Feeling the heat in Delhi

Two plane journeys, some faaancy plane food and 14 hours later we have arrived in New Delhi. The heat and humidity knocked us back after we left the air-conned airport. It is HOT, HOT, HOT here.

We experienced our first car ride to the hotel, with plenty of beeping, twists and turns, no road markings and not an indicator in sight. We arrived at our hotel, Sunstar, in the Karol Bagh area. We were checked in straight away and given a bottle of water each, which I was tempted to throw over my face never mind actually drink it. The room was lovely and spacious and it had sweet, beautiful air-con in it too. We dumped our things and decided we’d brave the metro into town.

Paths are something of a mystery here in Delhi as people rarely use them, although they’re barely paths to begin with, we ended up taking the longer route to the metro and were asked several times whether we wanted a tuk-tuk but we got there. Once we figured out the map and what route we needed to take it was pretty straight forward, a ticket cost INR 20, so cheap. Continue reading “Feeling the heat in Delhi”

Packing for India

Salar de Uyuni

Pretty much every summer I head away for a few weeks. A couple of years ago I went backpacking in South America and South East Asia for 8 months and by god was I bitten bad by the travel bug after that trip. I absolutely loved it, although I will be the first to put my hands up and say that it wasn’t easy but I certainly don’t regret doing it. After that trip I get the urge to travel for long periods of time over the summer.

Two years ago I went camping in Africa and last year I went backpacking around Central America. After last summer I decided I was tired of the backpacking lifestyle, the constant moving from one hostel to another every few days and the stress of getting from one place to another. I packed away my reliable backpack and thought that’s it now, no more big travels.

Dublin sunrise from a plane

Of course as any travel addict knows the niggling feeling of wanting to book flights and feeling restless doesn’t take long to kick in and sure enough by the new year a travel friend had mentioned that she was heading away for a few months and that India was her first stop and was I tempted. Well rubber arm Tanya that I am it didn’t take too long to persuade me to book my flights and the addiction was being fed again.

Originally we had planned on travelling around India ourselves but after chatting to a few friends that had been over there and after browsing Tourradar we decided we’d go with a tour instead. We booked a 22 day tour and with a few extra days leftover we booked a flight down to Goa and thanks to good ole Hostelworld booked two hostels down there too.

All of that was booked a good few weeks ago and so the last few weeks has been spent trying to figure out what to pack for India. After looking at the weather we realised that we’re going to absolutely melt over there, you’ll be able to spot us from a mile away with our lovely pale, Irish, sweaty skin, haha. When I did the big RTW trip back in 2014 a friend gave me the best advice for packing for long trips, bring enough clothes for a week and that’s exactly how I pack now, well usually.

  • So I packed
  • 9 sleeveless tops,
    one long sleeved top
    3 harem pants
    my cardigan that has been on all of my travels
    a light scarf to cover my shoulders and head
    leggings
    10 pairs of underwear, (I made the mistake of only bringing 7 when I went on the RTW trip, dunno what I was thinking then)
    4 pairs of ankle socks
    2 bras
    one pair of runners (I brought a pair I’d bought in Guatemala last year)
    Teva sandals
    flip-flops
    a hat
    2 pairs of pjs
    Bikini
    Pair of shorts
    Playsuit

I ended up buying a few t-shirts and swapped them with some of the tops I had in there originally. I had made sure that the tops went with a few of the harem pants and that I didn’t bring anything that I wouldn’t wear at least once.

Now everything else I packed was

  • 2 travel towels
  • a nod-pod liner
  • a light rain jacket
  • a plastic shopping bag for laundry
  • a water bottle
  • travel journal
  • little folder for holding tickets etc
  • head torch
  • hand sanitizer
  • sun cream
  • Pyramid bite spray
  • bite cream
  • painkillers
  • Imodium
  • dioralyte
  • toilet paper
  • shampoo and conditioner which I put into smaller containers
  • skincare products
  • locks
  • hairbrush, bobbins and pins
  • Deodorant
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Inflatable neck pillow
  • Eye mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Head scarf/band – good for protecting your scalp and hiding your hair on bad hair days too
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, also have a little container/cover for my toothbrush too.
  • Needle and thread, which came in handy when I went to pack my bag last night as you can see from the pic below.
  • Little travel money belt and a bra purse that’s so handy.
  • I think that was pretty much everything I packed. I also had a little handbag thats been everywhere with me too. So after doing a very quick DIY sewing job on the bag I was all packed.
  • I was all set for heading off this morning but as I put on my Guatemala shoes I spotted a tear, with only ten minutes before my bus I did the only thing I could of and I took out my glue gun to repair the tear, we’ll see how long that holds for, haha.
  • Here’s by bag heading on it’s own little journey and hopefully I’ll see it tomorrow morning in Delhi. Watch this space for an update on how our sweaty selves are getting on in Delhi. Off to enjoy some airport food and duty free browsing now, bring on the inflight entertainment, woohoo.

Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married……

I mentioned a while back how I was asked to make a friends wedding cake and it seemed like my friend’s wedding was aaaaages away, well those months have flown by and the wedding has arrived. As I’ve got previous posts on these recipes I won’t be going into as much detail with the baking process this time. I got the lime and coconut cake recipe from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com, the red velvet cake from the Jamie Oliver website and the chocolate biscuit cake from a friend that I adapted a little. I used http://www.cakebaker.co.uk/baking-tin-size-conversion-calculator.html to convert the ingredients from the original cake tin to what I wanted. I had three fresh cakes to make, a few things waiting in the post that I had ordered but I had a plan. Continue reading “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married……”

Eton mess cupcakes

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I made these cupcakes a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to have another excuse to make them. I used my usual coconut and vanilla cupcake recipe and took a leaf from Donal Skeehan with the addition of strawberry jam in the icing, the cupcakes are topped off with crumbled meringues and sliced strawberries, yummy. I doubled the ingredients to make about 21.  Continue reading “Eton mess cupcakes”

Bananaaaaaaa…..

I’ve been pretty lax with the blogging lately, although I have been baking, I just haven’t gotten around to writing about any of it. Today I noticed a couple of bruised bananas in the fruit bowl and I was delighted, not your usual reaction to bruised bananas but if you’ve ever made banana bread/cake you’d understand my rejoicing. I pretty much lived on banana bread when I was travelling around South East Asia two years ago so I love any excuse to make it. I found a recipe in an old recipe book, The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and set about making some yummy banana loaf.  Continue reading “Bananaaaaaaa…..”

Strawberry fields forever…..

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We were treated to some actual summer weather this week in Ireland, I know, shock, shock, horror, horror, miracles do in fact happen, ha ha. Anyways with this beautiful weather came the usual aroma of barbecues being lit up in every second garden and everyone losing the run of themselves and wearing every bit of their summer wardrobe that they could find. I even cracked open a dusty sun-cream, life was good. So with Costa del Carlow in full force I decided to try out a summery recipe for a change. This months Easy Food made my decision pretty easy (ba dum, dum) with their cover photo showing off a delicious looking strawberry and cream cake, it screamed summer. A quick scan through the ingredients and it was decided as I only had to grab a couple of ingredients in the shop, happy days.  Continue reading “Strawberry fields forever…..”