Jul 17th, 2009, 07:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 44
travelaw, I'm really enjoying reading your report. We are able to use some of the useful information as well. It is brilliant and a real help.

lcuy. Thanks so much for taking the time. Ok, we are now in the process are re-doing the itinerary and will report back here with another draft asap. You really have given us food for thought. As so many of you guys have suggested, we are gonna drop the safari and probably Varanasi, just to slow things down. We take on board about staying in places longer to relax.

We will therefore fly,as suggested by dogster - it's not overly expensive as dogster rightly pointed out.

Not sure what you meant about going without bathrooms for many days, originally we were only gonna have 2, 1 night only train journeys on 2 separate occasions. I know that camping out in Europe and being without a bath is totally different than doing without a wash in India! Don't think we will travel by train at all now which seems a real shame.

We are still keen on car/driver and Indian Panorama Tours have also been recommended if Ramesh is booked up.

The bus journey we intended to take from Delhi to Jaipur was with and they have the Volvo buses that run 1/2 hourly but I think now we will go with car/driver.

Flying in to Dehli and home from Kolkata has to stay as is. So Andamans at the end but we will probably a couple of days in and around Port Blair before getting the 3 hour ferry to Neil or Havelock.

We have the Footprints book and a VERY old LP, we will get the new one when it comes out.

I can't express enough thanks for all this help and advice. We are certainly going to use the information and advice provided so that this trip is just as good for each of us.
MrsMarge is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,159
"Don't think we will travel by train at all now which seems a real shame." - I agree! The trains, at least in 1AC and 2AC, are nothing like as bad as people here seem to think, and in 2AC are a great way to meet people. I also think it would be a pity to cut Varanasi, but if you have to try to see tigers you may have to.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 17th, 2009, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,511
I like trains, too, but overnights (with little kids that need to be escorted to the bathroom), and then touring all the next day would be pretty hard unless you have time where you are going to take some naps.

BTW, We really liked Samode Haveli in Jaipur. It is an old historic mansion converted to a hotel. Lovely pool, Huge rooms (ask for one on the ground floor in the back), and inside the old district, so interesting neighborhood for walking. They have Indian entertainment at dinner time, and the breakfast is included, I think. Quite reasonable. Don't mix it up with Samode Palace, which is further out, and more expensive. Jasvilas gets good reviews too.

The driver we love is Narender at [email protected]. He takes a while to respond to e-mails, so don;t give up. He's kind, speaks english well, has a nice mini van, and is a really safe driver.
lcuy is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,924
If you get the mehndi (henna) work done on your hands, have them do most of the work on the tops of your hands. Anything done on your palms will wear off fast with hand washing. You can also have them carry the design beyond your wrist and onto your forearm. As already mentioned, you have to allow time for it to dry, then scape off the excess with the dull edge of a utensil.

You can also have the design put on the tops of your feet.
Jaya is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,511
The only problem is that it will never be as dark on your "soft" skin. Your palms, and soles and sides of your feet hold the stain deeper and longer.

Once it get surface dry, if you pat moisturizer or oil on it it will be better too. Despite wanting it to dry so you can pick it off, it comes out nicer the longer it takes to dry. After the henna is gone, wait as long as possible to wash your hands- overnight if possible. The henna will continue to develop and be darker in the morning.

You want it as deep as possible, because you will love it and want it to last!
lcuy is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,924
A good quality henna job is dabbed with mustard oil as the work is done and the person doing the henna should do this for you.

I only had this done once when I got married (back in the dark ages - LOL), but as a bride they do a lot of intricate work on hands and feet and it took a few hours! I couldn't do anything all afternoon between getting the henna done AND waiting for it to fully dry. It was actually very tiring til it was all done.

The henna artist (mehndi walli) should have pictures or drawings available for you to choose from too.
Jaya is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 09:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 44
I know the girls are really looking forward to having this done and, so am I. Thanks to you all for the tips.
MrsMarge is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,110
I believe your daughters will remember this trip for the rest of their lives --- not with the clarity that you will have -- but bright blurs of color and sound. I hope you have a marvelous time. Perhaps our paths will cross as we'll be there for part of the time!
indianapearl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2009, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,924
If possible, find a shop that sells glass figurines. You can buy some of the cutest handmade glass animals that kids love.

You can also find more elaborate ones like a glass tree that you can hang glass pieces of fruit from for example. All of these are miniatures making them so much more cute.
Jaya is offline  
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