My dream of exploring India finally came true!
I was fortunate to have made a great Indian friend studying at UAL, with her room being opposite mine at halls. Since the beginning, Megha was always telling me about how buzzing India is with so much opportunity, the culture they live in and describing her vast family, whom I had the pleasure of meeting on a few occasions on Skype.
Just before summer 2015 came around and knowing Megha was back in Delhi with her family, I contacted her and simply said,” I am coming out to India”, this was just when I had got my Visa sorted, jabs done and booked my flight the night before my departure date. I was manic packing and couldn’t believe I was finally off to visit Megha and her family and to see India for the first time.
Sorting out my itinerary, I obviously wanted to see the whole of India, as much as I could. I knew that a group of friends were out in Rajasthan in the first week I was arriving, so I put that as the start of my travelling destination.
I did the whole of west india – Rajasthan, Delhi, South West – Kerela (backwaters) incredible! South Goa (my parents crashed my travelling), North Goa and the Himalayas North East of India – Manali and Ladakh.
I flew from Gatwick to Delhi where Megha found me and drove me to meet her whole family. A massive welcome was held where never-ending family members gathered to meet me. Cousins galore crowded round and fired questions wanting to know everything about England and my life.
Megah’s parents Versha and Ashok practically adopted me, taking me in and making me part of their enormous family 🙂
Very early next morning I flew to Jodphur to begin my travels.
Take a peak of my adventure round India.
Week 1- Blue City Jodhpur Rajasthan
The boys and I trekked in our alibaba trousers from the best backpacker hosteoporosis – ZOSTLE! Where we had already drunk about 2 litres of water each in 15 minutes and swearer uncontrollably, such fun. Once we climbed the never ending hill, we stood in awe at our first temple, Mehrangarh.
Week 1 – Jaisalmer Rajasthan
After a six hour bus ride, this was the first and last comfortable bus journey we were going to have. We arrived in Jaisalmer to explore its Fort and explore its baking hot desert on our camel safari adventure!
Week 1 – Udaipur
This bus journey, I will never forget! 14 hours from Jaisalmer to Udaipur on the top bunk, bouncing and flying into the window due to the classic indian way of driving.
Eventful is an understatement, but it got us there so I’m all good in the hood 🙂 Udaipur is such a peaceful and attractive city, full of fun and lively people making backpackers travelling have a memorable experience.
Just look at the dances costumes – pattern and colour galore, making it so vibrant and inviting. This dance is one not to miss if you find yourself in Udaipur.
Week 2 – Pushkar Rajasthan
The guys and I then had to leave each other, as they were off to Australia to continue their travels, sad days 😦 I was then a one man wolf pack heading to my next destination Pushkar.
Pushkar is a Hindu pilgrimage town which circles around a holy lake, said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. The town often hums with puja (prayers) generating an episodic soundtrack of chanting, drums and gongs, and devotional songs.
The main street is one long bazaar (Market), selling anything to tickle a traveller’s fancy, from hippy-chic tie-dye to didgeridoos.
I met a Canadian family, mother and two sons, where we instantly became travelling buddies and toured the remaining cities of Rajasthan together for 10 days.
Week 2 – Jaipur, Rajasthan
Travelling to Jaipur from Pushkar was a hoot and a half, did i just say that? My new Canadian family and I drove as we wanted an easier journey to get to our next destination. The only music we were allowed to listen to was Chart Music, that Melissa’s son played over and over again.
We stayed in a very comfortable Heritage Hotel – Chirmi Palace, where the owner spoke great english and gave us great recommendations on what to see. They also invited us as their guests to the golf club for a very grand supper – I was in need of a huge meal!
Elephant riding was upon us 🙂
Week 2 – Taj Mahal, Agra
Catching an early train to Agra from Jaipur proved a lot more challenging than we had anticipated. We booked our tickets in a hurry as limited seats remained and no one it seemed could tell us if the train was either at 6am or 7am, classic! We got there at 6am the next morning, the train was then said to be at 7am but then also delayed until 10am! By this point I just laughed and fell onto my backpack and watched the buzzing station role on.
We finally got to Agra and mooched around to find good but of course cheap accommodation. We decided to have a gander around the town and ask the locals on the best time to visit the Taj Mahal. 6am, sunrise!
Melissa, the boys and I bussed 5 hours from Agra to Delhi, where we were ending our travels together with huge tears at the end saying our goodbyes and parting ways.
Week 3 – Kerela, Southern India
It’s known for its palm-lined beaches and its backwaters, a network of canals popular for cruises. Its many upscale seaside resorts include specialists in Ayurvedic treatments. This was my next destination to have a relaxing and pampering time, being a beach baby again.
Kerela destinations included Kovalam, Varkala and Alleppey. The sweet life is a beach life.
The Land of backwater heaven! Time to get my canoe and explore.
Munnar – Tea Planation
Spontaneous detour to visit Munnar for two days. Got my bike, got my backpack and away we go.
Week 4 – South Goa
Now who do I get a call from saying they are crashing my travels? Mum and Dad. I finally arrived in Goa after travelling a whopping 21 hours by train! Have to say I will never do that again and before anyone says it is character building, you are all liars haha!
3 man wolf pack take Goa
Whirl wind Goa came to an end. See yarrrr latterrrr parents, I’m off for more Goa up north.
Im feeling 24. Megha’s Birthday. North Goa we are coming for you. 4 girlies gone wild staying in the O Hotel. Let the games begin!
After a week long of parties, suppers, beaching and endless activities, us girlies flew back to Delhi for a week of R&R with the family 🙂
Week 6 Manali – Northern Himachal Pradesh state.
Catch me if you can. Time to catch the 14 hour bus and travel to Manali for my week long trek. I arrived mid afternoon and picked up by the organiser of my trip where I would meet the other family I was going to be trekking with.
The Indian family were very welcoming and were totally English in my eyes, as they spoke far better English than I did! Their son Sammud, Samwise I nicknamed him, was at Miami University and we instantly hit it off when he whacked out a game of Uno!
Week 7 Ladakh – Jammu & Kashmir Region.
Ladakh is hemmed in by walls of dramatic mountains. This makes for unforgettable landscapes. Embarking on my two day road trip from Manali to Ladakh was an adventure I will never forget! Another week long of activities ahead, cycling in the dust and wild white water rafting about to be bossed.
Everything fun always comes to an end :(. Ladakh is conquered. Time to fly.
Week 8 – Delhi
Going out with a bang, Delhi style. Birthday galore, family events, entertainment and foodie, food, food. Theres no Curry like Versha’s Curry.
My time in India was a blast, never did I want it to end. New family and friends have been made and will always be treasured. Thank you to all that made it super and for the coolest parents of all Versha and Ashok for looking after me as one of their own. I’ll be back with a bang. Word on the street there could be a double wedding…..TBC!
Peace out for now