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Beoordelingen van onze reizigers

Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 7,9
Overnachtingen 8,2
Reisroute 8,4
8.6 35 beoordelingen
  • 10

    Fabulous adventure

    Just returned from a wonderful cycling trip from Delhi, around Rajasthan, finishing in Agra with the Taj Mahal. Wonderfully organised with plenty of cycling through rural India and some exciting cycling in cities. Bhopesh and Anand were great tour leaders and the support team were also first class. The premium departure meant we stayed in some very beautiful hotels and the leaders arranged evening meals in some lovely restaurants.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Taj Mahal was a major highlight of the trip, but cycling through the more rural areas, seeing the real India was probably just as unforgettable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bhopesh and Anand could not have been more helpful, they were good company, adaptable, knowledgable and fun to cycle with. All arrangements were efficiently organised, time management was excellent, and preparing the group for the days challenge was always well done. Safety was always a priority but this didn't detract from the fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    None of our group got any serious tummy problems, we ate Indian all the time. The leaders advised us well on good places to eat, we had street food and regular chai stops but because we were very careful regarding hand gel use and only drinking bottled water we had no problems.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would recommend this tour, some of the cycling was quite challenging if you are not a regular cyclist but there was always the bus and support vehicles behind you if you felt you need it.

  • 8

    Cycling in Rajahstan

    Excellent trip with the benefit of a great leader. A full on trip with lots of variations. Only draw back was the lack of "down time". Also needed more shopping time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the Taj Mahal

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, knowledgeable, calm, clear, fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you plan to extend your holiday arrange to stay at the Central hotel in Delhi. ( The Siddarth) rather than the Ashok. It takes an hour to get to the centre of Delhi from the Ashok.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would seem more sensible to start holiday from central hotel and finish at the hotel nearer the airport. Need at least one free day ( Udaipur would be perfect ) More shopping opportunities.

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    A brilliant experience. Seeing Rajasthan close up in the raw. Great itinerary with good hotels throughout. Finally a word for the guides Krishna and Sanjay and the support team. They were fantastic and their knowledge and experience of the history and culture topped the trip. They ensured the group gelled from the start and many friends have been made. It has whetted our appetite to do more of this in the future. I thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone who likes to cycle and see and feel the atmosphere of India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling up the hills to get to Khumblagargh Fort! Seeing the children running down the hills smiling and shouting 'tata'. Mr Singh the bus driver taking the bus through the chaotic Agra city centre. These are just a few of the moments that come to mind.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was brilliant. His love for his home country and in particular Rajasthan was evident. So knowledgable which he shared with simplicity. He was ably supported by Sanjay who matched his love for his country, proud of his home and family values. He was great to cycle with and showed his strength and ability to help everyone along the challenging routes. Great team supported them in bringing up the food and drink et al. It was a privilege to be such a great group and this was down to the group leaders and the support team

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just make sure you read up on the trip notes and bring the gear you need to do the trip comfortably. The checklist on the website was invaluable. Given the time of the year the early morning starts can be very chilly to start off so make sure you do have something warmer than t shirts for the first hour or so. Cycling through chilly air can make it colder than you think India could be!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My wife and l have travelled in India on two previous occasions with 121 guided car tours across Southern India. They were fantastic holidays. But this trip topped those holidays. We will definitely be doing more of these holidays in the future as you really get close up to the real India.

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    This was a very well designed tour by our leader Krishna. Someone who both understands and loves the region and its history.The distance cycled (519.4K) was perfect. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My husband - the moment that he saw the Taj Mahal.   Me - sunny days riding through the farming countryside. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna was a marvellous leader, knowledgable, efficient and good fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrive cycle fit especially if, as we are, you are over 65. Take an easy to fit odometer. Ours made a great difference to everyone including Krishna Wear a light weight luminous yellow gilet (vest) at all times whilst cycling  Be sensible about the food ( salads and water melon in particular) and then you will remain healthy and really enjoy it. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our team Kishor, Rajinder and Vikki cared for us wonderfully The food was always very interesting, including the street food and chai supervised by Krishna. He chose great restaurants. With one exception (Sariska Palace) the hotels were very good or excellent.  We enjoyed visiting the artisan workshops We had a fabulous time. With memories that will remain with us. We are currently looking for our next adventure with Exodus. 

