India: Conclusion

Snake charmer with a member of our tour group.  Yes, that is a real cobra (defanged).

David and I returned to Hawaii on Nov 15.  We had spent 2 weeks abroad.  So how was our trip?  Wonderful!  Exceeded expectations!  The tour to India was very well organized by Air and Sea Travel in Honolulu.  We could not have had a better itinerary nor better tour guides.  We thought it was money well spent.

Here are some random thoughts today:

I regret that I was unable to have a photo of David and me, sitting in a horse drawn carriage on our way to the Taj Mahal, because it was still night fall.  The reason for starting out so early in the morning is that we had to get to the entrance to the Taj before more tourists showed up and made it difficult to get tickets.  What a romantic carriage ride it was!  Simply unforgettable! Returning from the Taj, we boarded an electric vehicle back to our bus.

I won’t be showing you photos of Amber Fort, the City Palaces, and the Sun Dial, either.  There are other smaller venues also not shown.  But, if you want to see these places for yourself, do book the tour.

Remember how concerned I was that David would need a wheel chair at the airport due to his sore arthritic knees and hip?  Well, it was ironic that I ended up being the one in the wheel chair.  It was free from the airlines, but I was expected to tip the guy who pushed me.  By the time David and I arrived home, we didn’t have a single dollar bill in either of our wallets, though we had brought $700 in cash!  To cure the ailment I contracted during our last two days in India, I saw a doctor in Hawaii and am now taking an antibiotic (Levaquin) for the stomach flu (bacterial gastroenteritis), and it seems to be helping.  Thank goodness for Western medicine.

There was quite a bit of walking and stair climbing on this trip to India.  I was told the 11 day China trip requires even more walking – especially in the Forbidden City — so we probably won’t sign up for it.  Even touring Russia, which David wants to do, will require miles of walking, particularly in the Hermitage Museum, which is the largest museum in the world.

We discovered that the hotel charges for every computer used in our room and lobby.  Since the average charge was $15/day and we didn’t want to be charged double, we decided to use the laptop exclusively. David regrets bringing his Kindle Fire along.  What a waste of time!  But, he is so glad he packed his swimming trunks, because he was able to swim on a daily basis, as every single hotel we stayed at had a large outdoor pool.

Further, our laptop was never stolen from our room, and we were never pickpocketed.  It helped to stay at deluxe 5 star hotels and stay within the group.  Also, there was a Western toilet at every pit stop we made.  No need to squat.  My fears were groundless!

And, yes, I left a dollar bill under my pillow every day for the housekeeper.  All hotel personnel were male, though there were a few females at the reception desk and a female agent scanned the women for weapons.

We are still waiting for the arrival of our beautiful 6 x 9 foot silk carpet from Jaipur.  It was hand made, hand knotted by a family in Kashmir, and the silk shimmers in the light.  I’ll post a photo of it when we get it, hopefully by next Monday.


P.S. I almost forgot to mention my friendship dinner with Kavita and Ruprekha and Kavita’s brother.  Kavita and Ruprekha traveled all the way from their home in Assam to my hotel in New Delhi just to say Namaste to David and me.  That was indeed awesome!  A sweet memory, which I shall treasure forever!

15 Responses to “India: Conclusion”

  1. kavita saharia Says:

    I am so happy that everything turned out so well. Meeting you and David was a dream come true. Thanks for being such a wonderful friend Gigi . 🙂 🙂

  2. Arti Says:

    Glad you had such a memorable trip. Maybe we will be able to meet up next time 🙂
    And is that picture from outside the City Palace in Jaipur?

  3. Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife Says:

    So glad you had a lovely time. Thank you for sharing it with us; I have enjoyed it.

  4. Jeanie Says:

    You prepared well for your trip and it seems to have paid off. I’m glad it all went so well and I hope you heal quickly from your ailment.

  5. DJan Says:

    What a wonderful life adventure you have had, and with pictures you will be able to remember and revisit the places and people you met. I certainly enjoyed it along with you!

  6. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    Sounds wonderful Gigi and if I was younger i might do it, but going to CA to see my son and his family was all the adventure I could take this year. That and the drive to my daughter’s farm for Thanksgiving.

    I notice the people in wheelchairs were all women when i traveled. Men would rahter die than take a chair I think.

  7. Suzanne Says:

    What an excellent adventure. It is so wonderful to meet people from other cultures.

  8. Christine Says:

    a wonderful trip gone by too quickly! Glad it all went quite well!

  9. Linda Reeder Says:

    You certainly got to experience a lot on your India tour: food, culture, history – so much learning! So glad to hear you enjoyed it all so much!

  10. NRIGirl Says:

    I am so glad you have arrived safely Gigi! Thank you for keeping us up to date while on tour!

  11. L...w Says:

    Sigh…conclusion to a wonderful thrilling adventure. I’m sure I’m going to one day regret not being more adventurous lol Thanks for the trip report!

  12. Musings Says:

    Wow! What a trip! I’m so sorry you got sick though. I do hate getting the stomach flu. Do get some rest so you can now organize all your photos to show the relatives. We really enjoyed following along with you on your trip. That’s great that David didn’t need the wheelchair.

  13. Grannymar Says:

    Trip of a life time. Now I feel my feet itching with wanderlust.

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