we arrived in Delhi after traveling 24 hours from Zanzibar. First we caught a taxi, then we had to sort out new tickets for the 7am ferry, because imaginative traveler had given us 1am which meant we would have missed our flights .Then we flew from Dar es Salaam to Doha, then onto Delhi, where it took forever to get through passport control and sort out taxi. We arrived at our hotel about 6am where we paid to book in early, then we both managed to sleep until 3pm. This was because our room has no windows and it was really dark.
We explored the local streets, had a nice meal on the roof top. WE had an early night but didn,t manage to go to sleep until after 2am(that will teach us not to sleep all day....
Had a very non productive day here in Delhi, was suppose to change rooms, which never happened...Tried to get money out of the ATM...but to no avail....but tomorrow will be good, we change hotels and will meet with our new tour guide and traveling companions (poor them).Tonight think we might eat in the hotel as we have no Ruppies... but the food is good here, so no complaints
Malcom...thank you for contacting us at long last, I didnt get your E-mail!
My E-mail add is [email protected] please try again would love to keep in contact and hopefully meet up when I get home.
So yesterday we got to meet our new travel buddies there is 9 of us altogther. Two girls from belguim, a girl from Japan, a woman from Germany, two guys from england and a a guy from Aussie. And our tour guide Umed and two trainner guides. They all seem nice and we all went out to eat yesterday at a local resturant very nice food.
Today we have had a busy day sight seeing we went to the a mosque by a local bus and a rickshaw. The local buses are good men have to give their seat to women. We then went for a walk through old delhi lots of small streets that are quite smelly. We had chai tea on the way well sandra did!! We also went to a sheik mosque were we once again had to take our shoes off and cover our dhoulders and this time we had to cover our hair as well. The mosque was very impressive. They also have a voluteer canteen where you can eat for free and make them cook the food. Sandra help cook the bread. We then tried some of the food you have to sit on long mats on the floor and eat only with your right hand quite hard!!!! we then got on a nother local bus smaller this time and packed no room at all!!!! We took this bus to the spice market there are so many different ones. Though we only bought some nuts and dried fruit not much need for spices when travelling!!!!!
We also managed at long last to get some money out will i did anyway which is good was getting very low!!! And the highlight of my day i managed to talk to mum which was great it had been far to long since i last had. Now i must go to bed very early start tomorrow leaving here at 6 by train to see the Taj and the red fort, cant wait. Goodnight
Ok so here goes need to back write some of the blog as we cant get internet everywhere. So on the 19th we set off bright and early to Agra to see first the red fort and then the Taj. The red fort was great a lot bigger than i was expecting many palaces inside the fort very impressive!!!
The Taj what can i say is there words to describe this amazing building???? i dont think there are and i am not sure the pictures will do it justice when i put them up. Truely amazing was surprising small inside but def the highlight so far.
For some reason now i struggle to know we decided to get up at the crack of dawn and travel to the other side of the Taj across the river to see the Taj at sunrise which was a big waste of effort as it was couldy!!!!!! what is a lie in can anyone tell???
Ok everyone sorry we have not wrote the blog for a while but hard to get internet then find one that will let us write the blog. As you can see this one does but for the life of me i cant remember what we did after Arga so will have to wait until i have my diary. Need to go now as we have to meet our new group soon i write the blog soon i promise. Bye
Bharatpur....After a local bus ride of aout 4 hours, we arrivd at our hotel and went off in cycle rickshaws to go and sightsee Kroladeo bird park. It was very pretty and fun.I shard my ricksaw with Umd(Raja) who is a rally funny guy and was my offical photogher for a few days.That Evenning we had dinner in the hotel and had fun with the group as usual.
We were allowed a lie in that morning and didnt leave the hotel until 8.30am.We caught the local bus again and went off to Madhogarth. Th last part of our journey was in two jeps, we felt like royality driving through the small village as everryone waved to us and smiled. We stayed in an AMAZING fort where Emma and I slept in the same room as Princeess Dianna and Charles. This was a fantastic Place very old and rustic but full of charicter. WE went for a walk around the small village where the people were so friendly and happy. We saw a local family making jewerly, where Emma and I both bought some jewerly. That night we all dressed up, the girls in Sari,s and the guys in traditional Indian clothes, it was great fun and we took loads of photo,s. We had a rally nice meal, met the local King(and had our photo,s with him) listened to some Indian music and all danced. After the dancing we all sat up on the roof, had a few drinks and sang some silly songs. We had a great time, this is my favourite place so far. Mine too this is Emma by the way now. I loved the fort it was so much fun dressing up felt very special dressed as India queens!!!
