Ferrari: the Can-Am experience

Ferrari. A name that is synonymous with winning. More than 50 years of experience in racing; a legacy that includes multiple Formula One titles, as well as overall sports car racing victories on some of the toughest racetracks known. Tracks such as Spa, Nurburgring and the great French classic that is held every year at Le Mans. Almost every challenge the Maranello Prancing Horse has undertaken in the last 60 years has resulted in victory.
However, one series was not intimidated by the best of Italy. That series was the Can-Am Challenge, held between 1966 and 1974 in North America. The Can-Am, as it would come to be known, was perhaps the most exciting road racing series the planet has ever seen. Governed by the Sports Car Club of America, the series was conducted in accordance with the FIA ​​Group 7 rules for Sports Racing Cars.
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The Group 7 rules were pretty limitless in many ways, prompting manufacturers of all skill levels to run wild with creativity and build some of the most technically advanced cars of their time.
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In 1966, the first real season of Can Am, European factories had little interest in a series that only lasted from September to November and was made up of just six events. Most of the participants were independent teams. Teams like McLaren and Surtees, both led by Formula 1 champions, saw in Can Am an opportunity to build their reputation as manufacturers.
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Ferrari already had a championship-winning reputation. However, a young Mexican driver by the name of Pedro Rodríguez would fire Ferrari’s first shot in what would soon become the hottest road racing series on the planet.
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Bridgehampton, New York, was the second round of the inaugural Can Am Series. The 2.85-mile course located in eastern Long Island would be the first time a Ferrari would compete in a Can Am event. Pedro Rodríguez entered a Dino 206S Coupé that weekend in September.
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The young Mexican driver managed to reach 22nd position on a grid full of convertible sports racers powered by roaring American small-block V-8s. The race would result in the little Ferrari not finishing due to the loss of a wheel. Rodríguez would appear again in Laguna Seca with the Dino, this time with an 18th place in the general to demonstrate his effort.
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By early 1967, the Can Am was already being viewed as a fabulous series by many of the biggest names in North American road racing. The series caught the attention of Luigi Chinetti, the man at the helm of N.A.R.T. (North American Race Team), the team of choice for Ferrari backed by the factory in the United States.
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Chinetti would send one of N.A.R.T.’s P3 / 4 prototypes. to Maranello in early 1967 to be modified and run in the Can Am Series that year. While at the factory, the P3 / 4 would receive several modifications to help it move from the rules of Group 6 to Group 7. The car was lowered and started, although the headlights were retained. Provisions for a trunk and a spare tire were removed, as there was no need for such luxuries at Can Am racing. The P3 / 4 also received a reinforced roll bar.
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Ferrari would be absent from the opening race held at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin in 1967. Although Chinetti and the N.A.R.T. he would arrive for the second race of the season at Bridgehampton. Lodovico Scarfiotti was selected to drive the P3 / 4 that weekend in September and achieved a grid position of 16th. Scarfiotti, a Formula 1 veteran, would drive the P3 / 4 to seventh in the race.
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Scarfiotti would drive the P3 / 4 again a week later at Mosport, one of the fastest tracks the Can Am Series has raced on. The N.A.R.T. P3 / 4 would start from 12th on the grid. The weekend would result in a DNF for Ferrari due to an accident.
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The fourth race of the 1967 Can Am season was to see the world’s most powerful sports cars visit the beautiful Laguna Seca race track on the Central California coast. This race would mark the appearance of two new Ferrari Can Am in P4 form. Now outfitted with fiberglass bodies, a massive rear wing, and a larger 4.2-liter engine, it looked like a big effort was brewing with Italy’s biggest name in racing.
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Chris Amon and John Williams were recruited to perform the driving duties. Amon, being the experienced driver that he was, performed well at Laguna Seca driving the number 23 Ferrari P4 from 16th on the grid to 5th. Williams also scored well on the weekend by completing 99 laps and capturing eighth place. Two weeks later, at the incredible Riverside Raceway in Southern California, the duo Amon and Williams would once again try to bring victory home to Maranello.
This time the results weren’t as promising as those at Laguna Seca, with Amon finishing 3 laps behind in eighth place and Williams crashing. The last Can Am event of 1967 was held in Las Vegas.
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A dusty track in the Nevada desert, Vegas was known for wreaking havoc on both the racers and its machines. Amon would put P4 13th on the grid, while Williams scored 18th on the grid. Williams’ career was short, as a stone was swallowed on lap 1, blocking the throttle and causing the number 27 Ferrari to be retired. Amon would also end up with a DNF due to an accident. Despite intermediate qualifying times, the P4s proved capable of podium results.
The 1968 season would be fundamental for Ferrari. Pedro Rodríguez would once again get behind the wheel of a Ferrari in Bridgehampton. With the P4 in 11th position, Rodriguez would have an off-course excursion early in the race that would lead to a dropout in a race that took heavy wear.
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Ferrari was going through a battle with the FIA ​​over rule changes made during the offseason. As a result, Ferrari did not participate in any sports car races as a factory effort in 1968, except one; the Stardust Grand Prix in Las Vegas. The car was the all-new Ferrari 612P, chassis number 0866. Bill Harrah, Ferrari’s west coast importer, provided the funds and the factory assisted the operation with full technical support. Mauro Forghieri was largely the man behind the design of Ferrari’s first and true Can Am competitor.
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The first generation 612P used a lattice frame that was reinforced with riveted and bonded sheet metal. The bodywork was full fiberglass, while the suspension was independent at all four corners. The 612P used a wing mounted just behind the cockpit. The wing incorporated 2 flaps that were hydraulically actuated by a pedal in the cockpit to help the car brake.
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A nose mounted air brake was also incorporated to work in conjunction with the fins via the pedal. This hydraulically actuated fin system proved complex and unfriendly with the car’s overall weight, which tipped the scales at nearly 1,700 pounds. The true centerpiece of the 612P was the engine. With a displacement of 6,222 cc, it was the largest engine Maranello ever built up to that point.
The engine had a dual overhead camshaft design with 48 valves and a compression ratio of 10.5: 1. Lucas indirect fuel injection was used to supply fuel to the powerful 12-cylinder, and a lubrication system By dry sump it ensured that all vital components received the proper amount of oil. The 612P used a 4-speed gearbox that helped the car put its 620 horsepower to the rear wheels.
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Many thought that the rumor of such a big Ferrari was just that, a rumor. The factory saw the delay of the debut of the 612P at the German head gasket manufacturer who was having trouble producing the proper gaskets for the largest V-12 to date. Once this was overcome, the tests began in Modena, where the car was expected to exceed the 50-second barrier. This did not happen, however the 612P achieved a 50.8 second lap in Modena, enough to satisfy the team and prepare for the Las Vegas race.
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Ferrari’s debut in Las Vegas was spectacular. At nearly six feet wide, and with its 6.2-liter V-12 producing a raw mechanical sound like no other in the field, the 612P was hard to miss to say the least. The factory took this effort very seriously, appointing Franco Gozzi as team leader, Mauro Forghieri as career engineer and Giulio Borsari as head of engineering. Three mechanics were also sent to accompany the car.

