By this time tomorrow I’ll be on a plane well on my way to Dubai from where, after a brief stopover (just long enough to stretch legs and change planes) I will head to Delhi.
This holiday has snuck up on me, like so many before it. We (as in, me and my Aunty Wendy) booked it ages ago, handed over our money, and then I pretty much forgot about it! It is usually my style to leave packing to the day before and my excitement to international departures.
For those of you who’ve been asking what I’ll see when I’m there (and who have met, without exception, with a blank stare and a shrug) here is the itinerary:
- Day 1 Delhi – Arrive at any time. Evening visit to India Gate and Connaught Place.
- Days 2-3 Jaipur – Visit to Palace of the Winds and Amber Fort.
- Day 4 Agra – Visit to Agra Fort and Taj Mahal.
- Days 5-6 Orchha – Visit to Orchha Palace Complex. Option to join a local family for a cooking class and lunch.
- Days 7-8 Varanasi – Orientation walk along ghats and old city; Ganges boat trip at sunrise and sunset.
- Day 9 Lumbini – Visit the Buddha’s birthplace.
- Days 10-11 Chitwan National Park – Explore the park by jeep safari.
- Days 12-13 Pokhara – Sarangkot sunrise excursion.
- Day 14 Kathmandu – Drive to Kathmandu. Visit to Swayambhunath en route.
- Day 15 Kathmandu – Optional Everest scenic flight. Depart at any time.
There will be no trekking on this occasion unfortunately, but it’s safe to say the “optional” Everest scenic flight is not “optional” to me. We will also have a few days in Delhi beforehand to immerse ourselves in the local culture. As someone who gets jumpy whenever someone stands too close in the queue at the bank, it’ll be interesting to see how I fare in one of the most populated cities in the World! I managed Tokyo okay, but then, I did intentionally avoid peak hour at all times…
I have never heard of most of the places listed above because, apparently, I’ve been living under a rock. The complete itinerary certainly makes them sound interesting and I’m looking forward to being educated about a part of the World I know very little about (feel free to enlighten me in advance in the comments below!)
I have been warned (more times than I can count) not to drink the water and to be careful what I eat (one suggestion involved exclusively sticking to McDonald’s – but I’m supposed to be on holiday from my normal life haha). My mother will be pleasantly surprised that I have kicked my Coke habit (the black kind, not the white kind) just in time for my long haul flight, although I’m starting to wonder if my timing could have been better. After all, it’s one of the safer drinks from what I’ve been hearing! When I visited Morocco a couple of years ago I was so cautious about not eating or drinking anything dodgy yet I still managed to catch a bug that haunts me to this day. I’m just hoping that if I catch a new one they duke it out amongst themselves and leave my poor guts in peace.
Luckily, my aunty is a pharmacist, so we’ll be the most prepared on the tour.
As most of you know, this trip is helping me tick off two of my Top 30 List challenges:
8. Get a culture injection: Book a trip to India and Nepal (which I’ve already marked complete), and
18. Throw yourself in the deep end: Live and work abroad
I’m looking forward to meeting some people I’ve been working remotely with for over a year. Apparently they want me to share a video testimonial while I’m there, which is about as close as I’m going to get to starring in a Bollywood film!
I can’t wait to be smacked in the face with all the colours and aromas of India. Bring it on!
For now, it’s time to pack!
I return in mid April and I think there’s a good chance you won’t hear much out of me until then, so… see you later alligators! Thanks for reading my blog up to now and being a part of my ‘Top 30’ journey. Who’s up for a slide night when I get back??