The two major highlights of my trip were visiting Varanasi and Tordi Garh, two opposite ends of the spectrum. The former is completely chaotic and definitely keeps you on your toes, quite literally. The people, the colours, the atmosphere and the life on the Ganges is something special and for me it made me realise how unique this city is. Tordi Garh on the other hand was a small village in the middle of nowhere, incredibly peaceful, where you could really sense the community being one. Walking through the little streets with all the children coming out to see you was a great moment of tour as they were so excited to see and be around you and have their photo taken.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Standing/sitting on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi was the most inspirational moment of my trip. Although viewing the city at night is inspirational enough, simply sitting on the banks and watching everyday life pass you; people washing their clothes, washing themselves, praying and generally going about their daily tasks just makes you feel at peace when you’re there.What did you think of your tour leader?
I had two tour leaders on my tour, both with their own distinctive styles. Paddy and Singh were exceptional leaders and really encouraged you to interact with the local people, which everyone should do anyway, but they gave you the confidence to go out there on your own and wander through the streets which can be daunting in some of the big cities.Do you feel that you got under the skin of a country?
With the help of the tour leaders and the itinerary, which I felt was perfect for getting under the skin of India, I had the opportunity to see some wonderful sites and meet amazing locals who I will never forget. Walking through the village in Tordi Garh allowed you to see the real India, life which is virtually untouched by tourists.Do you feel your holiday benefited the local people?
I think it benefited the locals in terms of using local transport and the fact that we bought food and souvenirs.What was it like travelling in a group?
I was fortunate enough to have a great tour group. Everybody clicked which was great and we were able to joke about with one another.Why types of transport did you use whilst on the tour?
The transport used included, jeep, overnight train, plane, local buses and mini-van. The jeeps and the overnight train were the most interesting modes of transport as we were with locals on the train for 13+ hours sharing little compartments, where as the jeeps it was just the tour group bouncing along the narrow uneven roads. If you’ve been feeling unwell prior to the train and jeeps, you will feel uncomfortable.What was the food like and what were the places you ate like?
The food was really good. Some of the restaurants we ate in were better than some here and eating curries from their native country just tasted better. I wouldn’t recommend eating food from street vendors unless it is one that the tour leader can suggest. On one of the days, we took a boat through the backwaters of Kerala and stopped off at a little family and had lunch. It was rice and a small bit of curry, with 3 different accompaniments which we ate with our fingers out of a banana leaf. That was an experience I will never forget.What advice would you give to other potential travellers going to India?
Take a money belt. Pack lightly because you will probably wear the same clothes and can always wash them anyway. Take a sleeping sheet for the overnight trains. Drink lots of water, but only bottled water. Check the cap first to make sure that it hasn’t been broken. Be prepared for anything. After a few days in India, nothing will shock you because you would probably see it then. Everything and anything is possible here, so just stay alert.
Our tailor made adventure holidays will truly inspire and delight the senses and will live in your memory for ever.more info
Join us on one of our worldwide adventures coming up over the next few months - all guaranteed to depart, all at 20% off.more info