Online diary has been placed just below the introduction

To jump straight to a particular week - week 1 , week 2 , week 3, week 4


How flash and pretentious to build a website for your holiday. I know, but I felt it was the best way that all our friends and family could keep in touch with what we are up to India and hopefully no one will feel left out.

Well the time is nearly here for Rita and I to set off to explore India, we fly to Delhi on 11th of Nov for a month, we have booked three nights in a hotel and then we are going to travel around the North of India, finding places to stay as we go, if all goes according to our loose plan we will finish in Nepal before flying back to Delhi and then back to the UK on the 8th Dec.

We know that we will see and experience extremes of beauty, poverty, frustration, kindness and friendliness. All of our senses will be bombarded with the smells, sights, noise of India and of course all those lovely curries we'll be eating ( not sure if Rita is too keen on the curry idea, as she is not too fond of curry generally). I have heard that it is impossible to visit India and not be affected by it. I know this will be true, that is why we are going, life is for living and experiences.

I will be posting an online diary (Blog) on the homepage with photo's and what we've been up to on a day to day basis so those that are interested can follow what we are up to. Please feel free to contact us with your news, we would love to hear from you. I have also included a link to the map, weather and our original plan (which without a doubt will have to be fluid and we may not achieve it all due to the limited time).
Well, hope you enjoy it and remember 'Love, live and enjoy life'

Simon & Rita

Day of departure. Saturday 11/11/06

Well the day is finally here. After our customary last minute packing session and various visits from Rita's family, we are picked up by Rita's brother Tony at 2pm. We say our goodbyes to Mum and our Dog Harley. Rita as normal is a little apprehensive and tearful when we leave. We arrive at Heathrow in good time. Before we left home I checked in online, so within 5 min's of arriving at Terminal 3 we were on our way through the security checks etc. On getting into departures, we potter about the shops and stop off at O'Neils pub for a bite to eat. After some Irish sausages and Calcannon (creamy mash with cabbage, leaks and spring onions) and a steak and chips for Rita we head to the VIP lounge. As we don't fly until 9pm, I booked us a VIP lounge for us to relax in, very civilised! With a large complimentary Black Russian for me and a G&T for Rita we get the trip off to a good start. The flight departs a half hour late due to a no show of a passenger, so they have to get their cases off. Rita is worried about these three middle eastern looking men slitting behind us. She is concerned that they are acting suspicious because they are looking nervous, fidgeting and looking up and down the plane a lot. I look at Rita and she looks nervous, fidgeting and is looking up and down the plane a lot. I point out this fact to her and she laughs and realises she is being silly. We have a plan, to eat dinner, get a few glasses of wine in us watch a crap film (Ice age 2) and we will sleep soundly for most of the seven and half hour flight. Apart from the sleeping soundly, it all goes to plan.

Day 2 - Arrival in Delhi Sunday 12/11/06. (click here for the map)

We land in Delhi at 10.30am, after handing in our various security forms to numerous gentlemen with fantastic moustaches we spill out into the arrivals hall to a sea of placards with passenger names on. After a slow walk past them, we realise that our name is absent. We ring the hotel from a phone booth that is operated by these two helpful young men. I speak to the hotel owner, but I struggle to understand him clearly as he tries to explain what to do. I'm sure that I have spoken to this gentleman before, when I had problems with my broadband and my bank account! An hour later we are picked up by a young lad from the hotel, he leads us out of the sanctuary of the arrivals hall in to the madness that is Delhi. Rita and I are squeezed into the smallest minibus in the world and we launch into the Delhi traffic. I have never seen anything like the traffic in Delhi in all my travels. The drivers are very inventive, although the road markings give the illusion that there are only two lanes, the drivers cunningly make it four and sometimes five lanes of traffic. They dart in and out, constantly sounding their horns avoiding the mass of other cars, cyclists, cows, dogs and suicidal pedestrians that suddenly feel the urge to be on the other side of the road. 45 minutes later we arrive at the Hotel Sri Nanak Continental (click here for their website) which seems to be in the middle of a street full of scooter repair workshops. We are so tired we don't care too much about the location. We make our way up to our room and with the buzz of the traffic and constant tooting outside, Rita and I fall soundly asleep.
We wake up about 5pm, both conscious of the fact that we only have a small bottle of drinking water from the plane and that we will need to venture out into the madness to try and find a shop to get some more. Dazed and still tired and weary we stagger out into the street and head down to main street with a mission. The main street is a huge bustling market, with thousands of people shopping, eating, drinking and begging. We walk around these streets, weaving in and around tightly packed cars, sleeping dogs, potholes and masses of people.We decide to cross a road, noticing that a red light to Indian drivers means drive as normal, we use local people as a sort of shield/buffer to protect us as we cross. After an hour and a half of walking around these fascinating and dusty streets and alleyways we stagger back into the hotel stunned, dazed and still weary without any water, mission failed! We ask at reception about drinking water and he said no worries he have some sent up to the room!
We decide to eat in the hotel's roof top restaurant. Rita and I sit down at the table aware that we are the only diners. We decide to order some simple dishes to get our stomachs used to the food, we order some Dhal (lentils), a Rajasthani Thali (5 small assorted dishes) some plain rice, some chapattis and some beer. I tuck in quite happily to the meal, although Rita finds it a little too spicy. We pay our bill (£3.50) and head back to the room to bed,content in the fact that we have survived our first day in India.