Chris Amon was designated for the driving duties at Stardust, where he was able to take ninth position on the grid with a lap time of 1: 32.2. Unfortunately, the weekend would sadly end as the 612P suffered from clogged injectors causing a DNF for its debut race.

The Ferrari 612P would reappear in 1969 to fight at Can Am, however Ferrari’s effort was spearheaded by Kiwi driver Chris Amon with Maranello playing a supporting role. The first appearance would be at the Watkins Glen Can Am race held in mid-July. Gone are the complex, hydraulically actuated, nose-mounted speed and high-wing brakes. This, along with all the new body work, allowed the car to lose some weight. The chassis and engine were the same as in the 1968 Las Vegas race, but the weight loss allowed Chris Amon to qualify third, just behind the McLaren M8Bs of Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme. With such a high ranking position, it looked like a promising race for what would become known as the second-generation 612P. Amon remained competitive throughout the race and kept a surprising distance from the two bright orange McLarens. The end result would be a third place for Ferrari; but most importantly, a shot in the arm to the Can Am Series that was beginning to suffer from the dominance of the McLaren team.

Chris Amon would put on a spectacular show again with the 612P at the next race in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The car was fitted with a new 6.2-liter engine for this event. This proved exciting as the engine is said to be the reason Ferrari’s gearbox broke during practice, but nonetheless Amon would once again occupy third position on the grid behind Bruce’s brilliant McLarens. and Denny. Shortly after the green flag, Amon was able to pass Bruce McLaren’s M8B to snatch second position. This started a battle unlike any McLaren cars had ever seen. Amon and McLaren would trade second for several more laps until the M8B’s Chevy engine died. This left second position to Ferrari, which he would retain for the rest of the race.

