A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Planning

Well - Thanks to the internet and modern technology I sill had to wait for over 90 mins in the Indian embassy to get a Visa.
First trip was a waisted journey as they needed my passport!! I had a trip to Kiev to go to first. Second visit was 2 hrs and i did manage to drop off my passport.
ticket_cou..e_edi_nas_i.jpg

Collection of the visa is after 4pm. They will tell you that at 12:00 after a long trek through London - Don't expect that on any website or verbal information.

The tour has been planed for me - As you can see by the map above -

11/12 January 2015 (1 Night): Delhi, Colonel's Retreat Near Airport
12/13 January 2015 (1 Night): Mandawa, Heritage Mandawa
13/14 January 2015 (1 Night): Bikaner, Jaswant Bhawan
14/16 January 2015 (2 Nights): Jaisalmer, Pleasant Haveli
16/17 January 2015 (1 Night): Jodhpur, Mandore Guest House
17/19 January 2015 (2 Nights): Udaipur, Sargam Sadan
19/21 January 2015 (2 Nights): Jaipur, experience to stay with an Indian Family,
21/22 January 2015 (1 Night): Agra, Taj Resorts -
22/23 January 2015 (1 Night): Khajuraho, Hotel Surya -
23/24 January 201 5 (1 Night): Varanasi, Kedareswar Guest House -
24 January 2015: RJPB RAJDHANI - Dep: 22:35 Arr: 07:40 - First A/C - Train to Delhi

Flights booked with Jet Airways - Although AirAsia did have very completive prices

You are best to wait until the last moment to remember that India is full of nasties and you might need the odd injection to make sure you don't come back with something that you did not intend to come back with.

So that's all planed ready to jet off -

Posted by woody1 08:44 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged _ visa planing indau Comments (0)

Packing

What more do I need

rain 10 °C

They say that Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents a Piss Poor Performance.

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I think I have everything -

iPhone Charger
Money
Imodium
Passport

Happy days.

Posted by woody1 02:31 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged packing _ imodium Comments (0)

The flight and arrival

overcast 12 °C

If you leave plenty of time the roads are always clear and there are never any queues at security.
Security was as smooth - Although I had to remove the content of my bag, laptop and ipad, (yes I am taking the iPad this time) kindle spare hard drive and the iPhone charging cable.

Then duty free shopping to waist time - I do remember the time when a bottle of whisky was cheaper in duty free than Morrisons, not sure what has gone wrong in T4 but should have shopped in the supermarket for my cooking whisky.

The plan is to drink a few beers and time warp so I wake in Delhi fresh for the trip.

Now boarding a Boeing Triple 7 - Sister of the queen of the skies - Extra leg room on the over wing exit -

///

The plan worked - Apart for waking for food and to top up on beer I slept most of the way to Delhi.

Almost straight through passport control and bag collection. All so very smooth.

Weather is a bit foggy 12C so still jumper order.

Collected and taken to hotel 1 - Colonel's Retreat Near Airport- Very comfortable
He was very proud that they had running hot water.

My driver and guide for the next 15 days:

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Happy looking fellow

Time to chill before going to get food and beer -

Just had a lovely meal and a couple of extra strong kingfishers.
It might appear as a private dining room but iI think I am the only one staying here -
day1-supper.jpg

Posted by woody1 18:27 Archived in India Tagged new _ delhi arrived Comments (1)

Day One

Delhi -> Mandawa, Rajasthan, India

overcast 10 °C
View India 2015 on woody1's travel map.

Early start 08:00 L -

For those of you who know me know that good food, and especially curry, forms a very big part of my day. The plan is to eat curry for breakfast, lunch and supper.
It started very well - Aloo Paratha, yoghurt and hot chutney for breakfast. Again in the private dining room.
Then Veg curry for lunch and yes Chicken Korma extra spicy for supper - Happy days. Again in a private dining room (see below)

It started foggy but one that cleared the day was bright and sunny.

The journey was as expected - No rules on the Roads! Animals - cows, sheep, goats wondering as they please. What road safety!!!

The school run
theschoolrun.jpg

I am not quite sure why they have white lines painted on the roads as no one seems to pay any attention to them. Or what side of the road to drive on.

Mr Dhasmendre or Dash to his friend told me that you need 4 things to drive in India
1. A good horn
2. Good breaks
3. Good eye site
4. Good luck

As a passenger you don't need a nervous disposition

A fine overtaking manoeuvre:
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The villages and towns are not particularly clean but very colourful and full of life:
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They say every cow is sacred:
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Mandawa is referred to as the "open art gallery" of Rajasthan the paintings on the buildings are fantastic. I had a tour of the streets and buildings here is a small example of the brilliant murals:
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The hotel is lovely - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on steroids:
Hotel - http://www.hotelheritagemandawa.com/mandawa-hotels-photo.htm
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Private dining the only way:
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Posted by woody1 18:27 Archived in India Comments (1)

Day Two

Mandawa -> Bikaner, - In to the desert on a camel with no name

sunny 16 °C

60% of the town are Hindu and 40% Muslim so there is a number of Mosques. Which have a call to prayer 5 times a day.
6:06 this morning I was awaken with the call to prayer, normally it is not a problem but the Mosque must have been 2 yards from my room. Slightly too early for my prayer to the god of glorious mornings.

Mr Dhasmendre was in good voice this morning as we weaved our way out of town. I have worked out the traffic system - don't follow the traffic rules follow the traffic. There is order in disorder.

It did not take long before we were on a clear road - Well apart form the cows, sheep, goats and camels and the occasional truck on the wrong side of the road.
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The first part of today's journey was to Mr Dhasmendre's home village - we left the metalled road and started our way in to the sands of the desert.
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This was a fantastic experience. Off the tourist trail so I saw life as close to real as I am ever going too.
Its a hard life this guy is only 43.
oldman.jpg

They have no internal running water or inside sanitation.
The wheat is milled by hand and the stoves are powered by twigs and camel / cow dung:
mill.jpg stove.jpg

Into the desert on a camel - I asked what the camel's name was and was told "he has no name"
cammel1.jpgcamel2.jpg

There were plants and birds and rocks and things:

Then back for lunch.
lunch.jpg

The white stuff top right is curd and was advised that the local way is to pick it up and drink it from the bowl so that you get a white moustache. I did not want to upset my hosts.
drink.jpg

Off to a small town Patpoor - (spelling a bit dodgy) which was also very vibrant and colourful. Lots of stunning building with beautiful art work on the walls. I walked the streets for 1/2 hour and did not get any hassle from any one except a young lad trying to show me a magic trick. It was so refreshing not to get pestered to by a hawker or a beggar.
patpoer.jpg

On to the hotel
http://www.hoteljaswantbhawan.com/

I walked out at night therough the dark streets looking for the recommended restaurant - The only thing that i was worried about was the biles and cars hitting me - I felt safe with the crowd.

I could not find restaurant that was mentioned but i found one that was full of people - Going on the assumption that if it is full it must be good and also private dinning is good but can get a bit tiresome. The food was fantastic even tho it was a fast food joint - Top nosh.

Posted by woody1 08:41 Archived in India Tagged _ camel bikaner dessert mandawa Comments (1)

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