Category Archives: Main Blog

Warm Clothes for Indian Kids

It was really cold in Ranthambore and I know the villagers struggle to keep warm so I went to the market to buy some warm clothes for the children at the school in the old town and the mother and child unit run by UNICEF. A guy from the hotel drove me there and on the way back to the hotel asked me if I would like to drive the car. Those of you who know the Indian roads would understand why I declined this kind offer though I have to admit I did consider it.



Clothes for UNICEF

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Lakes and Palaces

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Rickshaw Photos

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.

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Orient Express

Had a great time in June on the Orient Express.

Orient Express

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Well, I’ve decided to try a new destination and have travelled West instead of East to Cuba. I have studied and am quite fond of talking about Communism, so Cuba will be my cup of tea.

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Surviving Long Haul Flights

Nobody enjoys flying and especially long haul economy class. It can be hell! With my work, I fly a lot, as I return home after each tour. So how do you make it easier? I ALWAYS volunteer for upgrades but NEVER get one.
I always ask if the flight is full. If it Is not full then I ask to be seated next to an empty seat. Worth a try and it does happen.
If you want a window seat then ask for one and if you want an aisle seat then ask.
Relax and try to keep occupied. Drink lots of water, but not too much alcohol. Free flowing drinks sounds good but to much alcohol at altitude is not good for you.

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Being a Tour Guide – Work or Holiday?

Many people ask me what I do, as a tour guide and seem to think I am one long holiday. It is a nice job but can be very difficult and hard work.
So what exactly do I do? On the first day of a tour, I meet the clients at the airport, take them to the coach and take them to the first hotel. Sometimes if the arrival is early then I have to keep the group occupied until the rooms are ready.
Planning and preparation are everything and I have to reconfirm everything on tour – meals, hotels, local guides, coaches, sights. Always one step ahead.
I have to make sure the clients know where to be and when – communication is the key.
I tell the clients about the places visited. History, current information and stories.
Making sure the clients know how to get the most of any free time is also important.
If the clients aren’t happy, then I have to deal with it and sort out any problems. Some clients complain a lot. And I have to deal with that. Some clients ask a lot of questions.

Every day s different and things can go wrong. Some tours are a breeze and some tours are a struggle.

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Cycling Abroad

I love getting around on 2 wheels, as long as it is safe. I have cycled in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, India, USA…

In Munich, I cycled with my American group. Everything is geared up to cyclists here, with cycle paths throughout the city. The English Garden is the best part though and the bike lanes go on for ever and the Chinese Tower with it’s beer garden is a highlight there. You just wouldn’t know you were in a big city.

Vienna This city is wonderful for cyclists and has bike paths and even special traffic lights for cyclists. I would recommend cycling to the Prata Allee which is next to the Giant Ferris wheel and fun park. From here you can cycle to the River Danube and the Danube Island. I did fall off my bike here, avoiding a little kid – still have the bruises.

Salzburg As with Vienna, a cyclists’ paradise. The cycle path along the River Salzach is beautiful.

Italy Well here I just cycled on the Island Elbe. I was with a group and had a free afternoon but didn’t want my group to see me on the beach. My driver suggested cycling to another beach as the hotel had bikes for rent. I agreed but it was a very hilly, long ride in the heat. The beach was worth it, though I did try to persuade my driver to cycle back to the hotel, get the coach and come back and pick me and my bike up. I did manage the ride back to the hotel.

France Cycling around the gardens of Versailles is defintely to be recommended. So much to see, including Marie Antoinette’s place. Did this with a group of Americans – they loved it.

India Well, I wouldn’t recommend cycling in India unless you are in a quiet spot. I was in Kerala at the Marari Beach Resort and they advertised bike rides at the hotel. It was in fact a free self guided bike ride with a map and instructions (and a bike of course) issued by the hotel. I was on holiday and my husband didn’t want to go but my Father was with us and he did want to go. I’m not ageist but my Dad is 70 and I tried to talk him out of it but he insisted on coming with me. All was well until he tried to cut a corner and fell off his bike. thankfully. he was ok. Kerala is Communist and my Dad had collided with a flag pole and the Communist flag along with the stars of Communism came crashing down with him. The locals did not look happy.

In the USA I rented a bike for a week while staying on Anna Maria Island in Florida. This island is long and narrow and quiet. On a windy day I cycled 5 miles to one end of the island and hadn’t realised how windy it was, until I turned around to cycle back to our condo. I had to cycle against the wind and it really felt like I was on an exercise bike – cycling like crazy but getting nowhere.

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Where does a Tour Guide go on Holiday

My friends and clients often ask me where I go on holiday, as I travel so much for my work. The fact is, I love to travel and explore and it is nice just to be a tourist from time to time, without 30 0r 40 clients following me (much as I love my clients). As a tourist, I can freely carry a map, a guide bookand a camera. I love nature and I love cities.

Recently I have travelled to Southern India, Florida, Rome, Spain and Wales without a group.

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Helping India’s Street Kids

Many of my clients have asked me, at the end of an India Tour, how they can help India’s poor, especially the children. I also felt that I wanted to help, so did some research and got into contact with a NGO (Non Government Organisation) in the city of Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan.

The NGO is I-Indiaonline (website ).

The founders Prabhakar and Abha Goswami, Continue reading

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