|Subject: Covadonga's India and Nepal|
I read with interest Covadonga's report about India and Nepal, as I did the
same tour more than 10 years ago.
I'm sorry you had trouble with your guide; this can really spoil a vacation. Nevertheless I ought to say I wouldn't like to go to India alone, as in my previous trip I discovered how far from the reality is the assumption Indians speak English everywhere. This is not intended as an offence to our Indian ziners, but my group had a real problem because our bus driver didn't speak English and we had to stop people in the streets to have them translate, hoping to pick the right person. Hotel, restaurant and shop owners, people working in public places had a sufficient knowledge of English (going from essential to very good), but outside of tourist routes we found them harder.
Impressive is the correct word for Varanasi: I was there in the dry season and still remember the dust all over me. It is dirty and shocking, if compared to New Delhi, but you can also feel the holyness over it, especially at dusk and at dawn (sorry you missed it).
I remember the italian restaurant in Khajuraho, and I remember we had to flee shortly after dinner because part of the kitchen was on fire!
Jaipur is maybe the nicest Indian town I visited, the pink colour of dawn lightening the red walls of the Wind Palace. I guess everybody tried the elephant ride up to Amber, but everybody walked down as well! Definitely it isn't a comfort ride.
30 minutes at the Taj Mahal? So it wasn't just me, on my first overseas tour to Egypt, being taken for a 20 minutes visit at the Pyramids and then for two hours in a papyrus shop? :-(