A Travellerspoint blog

November 2011

Agra and the Taj Mahal

Nearly had a fight with Chloe

We checked out of our hotel to meet our driver who was to ferry us around for the next few days whilst we do a minute tour. We chose a fairly old taxi which is, for the petrol heads, an Ambassador. Basically it's the style I would draw if someone gave me pen and paper. We thought it would be a laugh. The day before I asked Chloe to wear her seatbelt on the long journey turns out I needn't have worried because there were none, a sofa in the back which was very comfy for the SEVEN HOURS we had to journey through. What a nightmare. Ok a long way to Agra from Delhi but seriously about three of those hours were in heavy horn honking heel hitting traffic. There is road rage here too, one man walked out infront of a slow moving car and bashing on the drivers window yelling and waving his fist, I locked the door but I have to admit I enjoyed the drama. On another day our driver stopped our car, got out and shouted at a female driver. I don't get it though because all the driving here is bloody crazy so very hypocritical. But hey who am I to judge!

Yes I nearly hit Chloe last night at about 3 am. I was asleep with ear plugs (noisy hotel) not fully asleep and I felt a cool breeze on me and even with my eyes shut knew the room went light then dark again. In my dozing state I figured someone had came into our locked room by mistake and left. Then I heard a muffled bash of the toilet lid.....its next door there must be a window connecting our rooms hence the light. No? There wasn't a window connecting just one outside. I seriously wondered if someone had climbed up outside and got into our room through our window.....oh my god.....someone had got in.....but left....then the breeze and dim light. My heart pounding I turned to see a shadow stood by the window. I jumped up onto the bed and roared something, I can't remember what......"Mum what are you doing?????" It was Chloe....ha ha ha she got up and went to the loo. I had freaked myself out but blamed the malaria tablets. We laughed for a while and even now! I was ready to attack! Fight or flight they say.

Anyway after our long journey we were told we could see the Taj Mahal in the morning as it was closing. No! I want to see it at sun set and sun rise so we went to the garden for a peak. I can honestly say I was over whelmed and it brought a tear to my eye. It was stunning, no photo can do it justice. I couldn't wait to go and see it tomorrow.

The next day was just as moving. Security wouldn't let travelling Ted in so he sat this one out. When the refusal was given Chloe said "Right I want to see the Manager" I immediately stopped her with a smile wondering.....is there a position Manager of Taj Mahal? Asking if we can bring in a knitted toy. We accepted he wasn't allowed in. We queued for a pose on Lady Dianas bench, which incidently has nothing to prompt this was where she said so we could have been on any old marble bench. The entire place was stunning. After leaving out very annoying guide that was very boss took us to a masonery shop ....where they tried to sell us a marble table. After explaining that we won't be home for a year they couldn't get their heads round it.... I thought the table top would make an excellent pizza cutting board and thought maybe so I asked how much. £135.......we left with ten post cards.

Posted by Vicky Bailey 07:43 Archived in India Comments (1)

Connaught Square

Walked to Connaught Square today and Chloe was teaching me how to cross the road.

Road - loose term - some tarmac and some dirt track road used for Cows, bicycles, mopeds, motorbikes, dogs, cars, buses, rickshaws, tuc-tucs, children and us. Two way roads with three or four lanes in each, no lines to determine the lane, you can undertake and overtake if you are faster then get in front. The only way to cross is to walk out infront of the traffic - literally! We made it - oh I forgot to mention elephants - yes in the road to.

We walk past the open male urinals and the people sleeping on the ground taking in all the chaos of the traffic and the ambiance of the people chatting to eachother, touts asking you to eat in their restaurants ( small open rooms where the cooking is done on open stoves) different aromas, horns honking and blowing like an orchestra getting ready before their show. Amazing - we are actually here - this is the first proper culture change we have experienced and we like it.

Walking down into Connaught Square our eyes were everywhere - every bit of space taken up to sell items or for cooking. Freshly baked biscuits in the street - we had some - really good - highly recommend them. Talented Henna artists too. We ate good food with a rooftop view of the bustle below. Still the traffic comes and still the horns blowing but it's all part of it and it works. Yes you are stopped to buy things but that happens in Tenerife - Greece etc a simple no thank you and thats all left alone. We found everyone very friendly - shouting "Hello!" or "excuse me where are you from?" we didn't experience anything untoward. We are going back too.

Posted by Vicky Bailey 09:00 Archived in India Comments (0)

Delhi

Avoid travel with a bad belly to Delhi

Today we left Goa at 7am to go to the airport to get our flight to Delhi. It was really sad to go and saying good bye to such a scenic place it is perfection. We had our good night supper with Sandy our dog who befriended us and retired ready for this morning. I was up most of the night with stomach cramps and a fever and was by no means looking forward to the journey. I managed the taxi ride without throwing up but could not sleep to bide the time.

