I have just returned from this wonderful adventure and wish it hadn't ended. The sights, sounds and colours will stay with me for ever and I would like to go back to India and Nepal again one day.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
It's very hard to single out one element of the trip as it was so diverse, however, the following will stay in my memory always.
The Red Fort at Jaipour - the majestic elephants with their blood red robes and decorated faces and the Fort itself were amazing.
The Taj Mahal in all its serene beauty.
The Ganges flower ceremony and the beauty of the river at sunset .
Varanasi's Holy Men in their robes.
The Monkey Temple at Kathmandu.
The people, who were so curious and welcoming.
The colours, women working in the fields wearing bright red, green, blue, orange and yellow cloths - stunning.
The noise of the horns and chaos of the roads.
I could go on and on.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Our Guide, Badam, was like a teacher, brother and comedian all rolled into one, he made us all feel safe, relaxed and happy.
His advise on everything from what to wear (it was decidedly cold a lot of the time) to where and what to eat made me feel confident and I had no tummy problems at all
He is a wonderful ambassador for his country and for Exodus.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
This was the first time I have done a trip of this nature so I was very apprehensive but it turned out that there was nothing to worry about.
There are now 'local' offices where you can get your Indian Visa, I used the one near Heathrow and it was brilliant, no need to go into the centre of town or pay an expensive courior charge.
Take a lot of hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently not just at obvious times but also when you handle cash (the lower denomination in particular are really dirty), menue's in restaurents etc.
Bring lots of tissues because you will need them for public toiletts.
Don't be scared of the overnight train journey, it was quite an adventure and we met sone lovely students from Taiwan who voluntered to take the top bunks which were quite high up. Just make sure your valuables are safe, just in case. Despite the air conditioning it was very warm so don't wear your thermals (like I did!).
Don't forget to haggle when you are buying silks, presents etc. It's really not worth arguing over 20 or 30 rupees but in some cases they will settle of half the asking price.
Be prepared for some long bus journeys, you do get used to them and when you arive at your destination it's worth every minute. The buses we used were fine but they don't have heating so if you are traveling at this time of year get wrapped up for the early morning starts.
I read lots of horror stories about the road travel but they just weren't applicable to our trip at all.
Be prepared to see some sad things, like the poverty that some people have to endure and lots of stray dogs, cows, goats etc. It's hard to look at but that's how it is.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
This trip totally exceeded my expectations in terms of the accomodation, food, transport, the places we visited and my fellow travellers.
Our Guide, Badam, really made the trip. He was brillliant.
My only problem is choosing which Exodus Adventure to book next.
Thank you Exodus for my trip of a lifetime xx