Day 3 - Delhi Monday 13/11/06.           (click here for the map)

Rita and I both suddenly woke at about 1am, for no other reason than due to the time difference between the UK and India (India +5.5 hours ahead) so in sunny old Ramsgate it was only about 7.30pm. After a short read Rita feel back to sleep and I stayed up for a couple of hours writing up the first couple of days for this site. Fell back asleep about 4am (with earplugs installed to drown out the traffic noise, clock, dogs barking etc.) We both got up at about 9.30 ish and got showered (where I noticed that I had acquired a rather attractive rash across my forehead) and dressed and ventured back up to the rooftop restaurant for our breakfast, this time there were a few more diners than the night before. I ordered some Alu Chat (spicy potatoes) and Rita thought she would play safe by ordering a plain omelette. The omelette arrived full of chopped up chilies, poor old Rita. After gathering all our stuff together for the day out (camera, camcorder, two guide books, toilet paper, water, sterilising hand wash and some sweets) we make our way down to reception and ask the owner if it is possible to hire a car and driver for an afternoon and how much it would cost. 'Of course, no problem' he states with a little side to side wobble of his head, 'It will be about 500 Rupees (£5) for the afternoon. We said that would be fine. A quick phone call and a two minute wait later and we were met by our driver. We ask to go and see Connaught Place, considered to be the heart of New Delhi, is a basically a very large roundabout with seven streets that radiate out from it. It has an architecturally uniform series of colonnaded buildings devoted to shops, banks, restaurants, hotels and offices. Every time we stop for a breather or to look at something some local would invariably approach us to ask us where we are from, how long we are in India and whether it was our first time. One gentleman asked what we both did for a living, after telling him I asked him his profession 'I work in a call centre' he replies, I could feel myself starting to froth and my blood pressure rising. We said our goodbyes and made our way back to the car.

India Gate

Family launching itself into oncoming traffic.
Approach to India Gate.
Hindu Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Temple.

We then decided to go and see India Gate, this is a large Arc de Triumph style arch built to commemorate the 90,000 Indian and British (India Based) soldiers that died in WW1. It is set in a very peaceful, large park with lots of Indians sitting around on the grass just getting away from the city madness. We stroll around the park for a little while before returning to our car.
On the way home our driver suggests that we see the popular Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Temple. After depositing our shoes at the main entrance we make our way around the peaceful temple
We were so impressed with our driver that on returning to the hotel, we decide to book him again for the following day. With the following day arranged we chill at the room for a bit and then head down to the main market (supposedly the largest market in Asia) with the plan of trying to find the restaurants we had read about and try one out. After wandering around the bustling marketplace we failed to find any of the said restaurants and returned to our hotel, mission failed! We decide to eat on the roof terrace restaurant again, Rita chances a vegetable korma, which we share plus a veg biriani (rice dish) and Rita actually enjoys it.

Day 4 - Delhi Tuesday 14/11/06.           (click here for the map)

