Getting ready for India

Busy planning at the library

Welcome to the first post for four years!

Four years ago I was “obliged” to give up blogging from Globetrotter, the narrowboat which has been home for the last seven years.  But now I am back, mainly to start a travel blog for my latest solo trip to India, which will start in only three days time.

I may well bring back the old pages too, but all in good time, as my priorities are planning two weeks travelling, which has so far involved many hours on the web in the hands of Indian Railways and their incredible booking system on top of many hours trying out various combinations of flights, mainly with Emirates whose prices have been among the lowest when dealing direct with airlines rather than booking through an agency.

Last trip to India was in the snows just before Christmas, but it was a bit of a soft option package holiday with Thomson to Goa.  Whilst we spent most daytimes out in “real” India, we were definitely living in a bit of a bubble in a brand new 3 star hotel in Candolim, which was all very comfortable and nice, to the exent that when our flight home was delayed by 62 hours due to the snow in Gatwick just before Christmas, Thomson holidays simply extended our holiday by three days and let us continue in the same room with the added benefit of half board thrown in too.  No complaints there, but I left Goa feeling like I had missed an opportunity to see anything new, although it has to be said that North Goa has changed a lot in the twelve years since I was last there.

At the last minute, just before I booked, I couldn’t resist checking Thomson’s website again; with impeccable timing they knocked 60 pounds off the price I would have paid with them last week, making a flight-only fare to Goa direct from Gatwick only 381 pounds (which is actually a lie on their behalf, as you have to add 40 pounds more to take a bag, unless you can live for a fortnight within your 5kg cabin baggage allowance) but even so £421 direct to Goa isnt a bad price.  It would however have been hard to resist turning left towards the beaches instead of turning right towards India.

With this sudden opportunity to go it alone for a couple of weeks I have jumped at the chance, and this time plan to push the boundaries a  bit, and so have started the process with a return flight to Delhi from London with Emirates, an overnight train to Jammu and a flight up to Srinagar, even though its a bit early in the year to be heading to Kashmir.  Lets see what happens!

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