Last year I wrote down some of the things that became apparent only after visiting Cuba, this year I have been to India and thought it might be useful to share the things that I discovered there.
I have just returned from there and we discussed what we had learnt, there were three of us travelling, one women and two men. Obviously these are our experiences from a three week trip, you might get different experiences, mileage may vary, but there were some preconceptions that I had tat proved to be untrue in our case.
We had decided to travel extensively in India, from Delhi in the north to Kerala and Chennai in the south and we lad also decided to organise the whole trip ourselves using the internet rather than a travel company.
- Do not be afraid of the food you will not defiantly get “Delhi Belly”, although there were some evenings when tummies were a little upset in general we were not ill. I am sure that many people do get ill but do not presume that it is a given that you will get ill. Wash/gel your hands regularly and you may be fine. Wet wipes are also very useful.
- Things can be booked via the internet and it should work out fine. We booked five internal flights directly with indigo, kingfisher and spicejet, all were fine. We also booked eight train tickets, through cleartrip and this worked out fine too. Mostly the hotels booked worked as well, the only problems we had was a hotel pickup not arriving.
- The food is wonderful, especially for vegetarians, pretty much everywhere produced food that was delicious, temperature hot and safe.
- Bring a nailbrush. Your feet will end up filthy, probably every day, a nailbrush is very handy for getting the much off your feet.
- Autorickshaws are not too bad. We only ever had one that was prepared to use his meter but as long as you agree the price before you set off you should be fine.
- My kindle was a godsend, the 3G worked pretty much everywhere and it was great to be able to check emails and even book the occasional hotel.
- Most men and women did wear appropriate clothing, that is no strappy tops or shorts, you will stand out if you don’t dress with sensitivity to local culture.
In general I have to say that the impression I had of India before travelling there was one of utter chaos and disrupted plans, I found that things did run more or less smoothly. It is possible to construct and book your own trip using the internet.