After having breakfast, (Rita asks for a plain omelette, this time without chilies and peppers and that is what she gets, we are getting the hang of this food ordering). We head down to reception to meet the driver, the receptionist says that he has already been and gone. I inform him that we booked him for ten o'clock and it is only ten to ten now. After a quick phonecall, our driver appears, either he has grown nearly two foot over night and put on about 4 stone in weight or this is a different driver. He introduces himself as Man Mahon and says that his brother sends his apologies that he could not be here today but he had to go away on family business. Initially there is a bit of tension as he tries to tell us his plans for us today, what we are going to see and that he knows a good restaurant for lunch. We kindly but firmly grapple back control and inform him what we would like to see and we will decide later where we want lunch. Slightly sulky he sets off for our first requested destination the Red Fort. As we also requested to see the largest Mosque in India, Jami Masid (in Asia according to our Driver) he said as they are very close together that he will park between them and we can walk to both of them. This is our first glimpse of Old Delhi and it is madder, grimier and there is a lot more poverty here than we have seen before. Our driver seems to have put our little tiff behind us and seems quite chatty now, providing us with information and tips as we get travel. We arrive at the car park and he informs me that we need to pay 150 Rupees (£1.50) for the parking. We agree to meet up at about 1.30 as he said that he was going to go and have a cup of tea and a bite to eat. I sense that I have just paid for that tea and lunch, but hey I'm not going to worry about that. Our first port of call is the Red Fort and here is the history bit for those that are interested, so bear with me. Red sandstone battlements give this imperial citadel it's name, Red Fort (Lal Qila). Commissioned by Shah Jahan (Mugal Emperor that also commissioned the Taj Mahal, more of him and that later) in 1639. It took nine years to build and was the seat of Mughal power until 1857. See that wasn't too bad was it, did I not tell you that you would learn something about Indian history and culture as well as keep up to date with travels.

Rita outside entrance to Red Fort.
Jami Masjid Mosque
Baha'i House of worship (Lotus Temple).

It is an an impressive vast fort full of interesting buildings within it's long stretching walls. We cut short our trip to the Red Fort slightly as we realise that the Mosque shuts at 12.30 for prayers, so we march through the postcard sellers, beggars, tuk tuk drivers patting their tuk tuk seats saying 'hello my friend would you like to .....' we hear his fading voice say as we head further away in our frog march (not sure where that saying comes from as I have never heard of frogs marching, will have to investigate that one when I get home) towards the Mosque. We get there with 20 min's to spare and we do a whistle stop tour of the Mosque, ushered by a man claiming to be a guide, after about five minutes of him we lose patience with him and tell him that we want to make our own way around, which we do. Built in 1656 by Emperor Shah Jahan (Remember him from our previous little history lesson), it took 5,000 workmen six years to build and it can accommodate 20,000 people at prayer times. As we have to leave the Mosque at 12.30 and we don't have to meet the driver until 1.30 we decide to plan the afternoon ahead, in fear of the driver taking control again. As we sit on the steps of the Mosque researching our books, a young Indian lady asks to have her picture taken with Rita by her boyfriend/husband. After the photo shoot, another this time older Indian lady approaches Rita, 'Hello lady, where you from' Rita ignores her as they use that as a way in to try and sell you something or ask for money etc. As she didn't get a reply, she makes up her own answer, 'You from Japan?', that brings a smile out in both of us, she loses interest and departs.
We meet back up with our driver and on trying to leave the carpark we get caught up in a traffic jam, he informs us that it will take us quite a while to get out of Old Delhi to go and see the other sites after lunch. We inform it that we are quite happy to miss lunch and go straight to the Lotus Temple. After 20 minutes or so and a heated argument between our driver and the driver of another car, we finally get away from Old Delhi. On the drive to the Lotus Temple, the driver starts to open up a bit more and tells us about his wife, daughter and starts telling us about life in general in Delhi. We arrive at the Lotus Temple, which is a stunning building built by The Baha'i sect for all religions to come and pray or meditate. It is set in 27 acres of green manicured gardens, built in 1986 after six years of construction. We stayed inside a while, it was perfect silence, probably the quietest place in Delhi.
On leaving there we ask to go back to the Hotel, he suggests that we go and quickly go and see Qutb Minar, tired and lacking the will to fight we agree, as long as it is quick. As we approach the large Islamic tower he says 'I'll take you round the backside and you will not have to pay', startled I blurt out 'Sorry, you'll do what'. 'I will take you round the backside of Qutb Minar and you will not have to pay'. Relieved and assured I slouch back into the car seat. After a quick photo of the tower, we head back to the hotel, pay the driver the £9 for the day and thank him and say our farewells.
Assured by the driver that day and our receptionists that the best way probably to get to Agra the following day was to take the 'very comfortable fast, direct air conditioned luxury coach', only £6.50 each, we ask the receptionist if he could organise it for us. 'No problem' with a little wobble of the head. As we were getting picked up at 6am we ordered some food to be delivered to the room while we packed. I had a Alu Gobi (potato and cauliflower curry), Channa Masala (chick pea curry), a roti (flat bread), Rita a Veg Korma (she felt safe with that one), rice, a beer and 7up for Rita. Paid the £2.86 for it all, ate it and fell asleep stuffed and tired.