The next day we travelled by heeps tp Japur. Where we visited the anber forrt, a very impressive place high up but no walking the jeeps took us up!!! After the fort we travelled to our hotel seeing the hawa mahal on the way which is the palace of winds it is very a front with many windows where the kings women would sit to greet when he came back from battle.
In the afternoon we went to the Ladli centre a charity for street children they take them off the streetds and educate them and teach them to make jewerly so they can have a trade when they are older. The jewerly was lovely and most of us bought something me a pretty bracelet and anklet. We also played games with the girl in the school area, they all seem so happy it is very humbling. Some are there because their parents made them work on the street or beg some are as young as 8!!
Then that evening we went to the cinema my first bollywood film i did not have high hopes for it!! It was called 'Singh is King' Sandra left half way though i lasted until the end all in hudiu but you could kind of understand what was going on. It was ok but of course cheesy!!!
The trip so far is great the group is so much fun and we all get on really well together the leader Umed is a lot of fun always winding me up and of course i wind him up too!!! The next day in Japur is a free day so after some shoppong in the morning everyone else plays cricket not for me no way am i running around in this heat im melting just sitting watching!!!
24 th aug
The next day we are off again in a local bus very comforty though as only us and 3 locals and the seats go back!! We are now at Bundi a small town which boosts a palace fallen to ruin of course as have many buildings here in India.
The next day we have to Katrin to the hosptail she has been sick for nearly the whole trip bless her. We then have another day of sight seeing in Bundi looking at a beautiful palace on the lake where the jungle book was written. After hearing Katrin is ok we go to one of the many stepwells here built by a Queen so that lots of people could get to the water at once very ornate with lots of craving. Then on to an amazing waterfall after a very bumpy ride!! ( that bumpy that i couldnt fall asleep!!!) Everyone expect me and Akiko swam in it you had to keep your clothes and no way was i going to climb the scarey steps wet!!! Nor did Umed or the trainees hou that is because they cant swim. we have promised them swimming lessons when we have a pool. We also had a picinic there which was nice then headed back just in time as for the rest of the afternoon it rained. Swimming in the lake and under the water fall was amazing and not too cold and it wasnt too bad travelling back in wet clothes, ( In India girls are not allowed to swim in their swim wear in public) but the way guys when the wrtting is slanted it is emma writing whenits not its sandra.
The next day we had another jeep ride to castle Bijaipur where we had a royal welcome with music a horse all dressed up and a flower necklace. Oh yes of course a painted bindi. Our room was nice but Daniels is amazing he is in the old part so in one of the royals rooms a huge seperate sitting area that we all went and party in that night it was great played lots of silly drinking games i am a great fan of 21 thanks for that andy.
I had a massage that day that i paid for later was very bruised!! In the afternoon we went for a village safariit is very pretty here we end it at a very impressive dam lovely views. We sing all the way back valerie, sandra and Laurence i think Umed loved it!!!
The castle is great and best of all it has a swiming pool!!! So after all of the games in Daniels room we deceided to go midnight swiming well more like 2.00. It was fun we had a crazy game of catch Akiko and i against Daniel and Sandra. The next day was a free day filled with swiming massages predicures and lie ins!!!! The other guys all have a table tennis tournment but as i cant play i have a nap!!!
That night at tea Umed finally got a birthday cake for Daniel it was his b day on the first day of this trip he was very pleased with his cake which was good. Then early to bed ready to go Pushkar the second holiest town in India and our last stop before we go back to Delhi. Very sad we have had so much fun i dont want it to end.
So i will write this bit again after the computer said yes it saved it then it didnt you got to love computers!!!
