Intoxicating India (August 20th)
Phew – a long 12 hours in the car from Udaipur to Agra. When you think of your worst white knuckle theme ride and multiply it a few times you are somewhere close to the experience on the roads in parts of India.
In my 20’s I loved the buzz of long road journeys. The narrow misses, the feeling when you made it through on the trains, crazy buses, and riding on the top of jeeps, rickshaw’s only just making it in between trucks and so on. It was just the complete opposite of the Western world.
On this trip and in my mid 30’s, and as a mum I have a strong self-preservation wish and less risk taking attractions. I am more selective in who I am getting in the car with, and trust my own intuition completely.
Internal flights are a smarter option for such big distances, unless like in the Himalayas it is on a mountain etc. I experienced the rest on previous trips and enjoyed it at the time. Not much of an inclination to repeat.
On this occasion as it was the end of Ramadan yesterday, the flight costs were 36,000 rupees from Udaipur to Delhi = $654.00 Australian. I could not justify this investment on a 1.5-hour internal flight. So the car was the option in order to get here. All in all it has been a brlliant adventure
The trick is just to let go of fear, and enjoy the being thrown around the car as if it is a kind of massage. I do LOVE the flashes of life, chaotic, crazy India as everybody goes about there business. Somehow the eclectic mix of scenes flashing ignites your spirit and zest for life. The trucks move, the bike slips through, the weaves between cows, goats, and dogs just in time. It is life in a raw form. This part is hard not to love.
What an amazing driver I had – Company called Atlas India. Cab, with A.K. Goyal. His cell number is 0091 99283363401.
A.J literally weaved his way in and out of the trucks; we had a few emergency stops with cows in the road in the dark (not great for my nervous system) but each time we managed to skid in the right direction to miss them. I would rec. this very skilled driver, as professional and trustworthy. He can collect you in Delhi, and help you with all bookings for hotels and so on. Having tried and tested A.Js business I would be happy to recommend him. I have good skills in knowing which people are good to deal with.
The majority of this trip with another company based in Delhi. This I would not recommend. There have been some parts they have been great with, but generally have caused a lot of unneeded hassle at many points of the trip.
The financial cost for AJ as a driver is the same as the guy who was falling asleep at the wheel, in a car that was falling apart the other day and only able to hit 80 km. It is important to take your time to shop around for the standard you are comfortable with. When you are clear on what you want, you attract it straight back. The right people on your path also working from the heart.
So I am excited to see if the gigantic journey up here will in the end be mind blowing when I am standing at the Taj Mahal. I have never been attracted to come here on previous trips, as not so into the big touristy hangouts. But from what I have heard many times over this one is said to be ‘amazing’.
Traveling in India offers an abundance of lessons and self-growth, in acceptance, in letting go of expectations, and finding your peace in the most stressful situations.
I arrived in Agra a long way past midnight. I had reached meltdown point in terms of tiredness. After a good sleep, just going to take it easy for few more hours and then hit the sights. It is a 6-hour drive tomorrow to Delhi, which is about as appealing as a slap around the face at this moment ha-ha! Hmmm a 30-minute flight is very appealing right now. I will see how the day unfolds.