- We just got back from a thoroughly amazing and inspiring trip to North India, travelling overland from Delhi to Kolkata. We were lucky to be part of a lovely group of like minded people and we instantly all got on and had many a laugh and giggle. Our tour leader, Pradeep, was incredibly knowledgeable as a tour guide and also worked very hard to accommodate all our various needs including hunting down ATMs with cash in them, finding us restaurants that sold alcohol, arranging extra trips out on optional days and generally took excellent care of us all - nothing was too much for him! Tour highlights for me were Udaipur - our beautiful view of Lake Pichola and the City Palace from the roof top restaurant of our hotel, visiting the Amber Fort at Jaipur and obviously the sunrise trip to the Taj Mahal - stunning, although the Mini Taj was just wonderful too. I personally loved the experience of the overnight trains and found I slept really well and fully embraced the squat loos, however I know that not everyone in my group felt the same! It was a shame that the weather in Varanasi and on the Ganges was foggy and cold so the fact our river trip was cut by half a day was actually a good thing. It was also a shame that this weather slowed down/cancelled trains which meant we had a long coach journey from Agra to the Ganges boat trip (although this was excellently and speedily arranged and catered for), and missed a whole day of sight seeing in Kolkata - we only got to have dinner in a restaurant and sleep in our hotel before we departed to the airport early the next morning. None of this was Explore's fault - it was down to the weather, however, I would have gladly given up the free day in Varanasi for an extra day in Kolkata in retrospect. I thoroughly enjoyed all our cycle and auto rickshaw rides, our visits to temples and having lunch in the sikh temple in Delhi. It was a lovely gesture from Explore to provide us with a Christmas meal in Jaipur. My top tip would be to make sure you bring out lots of English money to change into Rupees as currently ATM's have long queues and many are not working due to the changes in their notes. Overall we both had a wonderful trip and would definitely recommend this tour.
Published on: 07 January 2017