Amon would continue his podium streak with the big red Ferrari at Mid Ohio. Despite a poor result in 12th place qualifying, Amon managed to lead Ferrari through the group to finish third, one lap behind McLarens. Elkhart Lake was the next race, and the Ferrari 612P arrived with a major new aerodynamic wing mounted on struts over the rear of the car. Stiffeners were used to support the wing struts outside of the car’s roll bar. Amon and the Ferrari would start the race from seventh, but a faulty fuel pump would cause an early finish for the New Zealand driver and the 612P. Bridgehampton would give similar results for Ferrari, as Amon grilled the car in P3, his race would be interrupted once again due to a broken oil pump shaft. Pedro Rodríguez would save the reputation of the prancing horse at Bridgehampton with his 312P endurance runner. Pedro qualified 11th and drove the 312P to fifth place, some 4 laps behind the leader. Amon would take the big Ferrari to races at Michigan and Laguna Seca, but engine problems would cause the car to miss the grid at these two events.

Riverside Raceway, in late October 1969, would provide the backdrop for the largest Ferrari V-12 to ever turn a wheel in anger. Still retaining chassis number 0866, the car that originally debuted in Las Vegas a year earlier, Chris Amon and his mechanics installed a monstrous 6.9-liter V-12 engine in the big red car. Maranello was able to achieve the 6.9-liter displacement by stroking the original 6.2-liter engine. The addition of the larger engine to the 612P led to a new designation, the 712P, which indicates about 7.0 liters of displacement. Amon would use the extra displacement to overtake Jackie Oliver’s Ti22 for third-fastest on the grid behind both McLarens. Ultimately, the added power would be of no use as Amon recalled the Ferrari after officials black-flagged him for receiving an illegal starter. Amon would appear for the last time before leaving for March 1970. The last race of the 1969 season was held at Texas International Speedway. Amon used chassis number 0866 in the 712P trim to qualify, blowing the 6.9-liter engine and having to run the race with the replacement 6.2-liter unit. The big engine did the trick in qualifying, with Amon taking fourth place on the grid. The smaller engine wasn’t going to last either, as it too exploded early in the race, prompting another retirement. Chris Amon parted ways with Ferrari at the end of 1969, but managed to score 39 points in the Can Am Championship, which was enough to place him in sixth place in the overall standings.

The 1970 Can Am season would see Ferrari enter from various teams throughout the year. These cars were mostly Ferrari 512S models that were built according to the FIA ​​Group 6 rules to run in endurance races like Le Mans and Daytona. Chassis number 0866 would return to the 1970 fight, this time entered by its new owner, Earle-Cord Racing. It wouldn’t be until round eight of the series at Donnybrooke, a track in northern Minnesota, that Ferrari’s first true Can Am challenger would return to the race. The several months between the 1969 season and his return to the track in late September were occupied by a change in ownership and a return to the Ferrari factory to freshen up. However, while at the factory, chassis number 0866 would be equipped with a 5.0-liter engine similar to that used in Group 6 512S and 512M. This was another change of designation to that of 512P.

The 512P’s late September debut was promising. The driving duties for the Earle-Cord Racing entry were handled by Jim Adams, who managed to qualify sixth for round 8 at Donnybrooke. Adams was able to achieve fourth place in a low-wear race. The next two races would not see the 512P take the checkered flag as a gearing problem would recall the No. 76 Ferrari at Laguna Seca and an accident would end the scarlet car event at Riverside, the season finale.

The Can Am began its sixth racing season at Mosport in June 1971. Jim Adams and the Ferrari 512P posted the eighth fastest time on the grid and finished 5 laps behind Denny Hulme’s McLaren M8F Chevrolet. Chassis number 0866 would miss the race at St. Jovite, but would again qualify in the middle of the field for the 1971 Can Am race at Road Atlanta. A crank failure would put an end to the 512P’s race that weekend, but something much more spectacular was about to happen at Watkins Glen.

Watkins Glen, New York, was selected to present the brand new Ferrari 712M, chassis number 1010. It would be the first time since Las Vegas, 1968, that there would be an official Spa Ferrari SEFAC factory entry on a Can Am grid. The 712M was Ferrari’s second serious attempt to produce a Can Am Championship winning car; the first was the 1968 612P, which made a disastrous debut in its’ only factory-supported run in Las Vegas. The 712M used a modified chassis from a 512S / 512M endurance race car. The body was designed entirely from a blank sheet of paper to produce the greatest possible downward force. The massive 7.0-liter V12 was based on the same block architecture as the 512 endurance engine, but with provisions to accommodate an increase in bore and stroke. All new heads were designed using a dual overhead camshaft architecture with 4 valves per cylinder. Horsepower was calculated to be in excess of 650. Ferrari located the radiators on the sides of the car with large NACA ducts cut into the top of the bodywork on either side of the cabin to cool the giant red beast. Mario Andretti assisted the factory with its development efforts and was awarded the driving duties for the car’s inaugural race. With a fifth starting position, Andretti just put the 712M ahead of Mark Donohue’s Penske / Ferrari 512M, one of the Group 6 endurance cars that entered the Can Am race after competing in the 6-hour race of the days before. Andretti stayed at the top of the standings throughout the race, finishing fourth behind Jo Siffert’s Porsche 917/10 Spyder. While Ferraris would start the next three rounds of the 1971 season, these would be 512M models, and it wouldn’t be until Edmonton. that one of the Ferrari Can Am Spyder would appear again.

