India is, without question a country of remarkable exoticism for a person of the western
civilization! It is also an immense country, the 7th largest of the world. It counts more
than one billion inhabitants and as such, is classified 2nd after China. Its history
spreads over several millennia and we can find there, monuments and persons known all
over the world.
In Bhopal on January 4, Jean then crosses the Tropic of Cancer two days later. He had
crossed this Parallel for the first time in Mexico in 2001. He visits the Buddhist
Monuments of Sânchî, a site classified as World Heritage by UNESCO before reaching Sagar,
walking on country roads.
In Banda, he visits a school where teachers and pupils are happy to welcome him.
Everywhere, people are delighted to offer him the very best they have even if it means
going without for themselves because in their culture, there is something divine in
receiving a guest. Then, all are curious to hear about his story.
In spite of India’s large population, there are very peaceful roads. He is always
welcomed in each of the small villages and contrary to other nations, the Indians are
happy to be photographed.
In Chhatarpur, Jean decides to make a detour of around 40 kilometres to allow himself a
visit of the famous temples of Kajuraho.
During this time, in Montreal, I count the remaining days before my departure for Kolkata
and for the second time in as many months, I transfer the Website to a new host while
watching the snow falling with too much abundance!!!
Whereas Jean heads toward Fatehpur where he will board the train for New Delhi in order
to renew his Indian visa, he deems necessary to change his route to the northeast because
shortly after our holiday, the countries of south-eastern Asia, such as Laos, Thailand,
Vietnam etc. will have their monsoon weather conditions and that to walk in this season
is practically impossible… He cannot imagine pushing his chariot alternatively in deep
mud and deeper water… We thus decide to meet in Kathmandu, Nepal instead of Kolkata. In
New Delhi, Jean obtained an extension of only two weeks on his Indian visa. After that
period, he has to leave the country. Nepal is therefore the perfect place for his next
He reaches the Nepalese border early on February 13 and is heartily welcomed in a farmer
family for his first night in this country. The children are adorable and the landscapes
are magnificent. The Nepalese love visitors. Jean noticed that this country is stuffed
with NGOs of all sorts what makes people of the country well aware.
After a race against the clock that leaves him considerably thinner and tired, Jean
enters Kathmandu on February 21st about 5 hours before my arrival at the airport. Our
stay in the Nepalese capital is idyllic even though I have the misfortune to contract an
important allergic reaction that drags me to the medical clinic where I am taken cared of
In the Kathmandu Guest House gardens, a couple of days before my return to Montreal, Jean
prepared the next stage of his itinerary. He obtained another visa for India and one for
mainland China. Ah! So many official procedures! They are nevertheless essential and a
small price to pay compared with the huge privilege to be able to visit all these places
on the planet!
He leaves Kathmandu March 15 and is welcomed for the night in Pharping at the ‘Mansushri
Di-Chen Buddhist Learning Centre’. The following day sees him going down the mountains he
climbed on the eve and he heads toward the Eastern border of Nepal, situated just under
Sikkim. On March 30th, he enters India again in the northern portion of West Bengal and
walks toward the Assam region. It is in this State that our walker will reach the
important psychological step of 50,000Km. This stage has been underlined early, on March
1st, by our Hungarian friends of Rákóczifalva who planned to this effect, a walk similar
to the one that they had organized in January 2007 to celebrate the 40, 000th Km of the