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    My first time on a cycling holiday and it exceeded my expectations! A brilliant way to see Rajasthan - the beautiful cities and rural villages at the perfect pace.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Making it up the hill to our hotel in Kumbhalgarh, riding into Sariska National Park, the Taj Mahal at sunset.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Harish was great! A lot of fun but still ran a smooth, organised tour. The team really complemented each other - Manish was the best motivator when I was cycling at the back and the driver/assistant/mechanic trio were so helpful and friendly! They all had pretty great dance moves too, which didn't hurt!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do this tour! I was really nervous about the cycling being only a very casual fair-weather cyclist at home but with moderate fitness and a positive, fighting attitude the cycle days were nothing to fear, and by the end I was sad to say goodbye to my bike! The comments about aggression from some rural villages are fair but we were always warned when approaching and went through together. But the vast majority of people are so excited to see such wacky tourists and genuinely curious about you, we even had our picture in the local paper!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Worth stepping outside my comfort zone for something so different to my usual travels. Wouldn't hesitate to do another cycling tour. A gorgeous route, fascinating history and culture plus great food and daily exercise is just the ideal holiday. Never felt better!

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    A truly memorable holiday

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through rural India, visiting local village, cycling through chaotic city traffic and coping with it, with the help of Sanjay and Promod.  The friendliness of all the children and families waving us on even in the remotest of places, there would always be a 'ta ta' springing up from the unlikliest of spots.  Last but not least, being able to see India close up on a bicyle, you really get a feel for the country, rather than viewing it from the TV or other media.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay and Promod and the rest of the team were outstanding.  Very helpful, always on hand to help and take any questions you may have.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was anxious about what I had read regarding cattle in road, barking dogs, the naughty sticks and stones, upset stomachs, but it paled into significance with regard to the whole holiday.  The cattle just roam, they cause no problems, whilst the other incidents were manageabe and very rarely occurred.        

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I did not expect so many of the roads to be so bumpy and stony in parts for such prolonged periods.  It did not phase most in the group, so it may be due to my not ever cycling off road, as I always cycle on good tarmac roads at home.    

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    Cycling through Rajasthan is a fantastic holiday. We saw and experienced so much. Magnificent Palaces, forts and Temples in the cities, and the pace and colour of life in the country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved cycling through the market traffic in Udaipur - everything moving constantly, fairly slowly, but never stopping. The Meherangarh fort in Jodhpur, and the deserted citadel of Fatehpur Sikri were highlights for me. The Taj Mahal is spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The leaders were great, Harish led the cycling and Pramod backed up the group. They were with us all day, everyday for the two weeks, and nothing was too much trouble. Harish made it clear from the start if we had any issue, we should raise it with them immediately, and they'd sort it out.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There was a wide variety of cycling experience amongst our group. There are stretches of straight road through the country where people choose their own pace, and have the opportunity to take lots of fantastic photos - always safe in the knowledge the leader would stop and regroup at every junction, and the backstop leader, and bus were following up if you had a puncture. Long finger gloves for the early morning cycle.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Book now!

  • 8

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    A busy 15 days with plenty of laughs, fantastic guides and amazing sights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling past smiling laughing children playing together and watching them run across fields just to wave and say hello to you.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant ! Sanjay and Harish were the best you could wish for and both had an excellent sense of humour. Nothing was too much trouble for them and Harish's passion for his countrys history was very knowlegable and infectious. Sanjays laugh could be heard all round Rajastan and his dancing is a real treat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you travel over Xmas/ January its very cold and very foggy. Take plenty of warm clothes, i cycled in 8 layers on 2 days, to layer up in the mornings and evenings and warm trousers for your early morning game drive in Sariska ( we had frost). The sun doesn't appear some days till 1030ish and the temperature drops quickly around 4ish. Full cycling gloves as well as fingerless for the cold days and the best padded saddle you can find as theirs are not at all comfortable.  A multi way scarf to cover your head, ears and mouth, to keep you warm and prevent some of the dust and pollution getting in your mouth. Wrap around glasses are a must. Also bring a torch as power cuts happen often. Finally bring plenty of anti bacterial hand gel - this is a must and use it a lot ! Be prepared to be a tourist attraction yourself, i lost count of the amount of times our group were asked to be in photos. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A brilliant busy holiday with minimal spare time. The cycling is as fast as the team that cycles and the bus is always behind the slowest cyclist so apart from one particular day ( after the Jain Temple) there is no major pressure. The support team are also great and good fun too.  You will see some amazing sights, eat lovely food and meet some great people, enjoy the journey :-) 

