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Darbargadh Poshina in Gujarat--calling Dogster

Darbargadh Poshina in Gujarat--calling Dogster

Feb 17th, 2012, 12:13 PM
  #1  
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Darbargadh Poshina in Gujarat--calling Dogster

Hi--

Read a couple of very positive comments you made about this place and how you could stay there for many days. We are finalizing our tentative itinerary (yes, we finally booked tickets and are actually leaving for India pretty soon). After a fully scheduled and booked first 7 to 10 days, we are going to be more open-ended and flexible. I'd been looking at 2 nights here before moving on to the next place, but the agent we are using just told me that on March 8th we can't use the car until late afternoon because it is Holi, and the paint can ruin the car. My semi-scheduled, somewhat flexible, tentative itinerary has me here at this time. How about a 3rd night here? That way we woulnd't need to use the car on Holi.

What can you tell me about the place and the opportunities for interesting things to do, see and experience? We really like to take in different kinds of places, and smaller more off-beat experiences are right up our alley. Hope you see this. Thanks.
julies is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 12:07 AM
  #2  
 
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Oh lordy, you're going to be in Gujarat during Holi? Remember, Holi ain't just one day. There are amazing things to do the two weeks either side of it - but you'd better be verrrry brave - or very stupid. There is a bonanza of terrifying amazement at that time in that area. You'd better book those hotels, Poshina may already be booked out.

You need to go here, click to read these stories [in order] and check the additional slideshows:
http://thedogster.wordpress.com/gujarat-home-page/

You'll see this caveat on the page:

Dogster is a very stupid man. Do not do what Dogster does. Ever.

I mean it.
dogster is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 05:20 AM
  #3  
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Dogster--

Yep, we've got Poshina booked for 3 days. In some ways I think we may be kindred spirits because we've done what others might consider to be some pretty stupid things in some places that some might consider waaaaaaay out there. Like taking a ride with a stranger who stopped and offered us a ride when we were waiting for a bus in rural Nicaragua and then getting in the car and thinking how stupid could we "rich" gringos be because no one knew where we were and where this dude might take us rather than into central Granada where he was supposed to be going. Like signing on for a multi-day, "ethnic", into-the-villages trekking trip in the far north mountains of Vietnam where we booted the young son out of his straw stuffed mattress (they did add extra straw for the comfort of the American guests) in a Hmong village and dined on freshly killed water buffalo from a beast that had injured himself and had to be put down that afternoon. Like taking off on our non-mountain bikes into the mountain biking trails of the badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the US in the late afternoon and getting lost (wearing only shorts and t-shirts and with only 1 bottle of water) so that when we finally found our way out of the wilderness and pedaled back in in complete darkness I hit a rock and flipped over my handlebars breaking my arm.

As far as the drunken Bhagoria though and tent city, we will take your advice and not repeat your experiences. And, I am supposed to call my scheduled driver today to make sure his English is adequate, so some of your advice is being heeded as far as not repeating your experiences.

Thanks for the warnings........But, we are signing on for the experience.
julies is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 05:51 AM
  #4  
 
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For my experience following in dogster's footsteps (in Nepal), start here: http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...omment-6801198

Holi? Suspect you need to take some very old clothes.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 07:18 AM
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Poshina is not very interesting in itself.

It has precisely two very ratty streets, not in the least ethnic or inspiring; Holi is unlikely to be overly colorful - if, indeed, it happens at all. Tribals tend not to throw paint, preferring to kill each other at that time of year. Alas, the slaughter is unlikely to affect you. You have go looking for the excitement - and nobody will take you.

Unless your scheduled driver is from the area, he'll be of no use to you at all. Only a complete idiot would venture into tribal areas during this period without a clued-up guide - nor do they want you there. Once the toddy kicks in late afternoon they will eat the car and anything inside it. Even the locals hardly know what's going on till just before it happens. 'Tis the tribal way.

I'm not sure this is your wisest move. You'll be treated as a tourist mushroom - fed shite and kept in the dark. I'd be doing some serious research on local festivals around this time period. Go to them, wherever and whenever they occur - Poshina will be very dull in comparison. This is not the India you are looking for.
dogster is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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Hmmmmmmmmmm. Now time for pause. So, I shouldn't believe what the owner of Poshina said to me in an e-mail--"it is the most interesting time to be here.tribal dancing,fairs,etc."? And, the agent I am using (who I do have a lot of faith in) to arrange my transportation and book my requested hotels told me this: "He [the owner] has suggested you stay 3 nights to enjoy Holi festivities which take place on 7/8/9 March."