Edmonton would see the return of the Earle-Cord Racing 512P, again with Jim Adams at the wheel. While Adams achieved a sixth position in qualifying for the event, the number 76 Ferrari was unable to finish due to problems with its ring and pinion. The Can Am meet in mid-October at Laguna Seca would see the Ferrari show a bit better, with Adams driving the 512P up to eighth from 10th on the grid. The 1971 grand final was held at Riverside, where Adams was able to qualify 13th fastest in the Ferrari sponsored by NGK Spark Plug. The failure of the brakes early in the race would render the red warhorse unable to finish the event. Jim Adams would finish the 1971 season with 7 points, good for 25th in the Can Am points standings.

No Ferraris would be present at the first two Can Am events of the 1972 season. The third round took place at Watkins Glen and would mark the second appearance of the 712M. This time the 712M was entered by N.A.R.T., initially with Sam Posey selected to drive the great Ferrari. Posey chose not to take the wheel and the seat was given to Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jarier. The 712M was not observed to have the best handling characteristics, and little had been done to the car since it was last raced in 1971 to correct any problems. Jarier would bring out the best in him, driving Goodyear’s shod car from the back of the grid to 10th place, 12 laps behind the McLaren M20 of race winner Denny Hulme.

The 712M would not appear in the fourth round of the 1972 season, held in Mid-Ohio, but would be present in the fifth round in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Jarier would drive the Ferrari to a tenth starting position on the legendary track. The N.A.R.T. the inning would move to fourth place, matching the best result of chassis number 1010 from the previous season’s solo outing at Watkins Glen. Jean-Pierre Jarier finished the 1972 Can Am season with 11 points, which earned him 13th overall. Ferraris would be seen on Can Am grills periodically after this, but these were 512M models made obsolete by the introduction of a 3.0-liter cylinder head that the FIA ​​put on all endurance sports cars for the season. 1972.

The last shot a large-caliber Ferrari Spyder would fire would be at Watkins Glen in 1974. N.A.R.T. took out chassis number 1010 for one last race. By then, Porsche had come and gone with its 12-cylinder turbocharged 917/30 Spyders, as had the McLaren team with their mighty big-block Chevrolets. Shadow emerged as the team to beat in 1974, but the big red Ferrari would have one last chance on the same track where he debuted two years earlier. The 712M now sported a rear wing that rose above the car’s tail section, as well as a revised intake intake that protruded above the roll bar to better power the largest 12-cylinder engine Ferrari would ever produce. . Sam Posey was offered to drive the 712M, which he accepted, only to break his foot while driving the car in practice. Posey was braking in progress when the pedal hit the floor of the 712M. The pedal effort applied by Mr. Posey was so great that he broke a bone in his foot and ended up handing over the driving duties to Brian Redman. Redman, starting from the back of the grid, ran a decent race until a rear suspension failure threw him off course. The final race for Ferrari’s biggest and most brutal car would end in a DNF.

Herbert Mueller would drive a 512M in the last Can Am race in 1974. The race was held at Elkhart Lake in late August and is considered the last Can Am race of the classical era. Mueller drove his 512M from ninth on the grid to sixth, one lap behind the McLaren M20, Scooter Patrick’s race winner. At the time, various factors led to the end of what most consider the largest road racing series to ever exist. Ferrari was well represented, largely by privateers, during the Can Am period of 1966-1974. While the only true Can Am contenders from the factory, the 612P / 712P / 512P (chassis number 0866) and the impressive 712M (chassis number 1010), did not enjoy stellar races within the series; It should be noted that a lot was gained in the development of the massive V-12 engines that powered the mighty red beasts of Maranello. Today alone, some 35 years after the last 712M race in upstate New York, have we seen Ferrari build a car with a 12-cylinder engine over 6.0 liters. The new FXX, featuring a 6262cc V-12 engine mounted on a medium boat with 800 horsepower, would have to be seen as a modern descendant of those huge 7.0-liter red monsters that once raced on the spectacular tracks. from North America. For many, it would be better to forget the Can Am Ferraris. But despite the difficulties of the red cars in the North American series, the fact that Ferrari took the time and effort to build some impressive racers is to be applauded. After all, it’s hard to argue that a great Italian V-12 sounds anything but fabulous, no matter how fast it is.