  • 8

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    A brilliant trip made special by the group leader and of course the group members. The contrast of city versus rural cycling and daily life is imense but equally attractive in their own way. They cycling is not overly arduous and the chai stops are rewarding and refreshing. Visting a range of attractions (temples, forts, national parks) gives a good feel and overview of Rajasthan.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was the cycling through the countryside and seeing the daily life of folk. Also listening to Sanjay and Harish talk about their country with immense pride and enthusiam. Very informative.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    simply superb. Enthusiatic, calm, curtious, effecient, responsive, organised, interested...every thing you would want in a leader for this trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do some cycling at home, bring some warm clothes if travelling in December/January. If you like spicey food, ask for Indian spicey when ordering. Do not expect a lot of time to your self. The itinerary is a full and there is little time for shopping or strolling around the towns. Do not expect Internet even if advertised in the hotels.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is clearly packaged as a two week trip and provides a taste of Rajasthan. A few more days to allow some personal time to explore, e.g. in Pushkar. would be great. It maybe an idea to add a day trip returning to the same hotel and spending two nights somewhere.

  • 8

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    Not so much a holiday, more of a trip!  It was great to be cycling and to get the fresh air and experience of the countryside although some of the local lads were mischeivious throwing stones as we passed by.  Every day was packed full of experiences and adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The jewellers at Agra where I was allowed to wear the emerald ring made from Mumtaz Mahals crown and other fabulous emerald jewellry made fo royalty. - slumdog millionairress!  No where else in the world would one get this opportunity  certainly not Bond Strret!  This was on our last day where we cycled I the morning, stopping to drink chai from clay cups, bused up to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and then went to the jewellers - what a day! This jeweller also fixed my friends diamond ring bought in Jaipur by replacing the lost diamond - free of charge!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay was just great! always motivating us and supporting us when cycling especially on the uppy uppies.  Most impressed that he would never accept his dinner until all his guests had received theirs.  An ideal host providingus with rum and coke and great dancer, really getting the diwali party-on-a-bus going.  Harish was just as kind and thoughtful and a real companion on the trip. Our coach driver Rauol, his assistant and Michael the mechanic were also very polite, helpful and attentive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I developed Guyons syndrome aka handle-bar palsy early on the trip and still have not recovered full feeling in my little and ring fingers on each hand, my grip is also weakened.  I would definitely advise cyclists to bring proper padded cycling gloves (I didn't) as the vibration from the rough road surfaces probably induced this condition see http://www.qwinerveprotector.com/BicycleGlove.html. I woud also advise a face mask for cycling through the cities and dusty roads, as I developd a cough/cold and a number of our party developed terrible coughs.  I had booster vaccinations for diptheria and polo and tetanous plus Hep A. I didn't need the anti-biotics the travel clinic at Boots provided (£5) for severe diarohhea but a lady on our trip did (she was on the verge of returning to the UK early) so I would recommend bringing some.  Also, always, always put on the sun tan lotion, anti mosquito lotion and bring plenty of anti-bacterial hand gel.  I had no stomach problems which was always a fear of mine for going to India.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was great value for money.  One of our party stayed an extra week and had problems with buses and stayed in a terrible hotel - it really highlighted to me how careful the planning for our trip must have been and to have stayed in (for the most part) clean and comfortable hotels and have no problems with the bus or hotel arrangments really took a lot of hard work.

