I've booked to go to India on 26th of Feb 2010 and I'm very interested in hearing from anyone else who's going.
It's my first exodus trip, my first trip on my own and the first time I've been outside Europe so I'm pretty excited and my pals think I'm nuts.
Get in touch
I have also booked this tour for Feb. 26th and am really looking forward to it! Its my first trip with Exodus and I think the solo departures are a great idea. I've heard they plan to expand the selection because its been so well received, so thats good news.
I am travelling from Canada and will stay a few days in London coming and going to India...first time to London as well.
When I booked (a few weeks ago) there was 6 of us confirmed...so its definitely starting to fill up.
Bye for now.
Hi Kirsty, I've just booked the India trip and it's also the first time I have been on holiday on my own (and first Exodus trip too). I've been thinking about booking for ages, but wasn't sure about going on my own...I decided to take the plunge when I was told there was only one place left!
I'm now trying to find a good guide book to buy. Have you found a decent one?
Apologies if this post appears twice, I think I lost my first one!
I haven't got a guidebook yet, but will probably buy Lonely Planet's 'India' 9781741791518, which was only published September this year, so nice and up to date.
I rented Ghandi a couple of weeks back as I decided that this area of history was severely lacking in my education! I have also put the following books on my Christmas list: 'White Tiger' and 'A Girls Guide To India.'
Any other good reads/films about India that anyone can recommend, please drop me a line.
Looking forward to meeting you all.
Take care and have a great Christmas,
Not long now eh! Just to say, I have ordered the Lonely Planet Guide to Rajasthan, Delhi and Agra and downloaded the Varanasi chapter from the Lonely Planet website so that I don't have to carry around the huge weight of the LP India guide. I'm currenlty reading a book given to me by a friend for Christmas: City of Djinns - A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple...really interesting, giving lots of historical info. Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald is also fab - an Aussie girl who moves to Delhi - her story of travelling round India.
I'd recommend taking a sleeping bag liner for the train journeys, just in case the bedding is not very clean. I used one in Vietnam last year.
Looking forward to meeting you all next month!
I am apparantly one of only 4 men out of 16 people - so please be gentle with us. I may get the DK Delhi/Agra/Jaipur guide - lots of pictures and maps (c£8.99 internet, £14.99 shops). I have just found Dalrymple's The Last Mughal for £4.99 in a remainder shop - also tempted by his City of Djinns. I might give the Girls Guide to India a miss. Thank you for the sleeping bag tip. I will post some info later on about the Holi Festival, but do take clothes you can throw away afterwards as you may get covered in red dye.
See you soon
Hi Andrew, good tip re the clothes at the Holi festival, thanks. The DK guide is really good - I've borrowed it from a colleague of mine. Applied for my visa earlier this week. Tried to complete the form online, but with no joy...something about the visa might not be valid for the dates of travel??? So I have completed a hard copy and sent that, fingers crossed!
Only six weeks to go, how exciting!
I thought I'd set this to notify me of any replies and hadn't heard anything so I only checked in on a whim!
Glad to hear there's so many people travelling though it's a shame the gender ratio isn't a bit more even, ha ha. I'm sure it'll be fine though.
I've just bought the Lonely Planet Guide and the Girl's Guide, and my next step was to look up this festival business on the internet.
