I am taking my own group to India in 10 days time! I am very excited about showing this magical country to some friends and friends of friends. Though I am also a little nervous as I feel I have to do an even better job than normal as it is not just my professional reputation at stake but also my personal reputation. It will be an amazing experience for everyone. Hope we see a Tiger!
Arrived safely in Delhi and couldn’t believe that it was raining heavily. It never rains in October in Delhi. Luckily it. Stopped raining and we had a great afternoon and evening. I think everyone will sleep well tonight. Can’t wait for tomorrow, when we will visit Old Delhi and have a ricks haw ride. We will also visit the Mahatma Ghandi memorial, go shopping at a market and I am having a drinks party in my room in the evening.
Everyone seems very excited and happy and to be enjoying the experience so far. A great start.
I have several names here in India – Anita Ji – Ji is a sign of respect. Miss Anita. And then my favourite Chachi – it actually means auntie but I am not auntie to all those hawkers who use this term.
Everyone was really excited today as we headed off to Old Delhi for some sightseeing and a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk – the market area. The whole experience was amazing. The traffic can only be described as chaotic. The sounds of all those horns. Then the sights of the narrow alleyways with an array of tiny shops, stalls and vendors. The colours and smells all made it such a memorable experience.
I knew this tour would be different and it sure is. Yesterday I had a drinks party in my room for all 21 members of the group. How did I do that? Firstly I managed to get a suite at the hotel so there was plenty of space. Next I went out in a Tuk Tuk to an English Wine shop – a shop that sells alcohol but is not English and doesn’t usually sell wine.
I ended up going to 4 different shops. Parnell Reilly decided to come with me and act as body guard as I think the group were worried about me going out alone – really great that they care. The first shop had nothing I needed. The second had Indian wine so I bought 4 bottles. I went to a third shop and left the wine in the tuk tuk so asked Parnell to be the wine guard instead of the body guard and stay with the tuk tuk to make sure the tuk tuk driver didn’t run off with the wine. This third shop had cans of beer so I bought 18 cans and the fourth shop had tonic water to go with the gin I bought at Heathrow and I bought 7 cans – actually all they had.
The party went well and they all had a great time – it was a real ice breaker. ALL the booze was consumed – every last drop of alcohol and my room was left full of empty bottles and cans.
After that we all went to the Chinese restaurant on the 20th floor. And finished up in Henry’s Bar.
I left at 12.30 and most of the group were still there.
Haven’t had much chance to blog so far as this group. Have kept me busy. It’s been a blast so far and everyone is so positive and up beat. I am really enjoying showing them India. Here are the rickshaw photos from Saturday.
Arrived in Udaipur only to find that all the roads to our hotel were blocked my the police due to a festival. We drove around the city trying to find a way to the hotel. The Hindu festival was in full swing and there was also a huge goat market for the Muslims who were selling goats to be sacrificed. I never saw so many goats. It is about £200 for a goat. Tracy Jeffries wanted to take them all back to Cannon Hall where she works to save them from sacrifice. So it was the police, the festival and goats that were blocking our way to the hotel. Very entertaining.
I love Udaipur, city of lakes in the land of Kings. It has to be one of the most beautiful spots in Asia. We started today with a boat trip on Lake Pichola. The Maharana’s Palace is situated on this man made lake so we started our boat trip here. Nice relaxing start to the day and we had a stop on Jagmondir Island which is a popular spot for parties, weddings and Bollywood shots. Lake Pichola is sometimes dry and I remember a few years ago a guide telling me how they played cricket on the lake as there was no water.