Monday, 22nd March - Dover, England
Tuesday, 23rd March - Benaulim, Goa
Wednesday, 24th March - Benaulim, Goa
Thursday, 25th March - Benaulim, Goa
Friday, 26th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Saturday, 27th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Sunday, 28th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Monday, 29th March - Hampi, Karnataka
Tuesday, 30th March - en route to Ooty
Wednesday, 31st March - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Thursday, 1st April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Friday, 2nd April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Saturday, 3rd April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Sunday, 4th April - Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Monday, 5th April - Kollam, Kerala
Tuesday, 6th April - Houseboat, Kerala
Wednesday, 7th April - Houseboat, Kerala
Thursday, 8th April - boat to Alleppey
Friday, 9th April - Kochi, Kerala
Saturday, 10th April - Kochi, Kerala
Sunday, 11th April - Kochi, Kerala
Monday, 12th April - 2625 Kerala Express
Tuesday, 13th April - 2625 Kerala Express
Wednesday 14th- Friday 16th April
Arriving in Agra our first objective was to find our place to stay, which we'd booked online, and catch up on some proper sleep in a proper bed. We got to the hotel, which was down a little alleyway, and things weren't looking good. We were shown to a room that was tiny and quickly refused, asking to see another. The second room wasn't that much bigger but we decided to stay, in keeping with our original plans of a mixture of cheap and more expensive accommodation throughout the time we were staying together in India.
One thing the hotel did have was a very nice rooftop restaurant directly in front of the Taj Mahal about 200yds away. We were to eat all of our meals here during our stay, and why not with such a wonderful view. As it happens the food was good and the service, for Indian standards, was also quite efficient. Like everywhere there seemed to be lots of staff all doing very little, but probably for very little pay. If you worked it out there were almost as many staff as guests.
On Thursday we visited the Taj Mahal early, 6 o'clock to be precise, to catch the sunrise on the marble which change colour almost every angle you look at. It was a most impressive sight - and hopefully I've captured a few nice photos along the way. Due to the heat, three hours was all we could manage. You had to take off your footwear at various points, the marble would stay very cool at home, but not here and your feet would almost stick to the floor. That said we did manage to see it all in that time.
Later that day we visited the Agra Fort which was also very interesting but again the heat was very nearly unbearable and we couldn't really observe from the huge courtyards for fear of being burnt alive. That said it was still enjoyable.
The following day (Friday) we hired a rickshaw driver for the day to visit a number of other sites in Agra for 400 Rupees, also with the hope that he'd get up really early on Saturday to take us to the train station as our train was leaving at 4:45am. Again we enjoyed several of these sites, at the end of which we'd asked to get a view of the Taj from the banks of the Yamuna River.
The driver also agreed to meet us the following morning at 04:00, which was a relief to us. All in all, apart from the room we stayed in, we both enjoyed our stay in Agra. We also met a very nice couple Jacqi and Dave from Switzerland, who we ate and talked with every evening. We chatted for ages and were pleased when they decided to go to Ranthambore the following day, which was also our next destination.
Saturday, 16th April - Wednesday, 21st April - Ranthambore, Rajisthan
Thursday, 22nd April - Jaipur, Rajisthan
Friday, 23rd April - Jaipur, Rajisthan
Saturday, 24th April - Pushkar, Rajisthan
Sunday, 25th April - Pushkar, Rajisthan
Monday, 26th April - Pushkar, Rajisthan
Tuesday, 27th April - Delhi
Wednesday, 28th April - Delhi
Thursday, 29th April - Delhi
Friday, 30th April - back to England