India is one of Digby’s photographic tours which I just happen to tag along on, it started well with everyone arriving on time, however I am the only one missing my luggage. Luckily Digby has a “fixer” on the tour Felix, he is a local tour guide who loves food so we have some great accommodation options with great food.
Felix was able to liaise with the airport and believe it or not I received my luggage before we had to move on to our next location. Our first two days is in New Delhi and this is so that we get use to the crowds, noise and heat of the country. We got to ride on the local train which doesn’t have any seats and all are squashed in, with some of the ladies getting a little touch up.
We visited the red fort and did a little rickshaw ride though the Delhi markets which was an experience in itself. Digby gave the photographers a task for the end of the day which I think they nailed as they only had one shot to get it before they were chased out of the gates.
It was then onto Jodhpur the Blue City by overnight train, this was an experience in itself but the crew survived with a lot of laughs on the way. “Who pulled the brake on the train to bring it to a full stop and got the wrath of the conductor”? Long story let’s say it looks like it was Digby but not.
From Jodhpur we caught a bus along their highways even though the highways are full of bullocks, cows, camel, dogs and any other animal that you would find in India. There is a shrine on the side of the road which is dedicated to Om Banna which locals believe his spirit helps distressed travellers and anyone who passes this shrine stops to worship believing they will have safe travels. – Link to story.
Unfortunately, this didn’t work for our travels as our driver then took a wrong turn so we lost three hours and then the bus broke down, but we had a great time with some locals, it was a rural area so not so noisy and busy. We then spent the next day at Kumbhalgarh Fort before making our way to Udaipur the Lake City
We had a couple of nights in Udaipur sort of a rest day but it is a beautiful city. We visited the clothing store that made all the costumes for the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” so a couple of the ladies had dresses made and delivered to the hotel the next morning, unfortunately the dresses didn’t fit the girls as well as they should, so they resigned themselves to the fact that they got ripped in India, but luckily for them Felix the fixer was able to have their money returned to them.
With a short trip to the Chittorgrarh Fort we headed off to Jaipur the Pink City, where we had a couple of days sightseeing. One spot was the monkeys at the well these monkeys are very cheeky they would jump from motor bike to motor bike knocking them over. We had some fruit for them and the young ones would come up and take it out of your hands, they have the softest hands but we still didn’t trust them as they have very sharp teeth.
These wells are amazing with steps in all directions that go down to the water’s edge. More forts with a visit to see the snake charmers. Spoiler alert – they remove their fangs. From here we headed to Ranthambhore National Park to see if we could find the elusive tiger, lucky for us we did and it was an amazing feeling to see this tiger in its natural surrounds, however they are in danger due to humans encroaching onto their habitat.
From here we headed to Agra to see the Taj Mahal “a love story”, however we had a 4.30 am start as we needed to be at the head of the line before opening, we then had to run to the main gate and try and get that photo without any people in the shot, again it was a onetime shot to get it right, however there are better shots of the Taj Mahal but everyone wants the front on view or the shot of themselves sitting on the seat that Princess Di made famous.
Our last day was back in Delhi for that all-important shopping trip, before having a fantastic good bye dinner. Digby did a great job organising this trip and I think everyone had a great time.