Incredible India and Pushkar Journal

We came to the land of 1000 languages ​​and 1000 gods. At the Intercontinental, the women in my group are greeted with marigolds and marked with the typical red dot on their foreheads. This hotel is an oasis of luxury in a polluted city of 14 million people.

We spent two days touring Delhi. Mandatory sites include Gandhi’s Tomb and many UNESCO World Heritage sites. Nowhere have ancient and modern traditions been blended on such an obvious scale as in Delhi. The fat sacred bulls of Brahma block traffic creating delays. Cows rule this Hindu land. Dogs, monkeys and children cross at their own risk.

I love spicy food and start each day with a 3-alarm breakfast and curry. We drive by coach to Rajasthan, the beautiful desert state where cows are replaced by camels. The air is sweeter and everything more colorful. Here is a microcosm of all that is India.

People are gentle with humility and spirit and still light up when seeing foreigners. We continually greet through our windows those who look curiously and seem to say, “Why have you come here?” As a fan of the third world, this place has been on my dream list for years. I now enter vividly into that element of the journey that amazes me.

We come to attend the annual Pushkar Camel Fair which has been going on for a thousand years. As the largest in the world, it has attracted 50,000 camels with 200,000 traders at its peak. We unpack at our camp called Exotic Adventures. Our Spartan tents had private bathrooms, but toilet paper was in short supply. There was a 24-hour guard outside who was stingily rationing our quota.

In the desert, the nights are cold and the afternoons sultry. I confided to a guest from the American embassy that I felt like I was in an episode of “Survivor.” She laughed assuring me that it was all worth it. Soon my surprise turns to amazement when I enter the fairgrounds.

Set on miles of shifting sand dunes with ornate camels and an avalanche of pilgrims, the scene seems totally surreal. It’s like a state fair for steroids. There’s a flurry of horse, ox and camel races, milking contests, animal decorating, tying turbans, tattoos and snake charmers, free carnival rides, mystics, astrologers, and dazzling craft stalls at draw prices. The ground reverberates with activities. Thousands of Rajasthani women have arrived dressed in their best clothing in colors close to neon. I watch trained monkeys, painted cows and cobras dance. Words cannot adequately describe how this outrage overwhelms my 5 senses. Others may have Europe with its cathedrals and museums. For me, this exotic exhibition and cultural immersion is the best trip!

Covered in dust, we returned to camp. Every night there is entertainment under the stars with musicians, folk dancers, puppet shows or fire eater. Alcohol is not allowed here and all meals are vegetarian buffets. An Ayurveda Center offers us treatments to purify body toxins. We reject them: induced vomiting, enemas, nasal drainage and bleeding.

We tour the holy city of Pushkar with its sacred lake created by Lord Brahma. Pilgrims come from afar to bathe in the ghats and worship 24 hours a day. Here we learn about religions: Zorastrism, Sihkism, Sufi mystics, Jains who don’t kill a mosquito, Hinduism that doesn’t claim absolute truth, and the caste system. We visit the temples on the lake; some are “blessed” by priests. Later, the highlight for me was a one-hour Camel Cart Safari behind the scenes of the fair. Children line our path yelling at us “hello, hello, a pen please!”

We see a sacrificed camel and half-naked people washing themselves. Back inside the grounds, we visited an orphanage and dispersed individually to lose ourselves in the feverish revelry. We ride huge spitting camels that give us a broader perspective of everything. I buy a dozen garnet necklaces and silver anklets. The teens approach Terry to photograph him. One politely like him, “Sir, what do you eat?”

There are endless food courts, however, we must pass all the attractions to avoid “Delhi Belly”. I find the cacophony of chaos delicious. Pushkar is truly a party affair for the locals and we are just observing guests. I am very grateful to experience this, but it is time to continue our busy itinerary.