If anyone wants to trade email addresses, facebook details or phone numbers before we go please let me know. It would be nice to get a bit acquainted :)
Kirsty x x x
This is the information that I received from Exodus about the Holi Festival - "Though, Holi is one of the most colourful festivals of India and it is really very interesting for the foreign tourists, it is full of fun when everyone irrespective of one's status / age gets completely involved in the celebrations, throwing colours on each other, dancing and enjoying on streets fearlessly and freely. Though, there is proper timing allowed by the administration for these celebrations, these start from early in the morning and remains in effect till Noon/1 O'Clock.Any activity done after this is treated as illegal so everything gets almost normal by lunch time. However, at times there is an element of risk involved as sometimes the situation gets out of hand mostly when the youngsters come on streets/roads and start doing naughty things in an excuse of holi celebrations thinking that everything and anything is possible to do during that time. So whenever Holi festival comes in between of any of our group which is in operation, our leaders are briefed to be very careful about this. They make sure that the clients also take part in the celebrations if they want but do it safely, the leader remains quite vigilant about the situation. The leader also gives an option to the clients -those who want to participate, to buy some cheap clothing e.g. T.Shirts and trousers because if you participate, the clothes you wear become un-usable afterwards. So it is always better to wear some rough clothes during this time and thereafter throw them and give these clothes away. Also the travel is avoided till Noon to avoid any sort of problems on the way. For this particular group i.e. AIC 25th Feb; they are travelling on this day from Ranthamobore to Agra, we had similar situation in the past. They will start a bit late around 12:30Pm from the hotel in Ranthambore to drive to Agra and then there should not be any sort of problem on the way. The clients will have to be prepared for this kind of activity happening on the streets but the leader makes sure that the clients are safe and are also enjoying the festival."It all looks well thought out to me. If you search on the internet you may find scary stories about the dye that they chuck about being toxic. But it sounds as though the guide will be clued up to that.Did you get your Visa ok Lucy? I am going to call in to the London office to get mine. Don't worry about the gender ratio Kirsty - I am sure you can share us men round! Andrew
Thanks for the info re the Holi festival, Andrew. Sounds like it will be an experience! Yes, my visa arrived only 7 days after posting. I did it direct rather than pay for a visa agent to sort it. The embassy website recommended allowing 15 working days for processing, so I was impressed with 7 days. Kirsty, yep, up for swapping details beforehand, but as this is in the public domain, not sure how to securely! I am on FB, but there are lots of Lucy Woods on there!!
Holi festival sounds fun, a friend suggested getting some white primarni gear for £3 and taking the stained garments back as a souvenir - I shall have to see how feasible that is.
Andy - sharing men? That doesn't sound like the holiday experience I applied for! Ha ha! I only meant that it'd be nice to have more of a mix of people, I work in an office of about 80% women and it can be a bit intense shall we say! But I am sure it will be fine.
Lucy, if you want to look me up on facebook I'm pretty sure there will only be a few Kirsty Mallalieu's and aside from name and picture all my profile info is secure.
If anyone else wants to get in touch with me that way please do so!
Well Kirsty, this is 75% women, so I hope it is not too intense for anybody! I agree with Lucy that it is not wise to share contact info on a public internet site. It's probably best to keep the contact via this page. But if anybody is brave enough to post their personal email or mobile number, others could contact them. Not sure if we will all be seated together on the plane, but it might be an idea to arrange to meet before check in so that we could try to get seats nearby. Of course, Exodus might have plannedthat anyway, but I don't think we get those sort of details until a couple of weeks before departure. Andrew
Lucy and I are already in touch via facebook if anyone else wants to join us in the loop, there is only one Kirsty Mallalieu!
Otherwise, I have set up an email address especially for this so if you want to swap numbers and personal email addresses the address to write to is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you email in, I'll email you back with details of anyone else who's written in.
Hope that helps!
As for meeting in the airport, I'm not familiar with Heathrow but presumably there's somewhere we could arrange to be, or we could all wear name tags ;)
3 weeks and 4 days to go!
Hi, re meeting point at LHR, there's a Caffe Nero situated between the two entrances at T4 check-in level...perhaps if anyone wants to we could meet there at, say, 6.15/6.30pm?? We'll need to check in by 6.50pm. It's 25 degrees in Delhi at the mo, fab! By the way, I think a couple of the hotels have swimming pools...Exodus sent me a list of hotels so I've been checking out reviews.
Three weeks to go!!!!!
Hi to all,
I'll be joining the tour in Delhi, rather than London, so I'll be meeting up with you Friday morning, the 26th. Is anyone else joining the group in Delhi?
Looking forward to meeting everyone!!
Hi, I received the final joining instructions today and note that we have a 3 hr check-in, 17:50, so how about meeting at Caffe Nero at around 17:30? I'll try to stick my photo on here so you might stand some chance of recognising me!
Bring on the sunshine!
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