Ganges Explorer 2nd Feb 2013 - I've Booked

Hi There

My name is Elaine and I've just booked for the Ganges Explorer from 2nd February 2013.

I'm 54 years old, solo female traveller.  I've never travelled on my own before, and never been to India, so am a bit nervous but very, very excited about this, my "once in a lifetime adventure".

I love yoga, meditation and photography - and, when I'm not enjoying myself doing these things, I spend the rest of my time as a Management Accountant.

Please get in touch if you're going on the same trip.  I'm looking forward to chatting with my fellow travellers and getting to know everyone before we embark on this amazing tour.

Hope to hear from fellow travellers soon.







Hi Elaine,  not going on this trip but just noticed your post as I was browsing for my next trip!  I too love yoga and meditation and travel alone at the age of 68!  Found no problems with this so far except I always have make separate flight from Newcastle!!  Enjoy your trip.  My next one is Grand Indo China Tour in November 2012.


Hi Brenda,

Thank you for taking the time to post a message, it's lovely to hear from you.

I hope you have a fantastic time in China - it's a shame you're not doing the Ganges Explorer Tour - we could have meditated on the banks of Ma Ganga together!

I hope I'm like yourself, and able to travel the world in the future.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Om Shanti







I'm hoping that my fellow travellers booked onto the Ganges Explorer from 2nd February 2013 will see my post and get in touch.

There's thirteen of us booked now, and it would be great if we could meet up on here and chat before we embark on what I think will be an amazing tour.

I've only got two more injections (hurrah)! and one more Cholera drink to go now - as well as my Marlaria tablets.

I'm planning to send off for my visa in the next couple of weeks, and I still have to sort out my insurance.

I'd love to hear how everyone else is getting on with their preparations.

 Looking forward to getting to know you all.

Cheers Guys








Hi Elaine

I've just booked the last place and I too am really excited. Have been to India before but only to the north so am looking forward to discovering new sights and sounds of India.

How are all your preparations going? Sounds like you've had a lot of vaccinations!

I'm not a yoga fan (not that flexible) but do pilates instead. Perhaps I can learn a little while I'm out there.

Bye for now


Hi Janet,

It's great to hear from you and nice that we can chat before our trip.  So.......there's sixteen of us now........hopefully more members of our group will get in touch soon here too.

My preparations are going ok.  I'm enjoying writing my blog - one of the great things is that when I blog about one of the places that we'll be visiting, or the experiences we'll be having, I'm doing a bit of research on the net............and learning more about what to expect. I'm getting more excited with each blog!!

I've had all of the recommended vaccs that the nurse at my GP's surgery identified on the India travel/health website.  Didn't want to take any chances!

I only started practicing yoga 4 years ago and it's had a large effect on me.  I'm not flexible at all, but I really enjoy the philosophy, spirituality and how practicing makes me feel. Yoga is responsible for my booking this trip!! I'm sure you'll be able to try some classes at Rishikesh if you feel like giving it a try.

I'm going to fill in my Indian Visa on-line this weekend, and sort out my insurance. 

What did you get up to on your previous trip to India?  Do you have any tips/advice that you think may be helpful to a "first-timer"?  I really don't know what to expect..........that's why it's so exciting.

Great chatting with you Janet.





Hello again Elaine

Have just had a catch up on your blog - it makes interesting and funny reading! You have managed to find out lots of things about India and the trip. 65 million people at Kumbh Mela - are you sure there'll be space for us?!

I too have also received my visa. Didn't take long did it? Last time I queued up for hours in London and then had to do the same again to pick it up, so this time I decided to give the online application a try and despite going through the same process several times and then not being sure whether it had actually been sent, I was surprised when it arrived so promptly. Am off to have my typhoid booster tomorrow and hopefully I think that's all I shall need to have.