So Pushkar is a very nice town and as it is holy there are no eggs meat or drink here. Not that really matters it is nice to be somewhere quite as there are no toot toots or rickshaws allowed and very few cars so very little annoying horn noise which is great.
The hotel we are staying at is very nice too good rooms and a great swiming pool we are being spoilt i think. That afternoon we went for a walk around the town and then we went shopping we both bought some pretty skirts to wear on our last evening together tomorrow night. That nighht we ate by the lake which was formed when someone i cant remember who dropped a flower from heaven and this was where it landed.
The next day some crazy people including Sandra got up at 5 to climb a mountain to watch the sunrise Sandra got some great picrures but i prefer my bed more!! After breakfast we all went to the lake to be blessed in the holy water which was really good we repeated prayers then put offering on the lake.
In the afternoon we went for a camel safari never again will i sit on a camel was a horrible felt so unsafe when it stood up i had to get off after 15 mins was very impressed i lasted that long!! Everyone else seemed to enjoyed it. I ended up sitting in the cart with Umed and guiding Akikos camel as Umed was doing such a bad job she got her arm all scratched!!! I was very good at guiding!! the camel just not riding them!!
That night we make ourselves look pretty ready for our last night out together. During the day we bought a book for Umed and we all wrote something into and put some money in too. He was an amazing leader and are sad he is not doing our next trip im not sure it will be the same without him. He has so much knowledge of india it was great. We went to a nearby hotel to eat and gave Umed his book and he gave us all a really nice picture of elephants. We then had to go round in the circle saying our favourite part of the trip i say the fort and Varum says his swiming lessons bless him.
We are not leaving until the evening on the sleeper train so a free day so i deceide to do nothing just read and swim in the lovely pool. I didnt feel great but no sickness which is good sandra daniel and me are the only ones not to get Delhi belly lucky us fingers crossed for th rest of our time here. So that night i got mt first experience of a sleeper train have to say it wasnt to bad went to sleep quite after having my palm read by Umed apparently i am going to have a son and the third guy i meet will be the one i spend the rest of my life with. The train got in a lot earlier than i would have liked 4:30 i dont think anyone should be up at that hour!!!
After checking in to our new hotel we all head out of our last breakfast together we go to a very fancy 7 star hotel for their buffet breakfast it was amazing the food was great and so many different things a lovely fry up and the worlds most amazing homemade chocolate sauce we were in heaven. Though after breakfast came the sad time when we had to say goodbye to everyone this has been such a great group we have all got on well and had so much fun we are going to miss them all.
Well now it is time for us to start our trip so a new blog for Sandra to write this time!!! Bye for now.
Part 2 31st August
We met our new group leader mayur and his two tranie leaders Anant and Narottam later that day. They gave Emma, Daniel and myself a breifing on the second part of our India trip. Then we met our new travelling companions and went out for a meal with them.
The next morning was like dayjarvoo, we had to get up early and catch the train to Agra again. While the new members of the group went to see the Red Fort, Daniel Emma and I went to see the baby Taj ,It is called this because it is a smaller version of the Taj,but it was actually built first. It was nice, but lacked the magic of the Taj Mahal.
we jjoined up with our group and revisited the Taj Mahal later that day. It was really nice for me to go again because on the 1st trip I had a Migraine and only stayed there a really short time. We made the most of this visit and took loads of cool photo,s, great ones of Emma and I jumping in front of the Taj.
After an early night, we hd an opptional acctivity to go and see the sun rise over the Taj. Emma stayed in bed, but most of us had a very early morning walk to see a dissapointing sunrise...may be I should of caught up with some sleep as well.
We left the hotel at 8.30 to catch our train then jeeps to Chanderi. We stopped on route to see a mssive dam, which was really impressive. We are now in central Indi, in an area called Empi ( but not sure on the spelling )
We were the first guests to stay in the new wing of the hotel, the rooms were nice, but wow were they hot.Daniel organised a game of cricket and it was a very friendly gme with Anant beig the star player and non of the guys could bowl him out. I was the star who actially managed to bowl hi out...