  • 8

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    The whole trip was vibrant, colourful and exciting. The hustle and bustle of the cities was also paired with the calmness of the open road. The places we saw were beautiful and it all built up to the Taj Mahal near the end of the two weeks. It was sad to finally stop cycling.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most inspirational part of the trip was the group itself. Being the youngest member of the group I was always inspired to keep peddling even if I felt a little tired at some times seeing how the rest of the group were cracking on kept me going. Visiting the villages was also inspirational and gave us the chance to see the real India. Seeing the women working in the fields whilst the men were smoking, drinking chai, and chatting made me appreciate how strong the womens work ethic is. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was very approachable and would sort any issues out that we had. He kept the group motivated and made sure we all were ok and decide on a plan for the day that the whole group was happy with. He picked up on the groups abilities very quickly. Quite a character!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a gel seat cover with you :) (i took my old one and left it there). May need a couple of sachets of dioralyte as however careful you are Delhi belly is inevitable. I also took some pens with me and gave out to the children in the villages. Take plenty of layers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

  • 6

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    You have to be a far better cyclist than they suggest, however its good fun, long days and very early mornings, 0630 get ups. A day of 90km is no fun, Sometimes i wondered why we cycled through some industrial areas, most of the time its was great good countryside and villages. Be warned, Indian villages are dirty, piled high with rubbish, open sewers and never drink the water. its a culture shock.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the forts and palaces, mostly local people were pleased to see us, children and alike. Only twice any problems, stone throwing and slapping, and group stayed together. India is an eye opener.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Group Leader was extremely good, knowledgeable and listened. But cycled too fast ! I was mid group we had to wait for "tail end charlie" and the times we did km by time trial were difficult to keep up

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Becareful and don't expect hot water and wi-fi, it maybe a rich country and the hotels and local towns aren't rich. Mind the cows and the stray dogs, lots of them and not nice.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On the whole it was a great trip, certainly made me think and in awe of how hard the indian village people work and put up with such hardships. Recommend but take heed of the cycle use, its hard work.

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    This holiday was quite simply the holiday of a lifetime. It exceeded my expectations in almost every way. I could never have imagined that India had quite so much to offer. The endless stream of temples, forts, palaces and scenery that was simply breathtaking. The people of India were just so friendly and the great thing about cycling through the villages was the opportunity to meet the real people of India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Pushkar - the afternoon I spent on my own wandering around the streets of Pushkar during the world famous camel fayre was the most memorable few hours of my holiday. I spent a lovely lunchtime overlooking Pushkar Holy Lake in The Rainbow Cafe. The service was friendly and the food excellent but the views and the serenity of the location, in what was a bustling town centre, was simply breathtaking. Taj Mahal - Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the Taj Mahal. It is simply perfect. The detail on the building can only truly be enjoyed by being there in person. The story of how it was built is fascinating in itself. This was a great way to bring my amazing trip to India to a close. Indian Wedding - whilst cycling up a quiet rural road we stumbling into a wedding procession where 26 couples were getting married. We were mobbed by the procession and at one point I was shaking the hands of the guests with both hands at the same time. Everywhere we went in India we met local people who were inquisitive, friendly and always smiling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    On our trip we had a team of 5 people taking care of the group of 10. Mr Singh - our bus driver and his very enthusiastic assistant. "Michael" who was the bike doctor. Sanjay was the supporting group leader and Harish was the lead group guide. The whole team spent the entire holiday looking after us. The attention to detail was amazing and Harish and Sanjay were always happy to help if you wanted a little more information or guidance. Harish's knowledge of the places we visited was excellent. He is also an expert on wildlife and in particular birds. He is a lifelong member of the RSPB and has even travelled to the UK as a guest of the RSPB to give lectures. I really felt that for those two weeks, all the team cared about was ensuring the whole group had the best possible holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling was enjoyed by everyone in the group. I would have described the group as generally fit but not athletes by any means. Everyone seemed to enjoy the cycling and managed to complete the routes with relative ease. The cycling is broken up into shorter legs throughout the day to ensure the group are together at each point of the tour. The hotels were of a surprisingly high standard. The were usually very impressive locations. Occasionally the hotels lacked the refinements of a European 3/4 star hotels but the staff were always happy to help. I think you have to expect in this trip that at times the hotels may not be as well run and maintained as you might get in the UK. However, the rooms were generally clean, well furnished and the cycling helped ensure a sound sleep at every location.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    India has so much to offer, this holiday may not have been life changing but it was certainly life enhancing. I returned home with a real sense of achievement and an appreciation of so many of the things we take for granted.