We arrived at the famous “Pink City” of Jaipur, now more garnet with pollution. As we tour its palaces, forts, and architectural wonders, we learn of the great Amber rulers and Maharajas of the Moghul empire. The story comes to life and I find myself so interested in what I never worried about. And here is a paradise for buyers of silk saris, gems, jewelry and marble handicrafts. I visited an animal sanctuary called “Help in Suffering”. The worst cases of various species are treated here by volunteer veterinarians. Forty-five stray dogs are sterilized daily and I witness surgery. Continue to see the great Fatehpur Sikri, “Akbara Ghost Town” which was abandoned due to water shortage. We finally reached Agra, a broken city of 2.5 million. Street vendors harass us. Chained bears dance for rupees in the street. Starving children beg. We are grateful to be staying at the luxury Sheraton here with its affordable $ 20 Western cuisine and massages. It was like a galaxy change from downtown.

After witnessing a number of wonders along the way, we’ve saved the best for last in the world’s greatest tribute to love. I get goose bumps when I walk through the majestic door of the Taj Mahal. The morning sunlight illuminates it like a flawless pearl. 22 years to build by 200,000 men with 2 million pieces of inlaid semi-precious stones. After a lecture on why this perfect symmetry was created for Queen Mumtaz, we spread out to photograph what appears to be a mirage. It is poetry in architecture and as magnificent as you can imagine.

Back in Delhi, we all enjoy a day off at leisure to explore as we please! Most go shopping because the prices are outrageously low, but how many Pashmina shawls do you need? For our last night we enjoyed a show called “Dances of India” followed by a farewell party to our Last Supper (India).

Remiso another trip well done with excellent guides, drivers, assistance and accommodation. I remember my favorite moment that took place at the fair when I hired two “bodyguards” to help me out of the crowd, Jamal and Ranshi. These two 11 year old boys joined me like barnacles and their smiling and radiant faces will forever remain etched in my memory of India. This trip has renewed my curiosity about the world, reminding me once again that my love for travel is multiplying. The more I see, the more I want to see.

This country is for the seasoned traveler. I am very impressed with the strength and patience of my group of 60 people in a land of erratic infrastructure. For some it was their first visit to the third world, but all persevered as professionals. Witnessing suffering firsthand is the most complete way to appreciate home. We saw frightening and joyful things. However, the word “fascinating” would sum up the entire trip. I must go back again.


Mysterious temples of Khajuraho

Khajuraho, a place that was once known for its mysterious temples. Later periods, the broom-making cottage industries flattened all the trees to make this business flourish. Now it is very difficult to find date trees in Khajuraho. Almost 150 km from Jhansi railway station and 650 km from New Delhi (India) is also known for its 25 mysterious structures. In fact, these structures are not ordinary, rather they are temples of the ancient Chandella rulers (900 – 1130 AD). It is now part of the world heritage list and world tourists visit the place to appreciate the architectural values ​​of the combination between sexual positions and rituals carved on the walls that justify the true meaning of life of human intelligence towards profit. spiritual.

Khajuraho originally had 85 temples, but now only 25 are in different states of preservation. Most of the sculptures in the temples are identical in shape and designs made from sandstone brought from Panna on the east bank of the Ken River. The sculptures are divided into five broad categories. First images of worship, second family and associated with it, third categories apsaras (beautiful celestial women), fourth of domestic scenes, teachers, disciples, dancers and musicians and finally fifth animals and beasts.

The art and ritual practices of ancient India were based on the reality of life that involved Karma (destiny) and Kama (carnal ecstasy) together. The belief was the fulfillment of both functions, the way to achieve moksha (spiritual path to heaven). And Moksha was the ultimate goal of the human being. Moksha means to them that it was the success of birth on earth. The performance of the sexual and spiritual act was the path to the goal of life on earth. Sex was as sacred as other sacred rituals. The spiritual exercise was yoga and the physical exercise like bhoga. Together, it was the way to Moksha (liberation and way to heaven) !!!

The sexual carvings that we see on the walls of the Khajuraho temple are a mirror of antiquity. People of that age had a strong outlook on life and gave sex its rightful place. The walls of the Khajuraho temple have most of the sexual poses inscribed in the ancient text of the Kamasutra. The Kamasutra was believed to be science to achieve the best carnal ecstasy. The goal of the Kamasutra was to educate the methods and purpose of achieving sexual satisfaction.

Each temple wall and poses have a specialty to mesmerize the visitor with their perfection in engraving and figure. These sculptures look real when viewed in deep contemplation. Each representation of these poses symbolizes the realism of present and past human sexual desires. And it is believed in carnal ecstasy, a form of satisfaction of the human emotional and physical need after food and water. According to ancient architectural texts, the representation of the loving bird, animals and human couples was considered auspicious and believed to bring luck to those who made it and to whom they saw or worshiped. The carvings of the Khajuraho temples are unique in the world.