Day 5 - Delhi - Agra Wednesday 15/11/06.           (click here for the map)

Woke up at 5.30am, washed and gathered our things together. Waited in reception for the coach, after 6am receptionist made a phonecall and then informed us that they were on their way. Shortly afterwards a small car arrives and says that he will take us to the coach. He plonks our cases on the roof rack and without tying them off, we head off into the night conscious of the fact that our cases could either fall of the back or be taken by a passerby. Our cases and us make it to the coach which is parked down this poorly lit small side street and there is no sign of life on the coach. The cases are grabbed by two men and they start to load them onto the coach 'Agra' I say whilst pointing to the lifeless coach, 'Yes'. He opens the door to the coach and turns the lights on inside and shows us to our seats. We set off, again still in the dark, traveling through the old streets of Delhi as we start to pick up other passengers along the way. As we travel through the streets we watch a city awakening. Fires are lit in the street either to warm up those that have been sleeping rough, of which there are many, or to cook the breakfasts. We pass many wandering cows, picking their way through the rubbish that litters many of the streets of Delhi, people bathing and carrying out other daily morning routines, of which I will not elaborate. It is a fascinating drive as we watch the beast that is Delhi slowly wake and stir ready for the mad day ahead. I have suddenly realised that I have a fascination of watching city's and towns waking up and getting themselves going in the morning (may have to see a doctor about this, not sure if that is normal). Anyway, after just about an hour of driving and picking up passengers I am certain that we have just driven past our road again, we could have stayed in bed for another hour! After picking up all the other passengers, mainly Indian with a couple of Japanese gentlemen we all settle down for this journey that both our hotel and the driver from the previous day assured us would take 4 to 5 hours. After three hours of driving we are still in the outskirts of Delhi, we sense this may be a little longer than a 4 to 5 hour drive. This is confirmed when we stop for a breakfast break at a roadside cafe at 10.30, four hours after we set off. We don't mind though, as although this slightly bumpy journey is taking a while, we both enjoy traveling with the locals and seeing all the sites we see along the road to Agra and observing the Indian countryside and country life. Just before we arrive in Agra, the guide for the coach (as we are led to believe that the rest of the passengers are actually going for the day, sightseeing!!) says that we will be dropped off at the side of the road and that he will arrange some transport to get us to the Hilton Hotel. Suddenly he comes up and says to us 'Get ready to get off', the coach pulls up on a busy, dusty road in Agra just after 1pm (7 hours after we left) and we are introduced to the driver that will take us to the hotel. As soon as we have our cases, the coach pulls away in a cloud of dust and we head towards our transport. Well, in Delhi we thought that we had broken the world record for the smallest transport used to get two large people and their luggage to a hotel, well it appears that the Indian Guinness Book of Records was not content with our first attempt and wanted us to try and break it again. We were presented with a Tuk Tuk, which for those that don't know is basically a covered three wheeled scooter, which at best fits two people and the driver (although the Indians are very good at getting 8-10 people in them, we later find out). So two tired travelers, their two cases, two day sacks and the driver cough and splutter their way through the cows, cars, limping dogs, donkeys, oxen pulling carts, cycles, motorbikes, fellow tuk tukers, past some monkeys and we than we arrive at the posh hotel Hilton. Rita and I spill out of the Tuk Tuk onto the foyer in front of the smartly dressed doorman who is wearing a splendid uniform and large cap with feathers attached and sporting a fantastic moustache. He struggles to produce a salute and says 'Welcome to the Hilton Hotel' Looking very disheveled and dusty I say 'Thankyou very much' in my poshest accent (I am very good at doing that when required and I thought this was the moment to produce it).
All the smartly dressed and well spoken staff in the spacious glass and chrome foyer seem to be just as stunned as the feathered moustached one.

Rita in Tuk Tuk
Locals in Tuk Tuk
Rita in Tuk Tuk with all our luggage
10-14 locals packed in a Tuk Tuk, smashing our record!
My arty farty picture of the Taj at sunset with camel in foreground.

