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Invitation to India feb 21/2020
Post: #1
Anyone going on this trip as yet ?
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Post: #2
Hi Lespud
I have just booked India - The Iconic and The Wild departing Heathrow on February 21st. This is a combination of the 'An Invitation To India' and India's Tiger Trail Tours. I assume that the first week will be a common tour. I am flying with BA at 1850 hours.

Peter
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Post: #3
Hi Peter and Lespud

I have just returned from "Darjeeling and the Taj Mahal" which is a combined tour-Delhi to Darjeeling and Invitation to India.
It was the fourth time that I have visited the Golden Triangle (Invitation to India) It was every bit as good as I remembered from previous visits. We learned so much about Jaipur, Delhi and Agra, history and culture whilst also having fun with a lovely, friendly group and an exceptionally good Tour Manager. Do be prepared for a couple of long coach journeys when you go though.

Peter, the Darjeeling to Delhi tour was an inaugural tour. As it was a new tour one or two things did go pear shaped but we still enjoyed it. Our steam train was cancelled at Darjeeling but the local guide ensured we got on a later departure. A couple of the men on the tour were train buffs, like you,and hung out of the doors of the train (as you do in  India) to take videos. The train doesn't go fast!! An interesting experience.

I am also going on the Tiger Trail tour which departs on 27th Feb, so I will look forward to meeting you again. (Apulia and coffee at Destinations Show, before I went to Chile and you went to Central America).
I had booked  India's wildlife and backwaters departing on the 27th Feb(combination of the Tiger Trail and Kerala), but cancelled the Kerala part because of fear of ill health on  a 22 day tour to India, plus I hadn't got a guarantee that I would not be travelling alone at some stage on this tour.

Kind Regards
Di
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Post: #4
Hi Di
Was there much smog in Delhi and other other places you visited? This will be my first trip to India as I have been put off by the prospect of an upset tummy and endless curries.Also I believe there has been scaffolding around different parts of the Taj Mahal for a long while. I hope this has been cleared now.
Looking forward to seeing you in February. I have booked all the optional excursions.
I shall probably be going to Destinations Travel Show again.
Peter
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Post: #5
(25/10/2019, 01:18 PM)Peter G Wrote: Hi Di
Was there much smog in Delhi and other other places you visited? This will be my first trip to India as I have been put off by the prospect of an  upset tummy and endless curries.Also I believe there has been scaffolding around different parts  of the Taj Mahal for a long while. I hope this has been cleared now.
Looking forward to seeing you in February. I have booked all the optional excursions.
I shall probably be going to Destinations Travel Show again.
Peter

Looking forward to seeing you in feb.i am flying from Heathrow but not till the evening on a virgin flight.
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Post: #6
Hi Peter,

I'm glad you have booked India - it's not called "Incredible India" for nothing! Like Di I have been to India quite a few times now (5). I'm sure she can add to my "top tips" but as it's your first time, here goes:-

1. Go vegetarian

2. Only drink bottled water - even when cleaning your teeth, and keep your mouth shut in the shower!

3. Never eat the salads (don't know what kind of water they are washed in) even in a 5* hotel - trust me I've seen what it did to a fellow traveller when we stayed in the top hotel in Kolkata.

4. Religiously use anti-bacterial handgel/wipes before and after eating/going to the loo, and handling money.

5. Take lots of Imodium and Rehydration salts with you.

6. Only eat freshly cooked food and maybe avoid street food - the only thing I had this year in Shimla was Marsala Fries from a street vendor - with no ill effects luckily, and they were delicious but better to be safe than sorry.

7. Go with an open mind - yes, you will see poverty, dirt, rubbish and manic traffic and noise, but nearly everyone will smile at you however poor they are.

8. India is a photographer's paradise, so make sure you always have spare memory cards and charged batteries with you.

9. You don't have to eat curry every day, unless you want to! Curries in India taste totally different from those in the UK! You certainly won't starve, and there are always vegetarian options.