Visiting Khajuraho is a life experience to understand the truth about sexuality and spirituality. These temples are a guide to recognize why the sexual act is as important as the ritual practices.

Arriving by flight from Delhi or another city takes 3 to 4 hours to get to Khajuraho airport, sometimes the time takes 5 to 6 hours depending on the flight and boarding place, and from there the hotels are 4 kilometers away . We need two or three days to visit in detail all the temples around Khajuraho.

We prefer to travel by train from New Delhi Nizamuddin railway station. The best train for Khajuraho is the Rajdhani Express which runs at night and we can get there at 10am, unfortunate that we did not get the ticket for this train. Our train left at 10:40 at night so we were able to sleep well on an air-conditioned train with sheets and a pillow served for us. After a good sleep, we arrived at Jhansi train station at 7am. There are normally tourist buses, but they operate only during the tourist season, other days this service is informal and unreliable. A newspaper vendor advised us to take the bus from the main stop so we preferred, as the language was not a problem for us, from the station a rikshaw scooter (Taxi) charged Rs. 10 / – to drop off at the main bus stop.

We weren’t fresh as we didn’t go through morning bathroom work (motion) and forgot to brush our teeth; however, we desperately needed a cup of strong tea and some fried Pakodas oil to eat. The tea was good and Pakodas was delicious too. We had to eat something before the trip, as the bus driver informed us that it could take 5-6 hours to get to Khajuraho. The bus left at 10 in the morning, we killed time wandering around the bus station asking for another place to visit. We got information from a place name “Temple of Orcha”, we decided to visit this place after returning. Finally, at 10 am we got on the bus and sat at the number assigned to us. The bus took another half hour to move until it filled the bus with passengers.

We could feel vegetation and small mountains around and small graves on them. The sky was cloudy with normal temperature which made our trip pleasant. The bus stopped at three or four other stops during the journey to alleviate passenger fatigue. The intention of the bus operator to pack the bus caused the bus to fill up, although it did not bother us as we had a seat, but we could hear and feel the screams of the passengers who were not seated. The bus trip also favors people with a social conscience. I can see the children selling drinking water and the Ghutka (chewing tobacco) packet! We could feel the poverty around these places, especially when we saw migrant workers on the bus. Unemployment and casual employment is so terrible that it insists on emigrating to other cities where they could find their livelihood. In any case, this is the life that we have to face because the eradication of poverty is not in our hands, but is given by God and not by governments. Talking and communicating with the native villagers was a very good experience, we discussed politics, poverty, unemployment, crops and agriculture, grain market and their lifestyle was quite interesting. Engaging with the local population is a way of understanding human culture, religion, and behavior.

Finally, the bus arrived at its destination at 3 pm. We were surrounded by many rikshaw (taxi) drivers and hotel agents, many offers and bargains guided us to make the decision to hire a rikshaw that took us to a nice hotel. We hired the same rikshaw bike for the whole night for UD $ 4 / – (Rs. 160), it took us to all the prominent temples in Khajuraho. The visit to Khajuraho was truly full of pleasure and experience.

The next day we took the same private bus at 12 noon and arrived in Jhansi at 5.30 pm. Although it was late, we decided to visit the Orcha temple. The temple had a large crowd of devotees who traveled long distances to get there. People were very excited waiting outside to enter the door of the temple sanctuary. We enjoyed the ceremony in the temple. Please see the video clip on this page of Rama’s Bhajan (prayer). Orcha once known as the capital of Bundelkhand is now a small town on the bank of the Betwa River. It was founded by King Bundela during the 16th century and was systematically destroyed to create Mughal structural designs. But I perceive more Rajputana or Marwarh structures, except the ancient temple, which is more towards South Indian architecture as it gives it a Dravidian touch. I can be wrong!!!!


Discover the historic city of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is a must see for a globetrotter to discover the rich heritage and culture of India. A trip to Rajasthan offers a complete overview of the bygone era that was ruled by kings and maharajas. The historic forts, the sandy deserts and the architectural designs of the monuments leave anyone in awe and certainly awaken a sense of royal grandeur. The history of this place dates back to the time before independence, when the place was ruled by the Rajputs.

One cannot afford to miss out on Rajasthani music, which is a moving combination of stringed musical instruments and the traditional songs of the panihari, as well as the alap. Dandia, the state’s folk dance, recalls the Rajasthani lifestyle. Millet bread or Bajre ki roti and Lashun ki chutney or spicy garlic paste are the foods that a tourist should include in their menu. Festivals are held in Rajasthan almost throughout the year; most of the holidays are celebrated in its desert. Some of the popular festivals and fairs include the desert festival, the camel festival, and the Pushkar fair.

