Now that we were past the river part of our whirlwind tour of Madagascar, it was time to see some national parks. We had to get there, of course, and getting anywhere in infrastructure-challenged Madagascar is difficult and time-consuming. But that was part of the fun.

There are lots of places I've wanted to visit for many years, and I've been lucky to get to many of them. One place that had escaped me was Madagascar.

We woke up in our tent the next morning, and it was time to get the day started. I don't eat much breakfast, but we were served a nice spread anyway. I stuffed what I could into my mouth, I felt bad for not eating more. Luckily the crew would eat what we didn't so I think they ate pretty well.

Mumbai was a different kind of metropolis. The slums on the outskirts of the city are absolutely massive and line the highway on the trip in from the airport, seen below. The humidity in the city is palpable, but there is also a lot of greenery everywhere.

I'd read a lot about Jaipur; it looked like a lovely city worth checking out. I'd also found a place called Elefantastic. A kind of sanctuary for rescued elephants, this wasn't a place to spend a few bucks to ride them around in the heat, it was more about interacting with them.

No doubt about it, we came to India to see the Taj Mahal. But this place is a subcontinent. One interesting thing I learned about the country is that one would have to go to the continent of Africa to find another place that exceeds it in diversity of language and culture.

It would take forever to say everything there is to say about Myanmar. There is a rich history there, rife with tragedy. But the country started to open up to the outside world a few years ago, and I jumped at the chance to buy relatively inexpensive tickets.

Back on the train again, and I wasn't unhappy about it. They are a really nice way to travel, especially when you've been brutalized by airport and airline alike. We had crossed an entire continent without having to deal with a single taxi and takeoff, and life was good.

Traveling through Russia by rail turned out to be very easy. They have a nice website for the Russia rail system which is easy for foreigners to navigate.

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Moscow is an incredible city. I had gotten advance tickets to see the Armory and the Kremlin and thought it would be a normal day. But there was a huge rehearsal for the parade to take place the following day celebrating the Russian victory in World War II.

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