We book in and are led to our room past the very tempting and inviting swimming pool. We decide to freshen up and make our way to the restaurant by the pool to have a quick bite to eat as we had, whilst our guard was down due to weariness, agreed with the Tuk Tuk driver (called Babaloo) to go and see the Taj Mahal at sunset and that he would pick us up in an hour and a half. We were tempted by the Italian food on the menu and I had a spicy pasta dish and Rita had a nice mushroom and cashew risotto. As agreed we met up Babaloo and he drove us at break neck speed through all the traffic we had just negotiated on the way in to the hotel. On hearing from a fellow Tuk Tuk driver that there was a large traffic jam, Babaloo suddenly spun the Tuk Tuk around and we started speeding through alleyways, streets and when we approached another hold up on the three lane that we were traveling on he decided to use the other three lane road, not concerned that all the traffic on this one was actually coming towards us, he just flashed his little 10 watt headlight and kept sounding his pathetic sounding little horn. Most of the oncoming traffic responded by doing the same. He informs us on route that the best place to see the Taj at night is from the gardens on the opposite side of the river. After whizzing through some more alleyways and side streets, we arrive at the site. Babaloo said that we could view it for free on the river bank or we could pay 100 Rupees (£1) and see if from the Moon Garden which is part of the Taj Mahal. We chose the garden view and started to walk down a well kept grass path and then suddenly through some trees we spotted her, there she was, the Taj Mahal. Due a slight mist covering, she looked magical. We remained  there for an hour or so watching the sun going down and taking lots of pictures. We went back to Babaloo, who finished his coffee and took us back to the hotel, a quicker route this time as the blockage in the road had gone. On arriving back at the hotel, Babaloo asked if we wanted to book him for the following morning to go and see the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. He said that it was best to leave at 6.30am as it is fairly nice and quite and only the foreigners go at that time, all the Indian tourists come later and it is then jam packed and not so enjoyable. We agree that would be fine and pay him the £2.50 for picking us up from the coach earlier and the trip we had just done to the Taj. We return to the room and order some food to be delivered, spicy chicken south Indian dish for me and Rita gets an omellete and chips. After eating, Rita and I go to bed truly tired, aware that we would be up early again.

Day 6 - Agra Thursday 16/11/06.     (click here for the map)

We get up at 5.30am (midnight UK time), wash, dress and gather all our things for the day ahead, camera, camcorder, books for info, water, suncream, wipes, tissues, some fruit plus some other little bits. We get down to breakfast and we both have a small breakfast as we are both still full up from the meal the night before. I have a nice sausage, some scrambled egg, some curried potato dish and some small strips of something that resembled bacon.
On leaving the hotel foyer and walking up the long drive to the main road, we could see Babaloo standing next to his Tuk Tuk waving at us. On meeting we greet each other and exchange niceties and before we know it we are whizzing off through the traffic heading towards downtown Agra. Again I get to satisfy my fascination of watching a city awake from it's slumber. As before, small fires have been lit in the kerbside to cook breakfast and to warm up those that have been sleeping on the streets. We pass a group of people lying on their backs completely covered over with a blanket, either asleep or dead. Rita spots her first dead donkey on the side of the road. We see the usual morning routines being carried out such as bathing, brushing teeth, packing away blankets (some people have even built themselves beds out of bamboo to sleep on). We arrive at the road at the top of the West Gate entrance to Taj Mahal, Babaloo gives us some tips on dealing with fake guides, sellers, beggars, money exchangers and not to try any of the food from the eateries on the way into the Taj as they would probably make us quite ill. He says that he will return at 8.30, but to take our time and not rush back he will wait there. We wander down the side street packed full of the eateries and money exchangers he had warned us about, declining all their invitations or offers. We pass some ten or so monkeys and their babies that are making their way along a wall that runs alongside the road beside us. After buying our tickets, 750 Rupees each (£7.50 each) or 20 Rupees (20p) if you are local, we make away through the security checks at the entrance and make our way into a very large courtyard. There is a large gate off to our left and as we enter it there she is, the magnificent Taj Mahal. Right here goes the little history bit for you, are you listening (reading) carefully, then I'll begin. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (there's that fella again, busy lad this one on the building front) to commemorate the death of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died whilst giving birth to her 14th child (busy lady eh?). This sublime garden tomb, an image of Islamic garden of paradise took 20,000 workers and craftsmen from all over India, Asia and beyond and it took 22 years to complete it by 1653. There you go that was quite painless. Anyway whatever as been said about this token of love and affection of a building is all true. It is just as stunning in real life and easily lives up to the hypes and more. As we stroll around the gardens and admire it from various angles, you realise the scale of the place, it is huge. The craftsmanship of the stonework and the inlaid semi precious stones is exquisite and you can imagine how it would have looked in it's day as history states that over 500 kilos of gold was used, most of which has been stolen by various occupiers as well as a large number of the semi precious stones. But this does not take anything away from the fantastic beauty of this place. I take over a hundred pictures and we watch the sunrise and see the Taj change in colour into a wonderful warm cream colour. After a couple of hours of strolling in and around the Taj, we leave and meet back up with Babaloo and ask if we can go and visit the Agra Fort. About five min's later we are at the entrance to the fort