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    It was a great adventure cycling trough cities with crazy traffic, passing forts, palaces and temples. Cycle along with cows, camels and elephants and beeing greeted by friendly Indians! As a dutchman I had good fun with a group of English, Scots and Manx!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just seeing big smiles cycling trough rural Rajasthan when you greet people and children with Namasté from your bike. Passing loaded jeeps and tuk tuks with cheering people in, behind and on top of. It was good fun winning a prize on the Puskar Camel fair by making a human pyramid with 12 other foreigners and beat a Rajasthan team because we first broke a bowl with flowers at 5 metres high! And afterwards being interviewed by Indian news!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Harish and Sanjay where great tourleaders who took responsability for a great journey. They where well organized and we had good fun with them! And of course not forget the great bus driver mister Singh and the bike repair team!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go for it, have fun and aproach India with a big smile!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared that next to the cycling you will also spent a reasonable amount of time in the bus because of the long distances. For me the amount of time you spent visiting palaces, forts and temples could be less, especially in Jaipur. I would rather cycle more.

  • 8

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    The trip was well organised the team leader was good, the support good, it would have been hard to ask more of the five people we had looking after the ten of us in the group.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It inspired us all.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was good and most helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't eat the meat or chicken!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The bikes could have been better, they were not that old but had been used and moved around so much

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    This was my first cycling holiday and it was fantastic a real achievement and wonderful experience. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through the villages and the wide open spaces with a total feeling of freedom and peace. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay and Harish were simply amazing, the whole team were. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long days. Just go for it, you'll have a great time. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group made this holiday a truly amazing experience.

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    Having travelled with Exodus on about 12 occasions, it is difficult to pick my favourite trip, but I think Cycling Rajasthan was the best yet.  I really cannot fault this trip and everybody in the group had a great time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where do I start, Cycling through busy Indian Cities was exciting, cycling through small villages was an experience you cannot forget. The historic buildings were excellent. Divali Party was great. Most of all, the Taj Mahal lives up to your expectations 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have always found Exodus group leaders to be top class.   On this occasion a new standard has been set, I cannot describe just how good Sanjay and Harish were. Along with our driver, 'bike boy' and bus attendent they were perfect and it felt like we were leaving old friends when we left. I have read previous reviews that rated Indian Group Leaders very highly. They are simply the best.   

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Constant washing of hands with gel made for no upset stomachs for the large majority of the group. Be prepared for 6am wake up calls, bags packed by 6.30, breakfast and start cycling. The cycling even on the longest days is not difficult and the pace is leisurely. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My wife was unsure about cycling India when we booked. We are likely to be booking Cycling in Kerela (India) as our next holiday.

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    A wonderful holiday, full on, but a great mixture of cycling and sight seeing. Really gave you the opportunity to get off the normal tourist trail and see rural India up close and personal. I loved every minute. We had a great group and were looked after extremely well. Great holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people of rural India.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was great, he looked after us so well, and nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy the experience, you won't always get 5* hotels but you will always get a warm welcome!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cycling is a superb way to see India, and probably any country. I won't be looking back :-)  

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    Phenomenal.  A challenge for mind and body.  Focussed my thoughts on the day, the surroundings and the bike. Leadership superb, back up outstanding, hotels wonderful and colours and smells of India, will linger!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are no special moments...all of it.   Getting the bikes in Delhi and trying them out...the overnight train and a tray of curries to try not to drop on one's clothes...the hotel in Jodphur and the pool.  Meeting the group...going on the road and encountering my first roundabout...help.   Temples and forts, and birds in the Keolodar Park were outstanding and we saw the tiger at Sarista!  Rough tracks thru villages, avoiding camels, and water buffalo, and the hardest, daredevel school kids with naughty sticks to smash ones behind!  Meals out, in Udaipur...dancng in the bus on way back to hotel.   Everything about the trip was astonishingly good, even when my mobile was stolen from hotel room in Jaipur I got so much help from our bike guide Pramod, phoning UK etc.  As a past trek leader, I know what to look for in trips, and this was simply outstandingly well led.  Sanjay was our group leader, and Pramod our bike guide...they thought of everything...always looking ahead.   The steady chai stops on the 94 km day made it seem easy...the non stop bananas and water and oranges helped us all along, but mainly it was everything.  Even the day at the Taj, end of day...when light was good.  I simply cannot enthuse enough, and looking for next one....I heard that P Burrell was responsible for the route...I wondered how it had been recce'd.  It was amazing, leading us into rural rough tracks and potholes and onto highways...with the bus always on hand when it got to over 38 deg.   Where am I going next?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sanjay and Pramod were quite simply outstandingly good.  Always punctual, always ready to help, or advise re food or biking, Pramod was a bird expert which I enjoyed as am into birds...he knew each bird by its call!   Sanjoy kept up untiring willlingness to offer extras, at the end of a long day, by arranging a meal out, and we tried all sorts of things at roadside chai stalls...He took us to a marble factory, yet biked into smart hotels and nice hotels..  These two worked so well together, having known one another for a while....not assertive, but quietly managing it all so it worked like clockwork.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It may be moderate...I am not young...but bike fairly frequently, but no more than 16, 20 miles...on mountain bike, but found it fine, but it would not be good if one did not have some bike experience..at no time did I feel I could just dawdle along....BUT JUST GO and ENJOY the ride!!!!!  Marvellous..opens doors.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just thanks .....I loved it ALL....enjoyed meeting new people...enriching my life.  Can't wait till next one... I felt renewed when I returned.  and free.

