Sunday, March 25, 2012


Hello from India!

It's proved more difficult to get online here so my greetings are about ten days delayed. I arrived last Wednesday, March 14th and have been basically on the move since. I have many posts to share but only have time for a quick one now!

The first night in Delhi was far different than I expected! The adventure started within my first hour on the ground when my taxi driver repeatedly fell asleep on the journey to the city. Because of the already erratic driving behavior here, it took me a while to figure out he was actually dozing off. For the remainder of the trip I found reasons to make small talk to keep him awake, despite him knowing approximately one word of English. I will skip the story of my first hotel lest it put you off India entirely and just say that I quickly saw I would need to adjust my travel technique for my new locale.

The first morning was the day of culture shock. I managed to navigate my way past the many people attempting to "help" me and found one of the few true tourist information centers. There I met two German boys who were just as new to things as I, and we managed to sort through all our questions together. For your future travel enjoyment, some rules for India: have your shit together. You don't have to have it all planned before you arrive but know at least a little about what you want, how much it should cost, how long it takes, whatever, the more info you have up front the easier it is to spot the people trying to dupe you (which also means more quickly identifying those who genuinely want to help - of which there are many!) Rule two: if they come to you, be highly skeptically of their intentions. If you go to them, they will likely give you good information. So you just saved £15 not having to buy a travel guide and can now roam around India in the know.

I've wandered quite a bit thus far so let me give you a snapshot (hopefully followed by more stories in the next day or two - I have about 36 hours of train time ahead of me soon so that should be enough time to compose a post or two!):

•two days in Delhi
•one and a half days in Jaipur - the pink city. Saw Jantar Mantar - very cool.
•three days in Udaipur - such a beautiful city! Great for city strolls, which I love.
•three days in Jaisalmer - incredible architecture! Went on a camel safari for a day and a half in the middle which was quite enjoyable :)

India is a huge place! To see these places over the last ten days my transportation has included approximately:

•3 hours in taxis
•1.5 hours in tuk tuks
•22 hours on buses
•8 hours on a train
•6 hours on a camel
•and many hours walking!

I leave this afternoon for Agra to see the Taj Mahal on Monday. It'll add another 20 hours to the train total but I hear it's a sight to behold ;). I will let you know all about it (if I'm lucky, maybe even with some pics!).