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URGENT! Please Help Us Finalize Our 3 Week Intinerary, Pretty Please!

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Hi Everyone. I am posting again to get some “on-point” feedback from experienced travelers before finalizing our itinerary -- which we need to do in a hurry! We have had several conversations with our agent yet keep getting back itineraries that don’t reflect our discussions.

Here is the most recent version we received which still seems pretty rushed to me:

1 Wednesday, January 11, 2012 Arrive Delhi, transfer to hotel Delhi
2 Thursday, January 12, 2012 Delhi sightseeing - Old and New Delhi. Visit the Crafts Museum and Dilli Haat in the afternoon Delhi
3 Friday, January 13, 2012 Fly to Udaipur; sightseeing and leisure Udaipur
4 Saturday, January 14, 2012 Udaipur sightseeing and leisure Udaipur
5 Sunday, January 15, 2012 Drive to Ranakpur (2.5hrs) through the Aravalli Hills. Visit the temples. Transfer 1hr to Narlai or to The Aodhi Rawla Narlai or Aodhi
6 Monday, January 16, 2012 Drive 4hrs to Jodhpur. Afternoon at leisure. Walk through the "Blue City" area of Brahmapuri and visit the traditonal bazaar at the Clock Tower Jodhpur
7 Tuesday, January 17, 2012 After breakfast, transfer 2hrs to desert camp at Manvar. Activities at the camp (see their website). Overnight Manvar Manvar
8 Wednesday, January 18, 2012 After breakfast, check out of camp and drive 2hrs to Jodhpur. Visit Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada and Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur
9 Thursday, January 19, 2012 Early morning train to Jaipur (5hrs). Afternoon at leisure. Elephant safari in the countryside followed by drinks and dinner at a private estate Jaipur
10 Friday, January 20, 2012 Jaipur sightseeing - Amer Fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Observatory. Jaipur
11 Saturday, January 21, 2012 Drive 5hrs to Agra. Can stop at Fatehpur Sikri enroute, before driving 1hr to Agra. Agra
12 Sunday, January 22, 2012 See Taj Mahal, return to hotel for breakfast. Later visit Agra Fort and drive 5hrs to Delhi (stay near airport) Delhi
13 Monday, January 23, 2012 Fly to Varanasi; check in. Evening prayer ceremony at the ghats with lamps Varanasi
14 Tuesday, January 24, 2012 Dawn boat ride on the Ganges, Varanasi sightseeing Varanasi
15 Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Excursion to Sarnath, fly to Delhi (stay near airport) Delhi
16 Thursday, January 26, 2012 Fly to Cochin, transfer 1.5hrs to Kumarakom in the backwaters. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy your beautiful surroundings Kumarakom
17 Friday, January 27, 2012 Day cruise on a traditional kettuvallom houseboat, with lunch cooked on board Kumarakom
18 Saturday, January 28, 2012 After breakfast, drive 1.5hrs to Cochin. Sightseeing in Fort Kochi, including Jewish heritage sites. Evening Kathakali performance Cochin
19 Sunday, January 29, 2012 Fly to Delhi. Afternoon visit Akshardham and Lotus Temple Delhi
20 Monday, January 30, 2012 Last day of shopping and sightseeing (Qutb Complex and Humayun's Tomb). Fly out End


Questions:

1) We absolutely want another day in Delhi upfront (to be Day 3) to recover from our flight before gallivanting around the country. We plan on sleeping the morning of Day 2 and begin sightseeing in Delhi that afternoon. Any thoughts on where we can free up a day?

2) The Rajasthan part of the itinerary appears rushed to my "inexperienced India eyes". Do you think we should leave this as is OR fly to Jodhpur instead of driving and free up a day (our agent said the flights to Jodhpur have recently been unreliable and that the drive is beautiful) OR drop Udaipur altogether? (We think Udaipur looks beautiful but seem to be more intrigued by Jaipur and Jodhpur -- there is just something about that desert!) If we do keep Udaipur, is it silly to do this city first thing at the beginning of our trip? I heard it is a very relaxing place and therefore, it might be nice to do it later in the trip when down time would be nice. Perhaps we should reverse the whole Northern part of the trip and go immediately to Varanasi after Delhi?

3) Should we drop Southern India altogether and just spend more time in each place?

4) if we keep Southern india, do you think we should try for a connecting flight straight to Cochin instead of spending the interim night in Delhi? Our agent thinks the connecting flights are risky but maybe we should take the risk? Or if not, isn't it more efficient to fly South to Mumbai and then on to Cochin.

5) At the end of our trip, we were hoping to fly back to Delhi on Day 20 instead of Day 19 because our flight is actually on Day 21 at 1:50AM. Our agent also thought this risky. However, it would free up some time . . .

Please help!

Thanks!!!!

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