucks by side of the road – probably a local village fair – people streaming in on the area.

Reached Delhi after dark – through old city – great bright lights everywhere – big circus and old bazaar lit up.  Cooked on compound of campsite in middle of town.  Great meal!”
[My cooking team was Chrispin, Nicky and myself]

India Gate, New Delhi

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