Block printing in Bagru, India

by Nicole Farrell

On my recent trip to India I visited the village of Bagru to see the process of block printing. Sadly this tradition is being replaced by screen printing in many areas of India. 

   block printing

Typically block printing is done by men who have passed the techniques down through generations. The stamping is done by sight and with amazing precision. Each colour is stamped individually to create the finished pattern.

 Vegetable and mineral dyes were traditionally used to colour fabrics. However, this is changing over time.

  

 This is the indigo vat. The fabric is immersed for about 30 seconds before being removed to dry in the sun. 

  

 After the fabric has dried in the sun for up to 3 days, it is boiled in a bath of alum to ensure it is colourfast. Families tend to specialise in one aspect of the process; bleaching, printing, drying etc

  

Paisley is a traditional design of India and a personal favourite of mine.

  

Our temples, textiles and tastes of India tour includes a half day dyeing and block printing workshop. It is an optional activity on our other India tours. If you are visiting Jaipur and have an interest in textiles, I highly recommend taking the time experience this technique.

Stories from the Pink City - Photography tour of Jaipur, India

by Nicole Farrell

India had been TOP of my bucket list for 15 years and for a variety of reasons, I had not managed to get there. Can you imagine my excitement when I was greeted at the airport by my taxi driver  'you are most welcome to India'. I thought I was on the set of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and instantly fell in love with the country. 

   

India is a country of colour, contrasts and craziness. They say you have not travelled until you've been to India! I took LOTS of photos while in India and thought it would be the perfect location for a photography tour. The vibrant colours combined with friendly, happy people make it a photographer's dream. I have scouted the pink city for it's best streets, markets and landmarks. You will be spoilt for choice! 

    

Briony Walker is a professional photographer (and great friend since high school) and she is SUPER excited to be sharing her extensive photography knowledge with you. We welcome all levels of photography and all camera gear/smart phones. (These photos were all taken on my iphone) You don't have to be a photographer to enjoy this amazing tour! Friends and partners are 'most welcome' on our tour!

 

We've done all of the organising so you can make the most of your precious time in India. We've chosen a fabulous heritage style hotel in Jaipur as our base. This allows us to immerse ourselves in the culture and wonderful sights Jaipur has to offer. The highlight of the tour will be an overnight visit to Agra to see the Taj Mahal at both sunset and sunrise. On this side trip we'll also visit the Baby Taj, Fatehpur Sikri (an ancient UNESCO listed city) and the Abhaneri stepwell.

On the final day of our tour, you'll explore the pink city in a tuk tuk. We have a team of trusted drivers and more than thirty different activities and locations to choose from; street markets, elephant sanctuaries, temples, villages and more. You'll be able to explore like a local, stopping for photos whenever and wherever you wish.

    

Our tour has a focus on stress free, fun and safe travel. Our knowledgeable local guide is Imran, who has worked in the tourist industry for the past ten years. We have been helping him improve his photography skills too!

   

Is India on your bucket list? Why not join us? Spaces are limited so secure your spot today. Visit our tour page for further information and to download a PDF of the tour.  If you have any questions, please email or phone and Nicole will be happy to help.

 

Why visit Morocco?

Morocco is situated in Northern Africa and is characterised by rugged mountains, large deserts and a lengthy coastline. The capital is Rabat. However, the largest city is Casablanca. With a population of more than 33 million people, it is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. Islam is the main religion and Arabic, Berber and French are widely spoken languages.

   

The combination of spectacularly different scenery and interesting mix of cultures makes Morocco a fascinating country to visit. The cuisine is a fusion of Moorish, European and Mediterranean. Spices are used extensively with bread and couscous both staples in the Moroccan diet. Be sure to try atai, a mint tea commonly consumed in Morocco.

Morocco is also a shopper's paradise, particularly the souks of Marrakesh. Small alleys of interesting and unique shops selling everything from slippers, tassels, rugs, leather bags, silver lamps,  pottery and more. It is possible to wander the souks in Morocco for days and still discover something new. 

  

Tourism is Morocco's second largest source of income with more than 11 million international tourists in 2017. 20% of those tourists are French with a large number of other European visitors also choosing to visit Morocco. 

    

We recommend you visit the Australian Government smart traveller website to inform yourself. Australian visitors do not need a visa to visit Morocco if staying under 3 months.

I am excited to announce that Morocco is the first country for our tours. Our two week tour and five day Marrakesh immersion are open for bookings. The two week tour starts in Cassablanca on the 5th November 2018 and ends in Marrakesh on the 19th November. We've included all of the amazing highlights Morocco has to offer - a night 'glamping' in the Sahara desert, spa treatment in Marrakesh, mountain villages, a cooking class and 6 UNESCO listed sites including the ancient Roman city developed in the 3rd century. Our tour ends in Marrakesh and we've allowed fours days for you to shop, chill and soak up the atmosphere of this amazing city. We have limited this tour to a maximum of ten people. Visit our tour page to download an itinerary of our two week tour.   

 

Further information and an itinerary for our Marrakesh immersion tour can also be found on our website. If you have any questions or you'd like further information, please contact Nicole by phone or email.