Taj Mahal
Us in front of Taj
Me in Pool
Classic view of Taj Mahal
Us in front of Taj
Me chilling in Hotel pool

The fort is huge, it's imposing red sandstone ramparts stretch for over 3kms and encompass an enormous complex of courtly buildings. It is on the other side of the river from the Taj and ironically, when Shah Jahan (yes him again) was overthrown and imprisoned by his son, he spent the last 9 years of his life imprisoned in the Agra Fort, with the Taj in full view across the river. He must have spent every day looking at his masterpiece and favourite wife's final resting place and his future one. After a relaxing stroll around the grounds for an hour and a half, we make our way back to Babaloo and although it is only about 11am, we decide that since we have been out since 6am and feeling a little weary, we will head back to the hotel and relax by the pool. On the return Babaloo asks if we could do him a favour by stopping off at a Jewellers, as they would give him a voucher for some fuel if we turned up with him, also there was no obligation to buy. As he has been so good to us we don't mind. On arriving at the jewellers we are met by two smartly dressed men that turn out to be brothers. After some smooth talking on their part I somehow end up handing over 5000R (£50) for some earrings and a pendant for Rita. I am not sure who has duped who here, but I have a strong feeling that Rita was in on the plan. We depart the jewellers and on getting to the hotel, we say our goodbyes to Babaloo and pay him 400R (£4) (he was a great driver and guide).We pop to the travel desk and book our train tickets for the Saturday morning (6am departure again!), not Friday as previously planned, as we asked at reception before we left for our Taj trip if we could extend our stay by one night and they said that it would be just fine. I then decide to use my laptop to try and book us a hotel in Jaipur for three nights, when someone from the front desk approaches us and says that we cannot stay an extra night as they are fully booked. Rita starts to get a little upset stating that everything has been arranged now for our trip on Saturday not Friday. He says that he is sorry, but there is definitely no rooms available. He leaves and I tell Rita to go and lie by the pool and that I will sort it out. I make my way to reception and ask to see the manager, the receptionist says to wait a minute and he will come and see me. I wait in the garden near the pool when suddenly the gentleman that said the hotel was full approached me. 'Sir we have managed to find you a room, here in the hotel and you can stay in the room that you are in, no problem'. Confused and grateful, I thank him and make my way back to the pool to break the good news to Rita. We spend the remainder of the afternoon chilling by the pool, reading our books and swimming. We eat dinner in the hotel restaurant and both decide to go for the buffet meal, helping our selves to a large variety of Indian and European food. Tonight we sleep soundly in the knowledge that we can lie in tomorrow and that we have nothing planned for the day ahead apart from relaxing and sitting by the pool.

Day 7 - Agra Friday 17/11/06.                   (click here for the map)

Today we have a nice, well earned lie in, I think we deserve it, I get up at 7 and Rita stirs about 9. We have no plans for the day so after a hearty buffet style breakfast we decide to spend our time mainly chilling by the pool. For those that know me well, lying by a pool is not a thing I find easy to do, I normally get the fidgets and feel to urge to go and explore, but I fight the urge and just expose my body to the sun. I am sure as I do so I hear women gasp and faint, or that might be the sun on my head causing me to think that. Start reading a good book today called 'Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian' by the pool, quite amusing. As we have a large breakfast this morning we decide to skip lunch and remain by the pool. Weather has been glorious throughout this trip so far averaging between 25C-30C. Despite our punishing schedule by the pool, I still find time to find a window to book our hotel for the city that we are traveling to tomorrow, Jaipur. (All my updates and bookings etc are done on my faithful little laptop that somehow stowed away in my case without me knowing, bad girl!). Dinner is had in the hotel, I chose from various curries from the buffet, a reasonable £5 and Rita chooses Aubergine done in a peanut and coconut sauce from the a la carte menu, which although a little spicy, she really enjoys. Think Rita is getting better at having spicier food as we go along. We return to the hotel as we are getting a car to the railway station at 5.15am, so we will pack our stuff before we go to bed. (to be honest, we never actually unpack).

Well that is the end of our first eventful week. For week two click here

To jump straight to a particular week - week 1 , week 2 , week 3, week 4