How's the Hindi? I did learn some before I went last time but actually stayed with a Nepalese family so picked up some different lingo. The Nepalese are a warm and very friendly people - nothing too much trouble. I remember seeing one of those post boxes in Darjeeling - have a photo of it too! What advice can I give . . . well, go with an open mind, don't be surprised at anything you see, take lots of photos and enjoy the whole experience but it sounds like you fully intend to do that anyway! Seeing the sun rise over Everest, bumping around in a jeep down pot-holed hairpins at breakneck speed, the craziness of Diwali, visiting the stupas and temples and seeing the ever happy faces of the children at the local schools were some of the highlights. It was fascinating, exhilarating, a riot of colour, sounds and smells all at the same time.

I shall look forward to reading more of your blog and will endeavour to practise some Hindi over the next few weeks.

Hope you have a great Christmas.

Janet x

Hi Janet,

I hope you had a great Christmas, and wish you all the best for 2013.

I'm just getting round to catching up with my e-mails and messages, I feel like my feet haven't touched the ground over the last few weeks!!!

I enjoyed reading your descriptions of what you got up to the last time in India - a taste of things to come.........can't wait!

Santa brought me a Hindi audio course and I started it on Boxing Day - it's conversational Hindi, and Ive just finished the fourth of sixteen lessons.  I'm not sure if I'll have time to finish the course by the time we depart but, I'll learn as much as I can and then make a fool of myself once we arrive in India!!

I'm going for my final (yipeeee) vaccination next Friday - third Hep B.  I've also got a prescription for Malarone malaria tablets (cost £84 !!!), which I'll pick up nearer the time.

I'm glad you're enjoying reading my blog - It's quite time consuming but I'm really enjoying writing about our upcoming trip - it's been a great learning curve and I've picked up a few handy tips too.

I've written a packing list and am now starting to get things together.  I plan to travel light and buy a couple of Salwar Kameez when we get to Delhi.

I'm scratching my head at the moment over my day pack.  I can't decide between a rucksack or an over-the-shoulder messenger type bag.  I'll be carrying my camera/lens/ipad etc so I need to think about it carefully and make sure I make the right choice.  I'm going shopping tomorrow (Saturday) to try some bags out.

What kind of baggage are you taking Janet?

I'm hoping that over the next few weeks a few more of our fellow travellers will get in touch - it would be great to get to know a little about them beforehand.

So if anyone reading this is coming on the Ganges Explorer with Janet and myself, please get in touch - we'd love to meet you.

Anyway must end now Janet............gotta write my next blog - about our stay in Calcutta!

Take care - happy packing......

Elaine xx 







Hi again Elaine

Sorry I've not been in touch sooner. Can't believe Saturday is almost upon us. I'm very impressed with your organisation. I have gathered some things together but probably shan't get chance to pack anything until Friday evening.

Are you taking anything warm to wear on those cold nights camping? Travelling light is a good idea but something I'm not very good at doing!

Have you heard from anyone else on the trip? I've had a catch up on your blog - such poetic friends you have.

Looking forward to meeting you. I'll look out for you at Heathrow.

Bye for now


Hi Janet,

I'm about 85% packed.......I may seem organised but knowing me I'm bound to forget something!

I'm traveling to Heathrow with another lady on our trip who is from Leeds, her name is Jan - that's two Janets - this could get

Please look out for me, I'll be wearing a burgundy colored fleece and brown combat pants with a black shoulder type bag and as you've probably picked up from my blog, I'm small with short blonde hair.

I'm not sure how cold it will be at night....I'm taking an 8.5 tog, 2 season, sleeping bag, and I think I'll just take clothes that I can layer for both warm and cold temperatures.

I've been taking bimuno prebiotic for over a week now, and today I've took my first Malarone malaria tablet.  I felt a little bit icky for about an hour today, but if that's the extent of the side effects then I can deal with that.  I've heard people say they stopped taking them due to side effects, but I don't want to have to do that.

I'm looking forward to meeting you and sharing our experiences over the next couple of weeks.

See you at Heathrow Janet.

Elaine x





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