  • 10

    CYCLING THROUGH RAJASTHAN

    A brilliant combination of cycling and sight-seeing through a fascinating corner of India

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For an apparently unmoveable atheist, I found the deity 'dressing' ceremony at the Jagdish temple in Udaipur astonishingly moving.   The sheer number of waves and smiles from local kids (and their parents / grandparents - some of whom might have looked glum, but a smile, wave and 'namaste' almost always broke through the facade of indifference) was fantastic.  As was the sighting of Sarus Cranes just before dusk in the Keoladeo National Park, and the tiger in Sariska National Park, and the carving in the main Jain temple at Ranakpur, and arriving in Pushkar to a brilliant orange sunset... etc etc etc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pramod and Sanjay did a fantastic job, and the trip wouldn't have been the same if one or the other had been missing.  Pramod's quiet approach perfectly balanced Sanjay's frequent aspirations for everyone to have a go at 'Indian' dancing... On the bus... After rum and coke.  Brilliant!  To see them at their most competitive, put them on opposing sides during a 'friendly' cricket match...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The first afternoon in Delhi can feel like wasted down time, but bear in mind that you'll be up at 6am on many of the subsequent days and have probably just endured a tedious night flight - relaxing by the pool is acceptable!   Not having visited India before, I was rather unsure of myself and wish (in hindsight) that I had taken myself off to the Qutab Minar complex, which wasn't too far from the hotel.  If in doubt, negotiate a price with the tuk-tuk driver and crack on.   Whilst it's possible to eat incredibly cheaply in India, we tended to adjourn en masse to local restaurants in the evenings, where you could expect to pay in the region of 600INR (including beer) for a decent veggie meal.  Don't worry if you can't get hold of small money from the FOREX places in the airport - I found that I soon had a stack of 10, 20 & 100INR notes after meals (10INR notes proved invaluable for 'toilet tipping'!), and there are ATM stops en route if you need to top up supplies of cash. This was my first ever group holiday, and I was nervous about booking it beforehand (it was a birthday treat and I didn't want to have a miserable time!).  I can honestly say that I had a blast and would do the whole thing again tomorrow. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There's so much to see and do on this trip that you'll find it almost impossible to have an early night - particularly if you find yourself in a group of cyclists who won't be rushed.  Some of the sight-seeing can feel time-limited, but the only times I felt really pressured not to linger were at the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.  If you get a chance at the latter, ask to see the mosque, which is outside the 'museum' complex and still in use - fascinating Sufi shrines inside and an interesting comparison with the Jama Masjid in Delhi. Luckily you'll get plenty of time in the Taj complex.  The mausoleum chamber itself can be unpleasantly crowded, but linger until the guards move you on (to let the next group in) and go round to re-join the line if you think you missed something.  Finally - if you like good quality hand-crafted decorative items, then bring a card with plenty of credit.  The carpet I bought in Jaipur arrived back in the UK just after me (8 days)!   PS.  My only negative: The pre-trip bike preparation was rubbish - the bikes didn't appear to have been cleaned after the previous Exodus trip, and some were only just road-worthy.  Pintu did a fantastic job of puncture and general field repair en route, but I thought he'd been poorly served by the quality of his starting materials.  Luckily this didn't detract from what I can only describe as a fantastic holiday.

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