Incredible India really may be the best alliterative slogan for a country ever, because everything we did and everything saw was really just that incredible.
You know, Oli and I were a little nervous before travelling to India. It’s one of those places that we had built up in our minds so much over the years. People who had been always told us that we would absolutely love it. It was our original plan after teaching in Korea and we had talked about going ever since we first met. We hadn’t been, though, because we had this big idea to save India for a time when we could really give it enough time. We wanted to take advantage of that long 6 month visa and see EVERYTHING.
But you can’t always do everything exactly the way you want. And who usually has that much time to hand anyway? So, when our American friends in Korea, who we hadn’t seen in a year, Skyped us to say they were going to India… we just had to book the flights and go!
And it exceeded every expectation we had, good and bad.
So what did we get up to during our 47 days in Incredible India?
We spent 5 days together in Delhi with our friend MJ, then we went our separate ways with our other friends Courntey and Kevin. I spent 8 days in Rishikesh and 6 in Manali and hiking in Bhrigu Lake, whilst Oli spent 4 days in Manali and 10 riding in the Spiti Valley.
Together again, we spent 2 days in Amritsar before heading to Rajasthan for 4 days in Jaipur, 4 in Pushkar, 2 in Jodphur, 4 in Jasialmer, 4 in Udaipur and a final 3 in Chittaugarh and Bundi. Phew!
Oli’s uncle Dave joined us for those last 7 days and we went on with him to Varanasi for 5 days and a final 2 in Delhi.
We took 9 buses, 5 trains, 2 boats along the Ganges in Varanasi, each rode a camel in the Thar desert and rented 4 different motorbikes.
We also took 4 rickshaws and more auto-rickshaws than we can count.
1. The Indian Himalaya
2. Chittaugarh Fort complex
3. The Golden Temple in Amritsar
1. The final result of Sashi’s cooking class, Udaipur
2. The chicken tikka at the Old take-away Kebab Shop, Jaipur
3. The special thali at Sesh Besh, Manali
1. The almost frozen Sathi Lassi, Bundi
2. The large sweet lassi at Lassiwala 312, Jaipur
3. Anything saffron lassi at The Blue Lassi Shop, Varanasi
I learnt yoga with Courtney and even did a headstand for 2 whole seconds.
Oli rode the world’s most treacherous road with Kevin.
Oli taught 3 people, including me, how to ride a geared motorbike.
Oli and Dave successfully fought off crazy monkeys at the hilltop fort in Bundi without a scratch. I took photographic evidence.
Oli received at least 12 moustache compliments.
On one day in Varanasi we drank 11 cups of chai, although we feel that we could have easily doubled this number and promise to do better next time.
We witnessed a monkey riding on a pig in Jaipur.
We also met a cow with 5 legs, a cow with 6 legs and a man with 12 toes all in one evening! (also in Jaipur)
We only consumed alcohol 15 times during the whole 47 day trip.
In Delhi we visited three different places of worship, of three seperate religions, in one day.
We feel so grateful to have had this opportunity to travel in India and we fell in love with it as hard as we did for Nepal last year. All this said, we know that we’ve barely scratched the surface of what India and it’s people have to offer.
Incredible India, we will be back.
Have you been to India? How incredible was it for you? If there is anything you want to hear about from our time in the subcontinent, then don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.