I have been waiting for this day for an extremely long time. From the day I booked our flight to New Delhi all the way back in February, I have had frequent frenzied moments of jumping up and down with excitement or grabbing the person closest to me and squeezing them with delight. I’ve also had a few moments of panic – not knowing what to pack on this trip that isn’t really a holiday but isn’t really proper backpacking either; stressing over the complicated visa process; worrying about what clothes to take in a country that will be hot in the South but cooler in the North and where modern cities thrive next to older traditional places (to jean it or not to jean it?).
But now the time has eventually arrived and I’m all ready to go. I’ve got a food list so long that we may not even get time to see the Taj Mahal – thanks Twitter friends 😉 – and enough Immodium to cure the whole of Delhi from Delhi belly. I’ve got enough guides (in the form of books, phone and tablet guides) to take us anywhere we want to go; and a backpack big enough to take us on a much longer trip.
I haven’t been this excited about my travels since I booked our 4 month journey around Africa. Although we only have 3 weeks, me being me, I have tried to pack in as much as possible without rushing through anywhere too quickly. It’s fine, it’s fine, we don’t need to sleep at all during the next 3 weeks do we?
On this adventure we’ll be starting in Delhi where we’ll be straight off on a food and walking tour of Old Delhi’s bazaars as soon as we step off our 9 hour flight. I’m not sure Alex is too pleased with this but my reasoning is that it will stop us getting jet lagged as we won’t be able to sleep at random times. Well that’s what I’ve told him anyway – my real reason is simply that I’m too eager to delve straight into this new country! We will then fly to Varanasi to soak up the culture in one of the holiest places in India. An overnight train ride will take us to the Taj Mahal in Agra and from there we’ll make our way around Rajasthan stopping at Rajasthan’s capital city, Jaipur; Bikaner for a dusty stopover at the rat temple; Jaisalmer, where we’ll spend Christmas in the Thar Desert; and the blue city of Jodhpur. From there we will fly down to India’s most modern and populated city, Mumbai, and then further south to Kerala, known as God’s Own Country, where we’ll visit the rolling tea plantations of Munnar, the sandy beaches of Mararikulam for New Year, and Kochi, the Gateway to Kerala.
I am so excited to visit a new place and somewhere that is so different to anywhere else in the world that I just know I won’t sleep on the flight. Poor Alex will be getting woken up by my restless fidgeting and constant exclamations of “Ooh, look at this!” while I’m flicking through the guide books (apologies in advance Alex!).
But right now, India is calling so I’d better be off…or rather the woman announcing our flight is calling so we’d best start boarding!
See you soon India! 🙂