An amazing, inspiring trip in an intense, colourful part of the world.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Our hotel in Jaipur () is probably one of the most interesting places I have stayed. We felt like royalty in an authentic Indian palace! It gave a great impression of the trip to come.
Ranthambore National Park was a once in a lifetime expeariance! Our guides were very knowledgeable and with a very keen eye could point out some interesting and beautiful wildlife. It would be impossible not to be caught up by their great enthusiasm for this stunning part of the world. We were lucky enough to see a tiger but I would not have been too disapointed if we didn't, the deer, birdlife, stunning scenery and even a crocodile would have made it a well worth while trip.
The sleeper train's we used for parts of our trip were great fun! A fantasic way to cover vast distances while you sleep (not waisting days sat on a bus). Although one of our trains was delayed by heavy fog it was a great way to see the countryside and meet some interesting local people.
Exploring the markets in Varanessi was great fun, amazing sights sounds and smells down narrow, busy streets.
Chandrajeet's afternoon tour around Old Delhi was particularly interesting.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Our group leader excelent! He was very welcoming, friendly and increadibly knowledgeable.
Chandrajeet always did his upmost to ensure we got the best out of our trip, even though things didn't always go to plan (heavy fog, delayed trains and protests in Delhi).
There were a few in our group who made his job quite difficult regarding our sleeper train journey between Varanassi and Delhi. Chandrajeet did his very best to keep everyone happy (although I think this was probably an impossible task).
I was very happy to travel with Chandrajeet, I believe he did an outstanding job!
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
India can be increadibly intense, alot of people find it overwhelming.
Don't be put off! If you relax and accept that it can be noisy, smelly and overcrowded and allow yourself to relax and be comfortable you will have an amazing expeariance.
Delhi belly isn't always inevitable! I ate like a dustbin, and never had a problem!
India is an extrodinary part of the world with so much to offer, don't miss out!!!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
I did feel that on occasions we were a little cut-off from the "real india".
I have traveled extensively in other parts of Asia and some of the highlights have been eating at small, local restaurants/cafes, using local transport (hire bikes, tuck tucks, etc) and trying street food. This also gives small local businesses more custom. On this trip the food was fantastic but I did get the feeling that it would be well out of the price range of the majority of local people and therefore did not give a true impression of the country around us.
This is certainly not a complaint (I enjoyed the trip thoroughly), more an observation that the trip could be a little more balanced.
I am also aware that I might be a little more adventurous (and possibly have a stronger stomach) than many other travelers and that safety is clearly an improtant issue for Exodus.
We did have a few problems with our hotel in Varanasi (Hotel Zeeras). They failed to give our early morning call causing us to miss our boat trip on the Ganges River, we never recieved a proper apology. Their staff were constantly asking for tips, I always tip when I receive good service but this was verging on begging! Again, this isn't a complaint, just a minor irritation that Exodus should be aware of.
Thank you for such a great trip!