You are instead saying this is murderous mayhem with a bunch of drunken louts hanging around. And, Poshina itself isn't such a great place. Actually we were intending to use Poshina as a base from which to do some exploring of the tribal events. Bad idea? So, you really, really mean it when you think we should avoid this particular place (one that I thought you'd liked) and this particular experience. This was our dip into Gujarat from a southerly itinerary in Rajasthan. In other words, I think I hear you saying that Poshina and its environs aren't the place for the local "color" I was hoping to find.
julies is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Who is your agent, and why do you have faith in him?
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 09:58 AM
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Well, Hanu is to be trusted. If he says there are tribal events happening on your dates, then use him as your guide and go find them. I wasn't in Poshina for the exact dates of Holi, I was down south in Chhota Udepur watching drunks walk on hot coals. Ask him, not me.

I might add that Hanu organised my trip.
dogster is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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The responses to my e-mails from Poshina haven't been signed, but perhaps it is Hanu because in the last e-mail he did ask if I want/need help organizing my trip.

I am using Nikhil at TGS Tours out of Jaipur. He really seems to know his stuff for out of the way places and good itineraries. And, he is responsive and prices are reasonable; he will do as much or as little as I want him to do. Many, many good and believeable reviews of this agency over on tripadvisor.

I, rather than TGS had suggested the idea of Poshina (thinking Dogster really liked it). But, I just took a look now over at TA--4 reviews of the place. One (from someone who has written multiple reviews) that is bad. And 3 recent reviews that are 1 shot wonders highly praising the place--the kind I am always suspicious about. Think I'll have to ask the agent for an honest appraisal of this idea of visiting there at all and for 3 days over Holi.

Thanks again.

Now I am starting to rethink.
julies is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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Thanks Juliefor answering the question about your trusted travel planner. (You didnt reply when i asked the same question, on another thread-- I wondered what is the big secret? Glad to get a name for future reference.)

You are now having but one of many experiences where what you THINK you are getting is going to be quite different from the reality But as a "seasoned" adventurous traveler, you know that.

And you know that at a certain point, you just have to plunge in and "go for it." There are only so many things you can control in life and travel, as your adventures thus far have taught you. Trust that some of your most priceless adventures in India will be in ways you hadnt preplanned or considered, and may be VERY different from what others think .

Bon voyage. Now when are you actually leaving??
CaliNurse is offline  
Feb 19th, 2012, 04:50 AM
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I asked my agent once again, and he really thinks Poshina is a good place to be for Holi because that place/owner has a strong connection with the local community, and this is a several day event with a bonfire the first night, the color festival the second day and local folk dancers coming the third day. We are going for it! I'll be sure to include a follow-up when we get home and I do a trip report. None of this reporting live like some people here seem to do.

Cali--Sorry I didn't answer the agent question earlier. It wasn't a big secret; it was just that all of a sudden I had other much more important things going on in my life. Needed to make a 911 call which resulted in my husband spending 2 days in the cardiac intensive card unit. Thank God it turned out to be nothing significant, but that was where my mind was, and all thoughts of planning a trip went out the window. Then, with a release from the hospital just about a week prior to setting out on a long trip to a developing country, we really did some questioning, soul-searching and thinking about whether we should just cancel the entire thing and started thinking that maybe this trip to India just wasn't meant to be. However, we finally decided that life is short (and we were especially just reminded of this) and people need to do what they want to do while they can. We've been reassured by all of the medical people (including the cardiologist who is from Mumbai) that all tests were good and that following through on our trip is fine, so we're off in a couple days and will return the beginning of April. (And, I should have started another trip on why you should always buy trip insurance.)
julies is offline  
Feb 19th, 2012, 07:43 AM
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Sorry to hear about the emergency - best of luck to both of you. Definitely looking forward to the TR!
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Dogster--

I should have listened to you. This turned out to be a disaster, and we walked out after less than an hour at the place. Granted, looking back, it may have just been the timing of our arrival and trip there (eve of Holi), but it wasn't at all what we thought it would be or what we were anticipating. And, the pathetic welcome we received was just the start of what we felt would be a bad stay. So, we quickly made some phone calls and moved on. Maybe someone else at some other time might have a better experience than we did.
julies is offline  
Apr 6th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Hmmm.... I'll look for the full story in your trip report. But I appreciate you telling us about this.
Kathie is offline  
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