Our first evenning there we went and had an amazing meal at our local guides house. Kale Bai The food ws amazing and lots of it.His wife is a great cook and we all really enjoyed our meal. The next day we went sight seeing in Chanderi, which was really nice, lots to see and amazing well kept for India.We visited a Jain temple. We had a picknick lunch by a lake, where some of us decided to swim, so then had to go back to the hotel to change, because in pulic you have to swim with your clothes on.Then it ws off to see some rock paitings in Caves down by a river.These were really interesting as you can see from the photo,s.
That evenning we all had a meal on the hotel roof and had entertainment, which was a live Indian band with a dancer who we thought was female, but was actually a guy. Daniel and Anant danced with him....Lots ws drunk by some that night and fun was had playing 21 ( a counting game ) and dancing.
We were allowed a late start the next morning and didnt have to be ready to catch our local bus untill 9am This bus ride was not at all pleasent, it was soooo so hot and no room hardly for you legs,and it was jam packed We arrived at Orchha to spend two nights in luxury tents and the hotel/campsite had a nice swimming pool. After lunch and some free time to relax,where I played ball in the swimming pool with most of the group, we went on an evenning orientation walk in the small town.Then we spilt up into small groups to explore. I went off with Daniel and James to have Masala chai and chated with some local teenage boys .
The next morning we visited the Laxmi temple and had free time in the afternoon. I went off with Ann and Helen to a local womans house for cookery lessons. We watched her make Masala chai ( which I love )) and then she showed us how to cook a typical Indian meal, which we were allowed to eat afterwards (yummy ).We also had our feet dyed red, because there was a local holiday in the village where all the women had there feet painted .
Orchha was a very small town, but was an amazing place, it was alive with families having fun and playing in the river. It was alive with colour and life, hopefully you will be able to see this on the videos.
we start the day by tking jeeps to Khajurha, we stop on route to visit a recycle cotton fibre factory. We have lunch at our local guides house before heading off to the famous errotic temple,where the local guide is very funny. The town is a nightmare you can,t leave the hotel without being harrased big time by all the local shop keepers and sellers, I end up buying some alli barbar trousers.
We leave the hussle behinh and head off to Ken River Lodge, which is a great place, very beautiful location and nice rooms. We visit Reneh falls in the afternoon and have nice meal in the restautant in the evening. A few of us try the local moonshine, which is quite nice. Daniel and James really like it and I stay up until 4.30 drinking it. The boys have a good hangover for our trip to Chitrakoot.
This was a 5 hour car ride, but we stoped off on route for a picnic.Chitakoot was not a good destination, it waas full of horrible bugs.iin a hotel where the power kept going off ! we did go on a boat ride on he holy Mandakini River, but that was it !
We set off for our most famous and holy part of our trip to Varanassi by local bus, the trip was long but the bus had A/C so it wasn,t too bad. The hotel Pradeep was ok, with a nice roof top garden. I wasn,t feeling too good so didn,t go on the orientation ride round this large town, most of our group ended up in one of the local taylors ordering cloths. Emma bought a really nice wrap around skirt. The next morning we were up really early for a sunrise boatride on the famous river Ganges.
Varanai is a very holy Hindu city, because it is belivd that if you se your soul from the river Ganges you are guaranteed a place in heaven. So it is where there are lots of cremations on the side of the rver in oe of the two burning gates. This is where people cremated with a special cerimony, Then there ashes are scatterd into the river. Lots of Hindu.s also go to the river because it is supposedly meant to washe away all your sins. That evening we went on another boat trip on the Ganges, but this time we had three indian musicians with us playing their music. It was sunset and when it was dark , we all lite lots of tea candles in little baskets and every time we put one on the river we could make a wish. It looked amazing and waas very emotional. This was my favourite part of the second trip.
That evening we went out for our finale meal of the trip and to celebrate Jess,s birthday. The last day of the trip was free time, Most of the group and our two trainnee,s went to see a bollywood movie, which was fun , but a bit cheesy. We caught an overnight train back to Delhi, where some of went out for breakfast.
Emma and I checked into a hotel as we still had two days left before we headed to Singapore. That evenning five bombs went off in Delhi, one very close to our hotel. We met up for a meal with a few of the group and our 3 leaders. We spent the next couple of dys recovering from our trip , washing our clothes and packing .