I’m going to summarise everything we’ve done in India over the past four days briefly because there’s too much to talk about!
Over the past eight days, Emily and I established friendships with two couples from Scotland – John & Lynne and Patricia and Phillip, as well as a Canadian called Ron, who all made our experience really enjoyable and memorable. I’m sure we’ll all keep in touch in the future.
We may even visit Ron in Vancouver when we’re over that way later in the year.
There was also an American couple on our tour, but the less about them the better. Sorry Barbara and Stefan if you’re reading!
We also couldn’t have asked for a better guide. ‘Kush’ was humorous, extremely knowledgeable and above all, a credit to G Adventures.
We made the 5-hour journey to Jaipur from Agra the day after seeing the Taj Mahal in all of its beauty and stopped off at Fatehpur Sikri & Abhaneri along the way.
The next day we were up at the crack of dawn (again!), this time to visit Jaipur’s Amber Fort, which was stunning.
Emily and I hadn’t realised how tiring the tour would be, but the early wake-ups were worth it, as it meant we were able to see so much.
Later that afternoon, we visited Jaipur’s City Palace before the heavens opened with torrential hailstone rain like I’d never seen before.
That evening we then went to the cinema to watch a traditional Bollywood film called ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’, which was screened in Indian without subtitles.
The film was a romantic comedy about a gay man and his partner, who were having trouble convincing the former’s parents of their relationship.
I was looking forward to buying my usual meal deal – large sweet popcorn, packet of minstrels and Tango ice blast for £10.99, but it wasn’t quite like that, unfortunately! I settled with a Twix and a bottle of Coke.
Regardless, we thought we’d all be walking out after five minutes, but we stayed until the interval and managed to get the gist of the storyline, thanks to Emily’s Media Production knowledge.
On Friday morning, we enjoyed a lie in until 9:30 AM, before listening to a two-hour speech from Mr. Indarjit Singh – a British Asian, who is a member of the House of Lords, about India’s rich history.
We then made the short two-hour journey to Pachewar, where we were staying in a converted Fort overnight.
This and the Taj Mahal were the highlights of the trip for me, as we got to walk through the streets of the village, talk to the children, as well as go into somebody’s home for a cooking tutorial. When I say home, it was more of a roof with four open rooms.
Then, in the evening, Emily, Lynne and Patricia decided to get Henna tattoos. I was against the idea originally, but when Ron decided he was getting one, I decided to join in too.
We then all dressed up in traditional dress and were encouraged to take part in a dance, which pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I felt comfortable enough, and it was all part of the fun.
The day after we made the 7-hour coach journey back to the Blooms Boutique in New Delhi – where we originally started the tour.
As it was the eve of Emily’s birthday and also our last meal together, Emily and I asked everyone if they wanted to eat at a restaurant we had eaten at in our first few days in Delhi.
It was a nice way of ending the tour with everybody together. Emily enjoyed her surprise birthday cake and birthday present off the group – a traditional sari.
We’re now in Sri Lanka, where we’re doing a 12-day tour with One Life Adventures.