It’s been a dream of mine to visit India for as long as I can remember. This January, I went on Intrepid’s 15 day Classic Rajasthan trip with my friend, Beth.
Note: Click on the photos below if you want to read the caption.
Day 1: New Delhi
I try to deal with jet lag with a mini cup of instant coffee. Beth drags me out on public transit. We do not get where we wanted to go. I am not that bothered. It’s good to just be here.
Tour kicks off at dinner time. There are 11 of us from 6 different countries.
Day 2: New Delhi
Tour begins for real. We see stuff. A lot of stuff! Very quickly!
With our free time in the afternoon, a couple of us manage to take both the metro AND a rickshaw to an actual destination. We are learning.
Day 3: Agra
We survived a train car fire, visited one of the most beautiful sites in the world, and learned a lot about the history of India at the Red Fort.
Day 4: Rural heritage stay
Foggy bus ride to a 400-year-old fort, restored into a rustic bed and breakfast. I enjoyed trees, mountains and silence for the first time in a while.
I was sadly suffering from Delhi Belly and go to bed early. When music from a temple in the village wakes me up at 5am the next day, I just go watch the sunrise and record this video. And then I whine about the lack of hot water. But mostly, I just roll with it.
Day 5: Jaipur
Another day, another fort.
Day 6: Jaipur
I needed a break from doing tourist things. Spent the morning at the mall. Ate the biggest dosa ever for $3. Saw a Disney India flick about a dad who taught his daughters to wrestle. I may have teared up a bit. Perfect day.
Day 7: Ranthambhore National Park
Went on a safari looking for tigers! Found some monkeys, birds, crocodiles and deer instead.
Day 8: Bundi
Dodged cows, monkeys and bats to see some amazing ancient paintings in a castle. Had “the world’s best” masala chai.
Could have spent much more time in Bundi.
Day 9: Bijaipur
Rode a local train to the most horrible hotel ever.
Day 10: Bijaipur
“Camping” in the middle of nowhere. We saw a hill, so we decided to walk up it.
Then we played some cricket between tents and air conditioner parts. My kind of day.
Day 11: Udaipur
We have lunch in a sunny, warm rooftop restaurant. Sadly, we must go to see a fort. It’s the nicest fort of the entire trip, but it’s so busy and I am so tired of forts.
I perk up at the boat ride after. And we surprise our fabulous trip leader, Arpita, with a birthday cake and balloons.
Day 12: Udaipur
Woke up early for hard and fun yoga taught by a very bendy senior gentleman. We are in tourist area full of foreigners, which means I can have REAL COFFEE.
A friend and I set out for a hike in the afternoon. We were redirected to this cable car as they said the walking path was too steep and no one used it. The cable car was brilliant! But the walking path was just fine too, which we took on the way down. Fine way to spend $2 and two hours.
Day 13: Pushkar
I am not thrilled about trading the ground for a large animal. But then I find myself on a camel. In the dessert!
Day 14: Pushkar
Woke up at 5 am to techno music. Guess the kite festival needed an early start. Then visited Pushkar Lake, a sacred lake to Hindus.
Day 15: New Delhi
Tour is over. Everyone has scattered to different corners of the world.
I had an extra day in Delhi and no plans. So I spent it with my new friend eating delicious things, listening to music, and talking.
I felt like I was at home with a good friend … until we had to cross a street.
The experiences I had on this trip delighted and unsettled me … the most significant of which I am not sharing online. It’s safe to say I wasn’t ready to go home.