Whether traveling to far off destinations or to Blackpool for the weekend, there is always a common concern for many people: Sleep.
There really is nothing like your own bed, but there is also nothing like not having an alarm clock to wake you up for work. That is why holidays (vacations) are so much fun – no mundane soul wrenching routine. With that being said, holidays don’t always equate rest; many of us have done the tour group or Ibiza party holiday and when you return you need a good 14 hour sleep. Others have taken long flights over time zones to arrive in the morning where everyone else is ready for the day and your 8 hour middle seat war of the armrest has left you ready for a dark room and silence. Oh sweet silence! It’s not for everyone, and some of us can sleep through the loudest of noise, but if your like me its part of a good night sleep.
It is to be expected in the developing world that waking up might not be to the alarm clock but might well be to a host of other noises…mostly the rooster! Its not only on the front of a Kellogg’s Cornflakes box that the cock thrusts out his chest and lets you know its morning. In nearly all of the countries in Latin America that big guy doesnt even wait till 6am, its more like 4am…”Hey guys there is a little bit of light making the sky go from black to dark blue”! In Haiti the people like this information as they get free phone calls between 4am and 6am so most of the country gets up for a chat! Then the babies wake and 6am becomes a long lie. In Africa the sounds of chickens were accompanied by that of a cow being milked, they don’t sound like they like it much! In Canada the crows and sirens, in Australia the cockatoos or kookaburras wake up the deepest of sleepers and the funniest was Filipino karaoke!
In India it’s a whole new noise: car, truck, bike and bus horns. Beep beep, I’m passing you…beep beep, you’re passing me…beep beep makes me want to say some exbeeptives! So with this knowledge we looked for a place to stay for a month in the Himal Pradesh region. We walked around until we found Shiv Shakti “A paradise of forest and peace”, Sold! But within a few days we realized that the more you are with nature the louder it gets! Don’t get me wrong I’ll take nature noises over human noises any day, but these noises come in packs: Monkeys! Actually monkeys on heat! To show their strength and power they love to stand on our roof or balcony and rock the railings back and forward, scream and start fights. Supposedly there was a tremor here the other day, but I think Brett and I are so use to the sound of rumbles in the jungles we just put it down to monkey madness! If they are off in the forest then our other little monkey is the noise maker, a tiny cute little Indian girl who calls out “Hello” and blows kisses to us daily but seems to have a pair of lungs that could wake Shiva. She also loves to sing which again is very cute but not so much at the crack of dawn!
With our experiences we have learned so now we always have a big box of earplugs on the bedside table. They work well enough and we get our 8 hours sleep, we are rested and will never let sleep deprivation stop us from traveling. Even when we are suddenly awoken we usually laugh at the craziness of it. We also laughed in sympathy when Karl Pilkington of “An Idiot Abroad” said “Rio is a nice place… If you’re deaf!”
This blog’s question: What are some of the best and worst ways you have been woken up?