India – Nepal 18.8-8.9.2010
I was planning to do a road trip across the United States but others changed their mind and decided to do just the West coast. So I decided to join Boško in India. I bought a ticket later so we had the same departure but I was going home two days later. Ticket from Turkish airlines was 555 €, didn’t have enough on my credit card so Jasmina helped me out.
Before going to India I was afraid that it is going to be a heavy experience. On return back home I didn’t have that feeling. OK, it was hot and humid. It was not clean and comfortable. We also constantly moved, so that didn’t help. Both of us had health issues. I was tired, while all my senses were constantly under attack with all different noises, smells, colors, … But nevertheless, it was an experience one is glad to have.
Comparing India and Nepal, I would say they are similar, but Nepal is easy going and it was great towards the end of the trip to relax a bit there.
Food and drinks
The food there would mainly consist of rice and some sauce (vegetarian or with chicken) and it would be spicy. You can get some bread pancake on the side (roti, chapati, naan). Something was in those curries that didn’t go well with me, maybe cumin. In Ladakh, it was more similar to Tibetan food, like momo dumplings. Prices were between 1 and 2 € per meal. Probably the most expensive meal we had would be McDonald’s Maharaja menu (5€).
A cup of tea with milk would be 10 cents, liter of water would be 20 cents, can of Coca Cola would be 30 cents and beer would be around 2 €.
Pack of cigarettes; Marlboro 1.7eur, no name below euro.
On the 4 flight (from/to India – Turkish airlines) we made 12.000 km, 555 €. Domestic flights are cheap. (35 € to Leh – Kingfisher))
The main mean of transport around the country would be a railway. We tried 3 lower classes out of 8. Unreserved class with tried once, cheapest (2 € for 12 hours) but with our luggage to stand the whole trip was not doable. Sleeper class was used on most of our trips (half-day for 5€). You get a berth with leatherette and usually a non-working fan. Once we tried AC sleeper. It had AC, 4 berths in the compartment were wider and we got bed linens. Vendors would sell tea and snacks trough the whole trip. In New Delhi, we tried metro, 50 cents. Usually, you would buy tickets at a tourist office in big stations. To buy them at the agency, it will cost you more.
A bus would be the next option. Usually for the rout where there is no railway or schedule is not appropriate. In Nepal, we would use just this option. For a shorter trip, we would take local bus seats (50 km for 50 cents). For longer trips, we would take a sleeper bus (half-day for 5 €). But still, there was a big difference between buses, ones you could easily sleep to ones that rain poured in while you were in a broken seat and bags got soaked in petrol.
Taxi or shuttle would be the best option to go from/to the airport (5-10 €). With the van, we have done Khardung La trip.
In cities moto rickshaw for two people with bags (Indian tuk-tuk) 5 km around 1 €. If without a bag and shorter distance option is a bicycle rickshaw.
Still, if it is possible I prefer walking around cities. You have enough time to experience most in this manner. In Jaisalmer, we even tried riding camels on dunes.
Most of the places we were at range from bad to awful. In some were mice in some cockroaches. Hot water was available in just a few places. But still few were clean, bright. For a twin room or two beds in a hostel, we paid between 4 and 12 €.
Rupees had an exchange rate of 60 to 1 with €. But usually, you would get around 58. At the airport they practically rob you. Pay with a credit card where possible, it is the cheapest way (not often). Use a debit card for ATM, they provide OK exchange rate. Entrance for tourists is up to 30 times higher than for locals. use of the Internet at a cyber cafe is around 50 cents for an hour.
- 18.8. – Flight to India
- 19.8. – New Delhi at first
- 20.8. – Khardung La pass
- 21.9. – Leh
- 22.8. – To Srinagar
- 23.8. – Kashmir
- 24.8. – Over New Delhi
- 25.8. – Jaipur
- 26.8. – Jaisalmer
- 27.8. – Still Jaisalmer
- 28.8. – Jodhpur
- 29.8. – Taj Mahal
- 30.8. – Varanasi
- 31.8. – Move to Nepal
- 1.9. – Kathmandu
- 2.9. – Pokhara
- 3.9. – Moving toward India
- 4.9. – Moving toward New Delhi
- 5.9. – Again New Delhi
- 6.9. – Still New Delhi
- 7.9. – Last New Delhi
- 8.9. – Returning from India