Namaste, and thanks for the email Nazir. My husband and I are still under the powerful influence of India – having thoroughly enjoyed the 2 weeks we had there. It’s really difficult to synthesize our experience but I will try to give some feedback.
Both of us felt that we learned so much and really broadened our understanding of cultural and political issues in addition to seeing, tasting, smelling, and tasting some of India’s diversity. I really appreciated the diverse environments: urban, heritage sites, forest reserve, streets/river exposure in Varanasi, the roadside rural life viewed as we traveled between major sites. I’m especially glad that we added on the Varanasi trip which broadened our experience considerably. We were ever so fortunate in the timing (just after the monsoon season) and got to see a relatively ‘green’ India. Several local guides commented that we were a ‘lucky’ group in terms of being in the right places at the right times for certain things – such as seeing tigers, getting to the Taj Mahal just prior to its ‘mudding’.
The tour itinerary was well planned and varied – given that any group of 22 people will have different preferences. We found our tour guide to be excellent: knowledgeable, flexible, and always anticipating when/where changes might be needed either for our comfort or safety. Many thanks for that. And he was ever so patient in spite of challenging situations. I’m a cautious traveller (in contrast to my husband) but even I felt very safe. Our guide was extremely good at keeping us together while also allowing plenty of photo ops, cooling down periods, and preparing us for the next point of interest. The tour guide was very good with history and cultural information that made the bus travel time both informative and seem shorter. All contacts were very friendly, courteous, and helpful. One hardly mentioned an issue and it was addressed; To summarize, the trip was amazing! We are so very glad we went and still bask in India’s glow. Fond memories, great photos, and a great appreciation for the country and its peoples! Please convey our thanks to all who made the trip possible.