When it comes to shopping, both traditional and modern crafts are the preferred products that enter the shopping list of tourists. Handcrafted kurtas with vibrant color prints as well as lahnga and chunnis are a hit with women. The fascinating paintings from the royal period are also a favorite of Indian and foreign tourists.

A walk through the palace on wheels is an experience not to be missed. The train consists of 14 coaches with air-conditioned rooms. Each of the rooms is equipped with all modern comforts, such as hot and cold running water, bathrooms and intercom. In addition, the two restaurants, the Maharani and the Maharaja, offer a combination of Chinese, Rajasthani and continental cuisine.

Before selecting the Rajasthan tour packages, one should make sure that the following destinations are covered:

• Jaipur: Located east of Rajasthan, Jaipur is also known as the pink city. The place is full of beautiful palaces, forts and Havelis. The city palaces, jantar mantar, Hawa Mahal, Albert Hall, BM Birla Planetarium are some of the attractive tourist destinations in Jaipur. The place can be reached by air, rail and road. The elephant festival is one of the best known festivals in the area.

• Jaisalmer: known for its famous Golden Fort or Sonar Quila Jaisalmer is always crowded with tourists throughout the year. Tourists enjoy the fascinating camel ride. The Khuri village which is located at a distance of 45 kms from Jaisalmer is the best place to see the house decorated with mud and straw.

• Jodhpur: Founded by Rao Jodha, the ruler of the Rathore dynasty, Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan. It is simply the best place for different shops such as leather, local crafts, looms and utensils. Umaid Bhawan Palace and the government. Bangur museum is one of the main tourist attractions.

• Udaipur: Udaipur is flooded with lakes everywhere and that is why it is also known as the ‘city of lakes’. The Jag Niwas or the Lake Palace is a perfect example of wonderful architecture.

• Nimaj: Once a palace, Nimaj now functions as a hotel. The palace finds a distinctive place on the list of architectural beauty of India. The exterior view of the hotel awakens a real feeling.

• Manvar: The best way to experience life in the Indian desert is by staying at Manvar Desert Resort. Tourists can take a camel ride through the silent sandy deserts and explore the splendid beauty of the place.


Bhutan Tours: getting a formula for happiness

Bhutan, also known as the land of the thunder dragon, is a paradise for environmentalists. If you decide to travel to Bhutan, be sure to book in advance and confirm all your travel plans. This is essential when visiting Bhutan.

The lure of Bhutan

Holidays in Bhutan are guaranteed to be a relaxing and spiritual experience. Booking and confirming your reservation is vital before applying for your visa. Bhutan is dotted with various monasteries and is considered home to up to two hundred of them. To travel to Bhutan, you can either fly to Paro or choose to take the route to Phuentsholing. This beautiful country is full of breathtaking landscapes and landscapes. More than seventy percent of this land is forest area and it is sparsely populated. It is a paradise for nature lovers. Sitting quietly in the lap of the Himalayas, Bhutan offers the best views of the spectacular mountain peaks. Once you go on vacation to Bhutan, you will realize that it has a unique culture and lifestyle. The people are warm and welcoming.

Tours in Bhutan

Bhutan tours take you to the roots of the country. Tours are readily available as Bhutan is a well known tourist destination. Most of the tours revolve around the scenery and beauty of Bhutan. You can visit handicraft shops, picturesque landscapes, and experience Bhutan’s heritage. If that’s not enough, you can also visit Thimphu. It is the soul of Bhutan like its architecture, ethnicity and culture. Holidays in Bhutan, if not well planned, can be hectic and overly packed with activities. If you prefer a relaxed vacation, choose a travel package that ensures you get to know the real Bhutan and enjoy a relaxing vacation.

Book your vacation

Booking your vacation is simple and fast, especially if it is online. Contrary to what people may think, by booking online with the right type of agency you can save money and enjoy a carefree vacation in Bhutan. Bhutan tour packages always include guide and accommodation. Before preparing to travel to Bhutan, remember to check the weather, your itinerary, specific destinations by city, as well as the arrangements that are made for your stay. When booking online, read all package details to see unspecified costs or missing details. In case you need to clarify details, always call the helpline. You can also use this helpline to book your Bhutan vacation. But above all, remember to make the most of your surroundings and the slopes. While flying to Paro, you can even see the Himalayas if there is good visibility.