When we got to the airport we had to wait for the staff to open up the checkin desks and by this time I didn't know what to do wiith myself, head pounding and stomach cramping I was sure this was albeit sightly premature - Delhi Belly. I sat patiently waiting and Chloe was so good as I had become quite snappy not wanting to talk just wanting to lie on the floor - which I couldn't so I sat in a rigid plastic chair waiting.

Hooray - check in open - Chloe sorts everything out until I need to be at the desk - "where is your payment card you used for booking madam?" the lady asks me so I hand her my card. "This does not match madam". Then I realise my card used for the booking had expired, chopped up and binned - only equipped with my new card! Bloody hell!!! I am leaning on the counter wondering if Iam going to be sick. "I am sorry madam I can not continue" What??? But I have paid - I have the booking form with me. I say nothing my head wizzing - I can see if thinking hard and she comes up with a solution and thank goodness she had some common sense. She refunded my original payment and I paid again - simple.

On the flight I slept most of the time - even with the screaming baby infront and the snoring man behind.

I did crack a smile though despite feeling so rough - I am sure and Chloe agrees the Hostess said "Thank you for flying with Spice Shit" My ears opened up - we flew with Spice Jet and they were very good - will use them again.

Took a cab to our hotel Chanchel Delux - nice but noisy - infact really noisy - all night! Not outside - inside the staff very noisy -not outisde but inside.

Posted by Vicky Bailey 08:41 Archived in India Comments (0)

Dolphins

Goa


View VICKY AND CHLOE ON WORLD TOUR on Vicky Bailey's travel map.

Today was an early start going on a boat trip to spot dolphins in the sea. I was aware we were getting picked up so when we came out of our hut at 730 (not really early I know) I asked the man "are you here to take us whale watching?" Whale watching......DOLPHINS! Anyway I founiid it funny and embarrassing but that was short lived when he got onto a little coped beconning us both to get on. I got on first and Chloe behind, "move up" she said to me as if I wasn't close enough to this guy anyway! I had to grab hold of him as he shot off down the dirt track road....oh well we were fitting in with the culture hoping not to crash.

We arrived at the beach and could see our wooden fishing boat - just us two and two guys manning the boat. I thought they would be rowing but there was a gert big engine that zipped us around. I started filming and filming....hour and a bit later...."think dolphin sleep" we were told. Then I spotted a fin....two fins...two wild dolphins in the ocean....great! I started to film again. BATTERY EXHAUSTED came on screen, never mind I thought just fins not missing too much. Whooosh....out about six feet high the dolphin jumps clearly out of the sea right infant of me (chloe missed it as I was blocking her view) "Wow! Did you see that?" To which she replied a polite no. It didn't matter it jumped out again. No footage and no pictures but its all up there in my head.

We had dinner with two girls Ashley and Jo who ate staying here at Agonda White Sands. Both are accomplished travellers and gave us some fantastic tips for our journey and refreshed our spirits for other places. Good to hear info from experienced people. We had a great night with good food and beer! Back to our new accommodation a sea view two tier beach hut.

Please bear with us re photos having problems uploading waiting for advice from this site.

Posted by Vicky Bailey 11:25 Archived in India Comments (0)

Goa


View VICKY AND CHLOE ON WORLD TOUR on Vicky Bailey's travel map.

Here we are at breakfast in a beautiful setting right on the beach, sand under our feet listening to the roar of the ocean. Sounds blissful and it is! Who would have thought that there would be crows in the palm trees? Loads of them rawking and squawking from 3am till sun set about 6pm. No sea gulls,just crows.

The beach is absolutely beautiful and the sea is warm too. Temperature here is about 35, I had a harsh lesson yesterday, after a very long sleep without water,obviously, I woke up feeling very poorly. Heart racing, weak and near to passing out......dehydrated! After sipping lots of water all day I felt better by the evening. Dinner was amazing, after feeling ill thinking I would never eat again we ordered a table full of food. Chloe struck the best plates with a noodles soup but the garlic Nann was the best in the world.

Our beach hut is different, a glorified garden shed made pretty. Dont get me wrong it truely is wonderful and there is everything you need including a veranda.

There is a cold shower though which isnt too pleasant but you get used to it.

The roof is made of thatched palms and I found out that the stafff have to dismantlle each hut every year for a few months during the rainy season as the government dictates and then put them up again. Hard work considering these huts all have electricty, water and furnishings!

There are two storey huts as well which we later had the benefit of for some extra £s a night but well worth it with a beautiful view of the beach and hearing the waves crashing down each night - so relaxing.

We stayed at Agonda White Sands and fully recommend it there - the food is amazing and the stafff were just brilliant. It was that good we were supposed to only stay a week but we didn't want to leave so extended another week. It's a must - we will be returning whether it be together or seperately. Not for a while though - I was only given a single entry visa!!

Posted by Vicky Bailey 08:39 Archived in India Tagged sunset accommodation beach travel india goa journey cows mother_daughter blog world_trip back_packing chloe_bailey flash_packing Comments (0)

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