10. Finally, I hope you get to see the Taj Mahal without the scaffolding - it is still the most beautiful building I have ever seen.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Hils
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Post: #7
Hi Peter

I wasn't particularly aware of smog in Delhi although I know it has high pollution levels and some people do waer face masks. i understand that smog is at it's worst in November and December and then starts to decrease.
However, whilst we were in Jaipur I did notice what I thought was smog over the Lake and Lake Palace on a photo stop. It did provide quite a good and different photo of the Palace. Whilst doing the sightseeing in Jaipur on the same day it was bright,sunny and very hot. (should be cooler in February). No smog as such in Agra either. The Taj Mahal at sunrise is awe inspiring. We were advised of the best places to stand to get the best photos.
Scaffolding has gone.

When you get your final travel documents, the documents might recommend BIMUNO travel aid. These are pastilles to start taking a week before you travel and for the duration of the holiday. They put good bacteria in your tummy, I always take them but they are expensive. One lady on our tour bought Boots own brand. So might be worth you considering these if you are worried about tummy problems.
Curries, certainly, but most meals are buffet style so you can pick and choose. There are invariably chips or some sort of potato wedges. I usually stick to vegetarian as much as possible
Breakfast, yes, some curries again but there is some European food. I had omelettes and toast every day because that suited me. There will be a chef if you look around the breakfast room who will cook eggs to order.
A couple of lunches we did manage fish and chips and opposite our last hotel in Jaipur there was a McD's.
Bottled water is available on the coaches and is provided in hotel rooms. I take coffee sachets and ginger biscuits which are good if you do get a tummy problem.
Clean your teeth always with bottled water, don't put your toothbrush under the tap either.
I avoid salads because you don't know what sort of water they have been washed in.
Wash your hands with soap and water as much as possible, especially after handling money-Handgel is essential to take as are Immodium and wetwipes (not god for environment though).

Sorry, Peter, please do not let this info. put you off. Most of the stuff will become second nature and everything becomes automatic. 
"Invitation to India" is a super full on little tour, seeing and doing so much in "Incredible India". 
I didn't do the optional excursion in Delhi, so know little about it, but did the other two which were both well worth doing.
Look forward to seeing you in Delhi in February if not at Destinations beforehand.
Di
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Post: #8
Hi Dina and Hils
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Post: #9
Hi Dina and Hils.
Thank you both for the valuable advice.

Peter
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Post: #10
(27/10/2019, 09:04 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi Peter

I wasn't particularly aware of smog in Delhi although I know it has high pollution levels and some people do waer face masks. i understand that smog is at it's worst in November and December and then starts to decrease.
However, whilst we were in Jaipur I did notice what I thought was smog over the Lake and Lake Palace on a photo stop. It did provide quite a good and different photo of the Palace. Whilst doing the sightseeing in Jaipur on the same day it was bright,sunny and very hot. (should be cooler in February). No smog as such in Agra either. The Taj Mahal at sunrise is awe inspiring. We were advised of the best places to stand to get the best photos.
Scaffolding has gone.

When you get your final travel documents, the documents might recommend BIMUNO travel aid. These are pastilles to start taking a week before you travel and for the duration of the holiday. They put good bacteria in your tummy, I always take them but they are expensive. One lady on our tour bought Boots own brand. So might be worth you considering these if you are worried about tummy problems.
Curries, certainly, but most meals are buffet style so you can pick and choose. There are invariably chips or some sort of potato wedges. I usually stick to vegetarian as much as possible
Breakfast, yes, some curries again but there is some European food. I had omelettes and toast every day because that suited me. There will be a chef if you look around the breakfast room who will cook eggs to order.
A couple of lunches we did manage fish and chips and opposite our last hotel in Jaipur there was a McD's.
Bottled water is available on the coaches and is provided in hotel rooms. I take coffee sachets and ginger biscuits which are good if you do get a tummy problem.
Clean your teeth always with bottled water, don't put your toothbrush under the tap either.
I avoid salads because you don't know what sort of water they have been washed in.
Wash your hands with soap and water as much as possible, especially after handling money-Handgel is essential to take as are Immodium and wetwipes (not god for environment though).

Sorry, Peter, please do not let this info. put you off. Most of the stuff will become second nature and everything becomes automatic. 
"Invitation to India" is a super full on little tour, seeing and doing so much in "Incredible India". 
I didn't do the optional excursion in Delhi, so know little about it, but did the other two which were both well worth doing.
Look forward to seeing you in Delhi in February if not at Destinations beforehand.
Di

Thanks for all this wonderful information!can I ask your advice on money to take with us.Might see you in February .lesley
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