Sally Kirkwood

The accommodation: The accommodation was brilliantly planned so that it actually got more amazing as the tour progressed. I had no real ideas or expectations so was open to anything anyway...Overall, much better standards of comfort than I’m used to in Dollis Hill! The food: Eating places ranged from chai stalls to posh hotels to truck stops... it was all fabulous. I’m not a vegetarian but it was a wonderfully vegetarian-friendly trip. The main highlights of the trip: where to begin? - Joining the start of a 270km pilgrimage to the Baba Ram Dev shrine, with the rajah, his family, several camping trucks, a portable shrine and about 100 villagers. Being danced along the road by elderly nomadic tribeswomen (aged at least 70) who thought I was walking too slowly. - Compiling a list of amazing places to drink gin, topped by at sunset in a gap in the ramparts overlooking Jaipur. - Compiling another list, of things to avoid in the fast lane of a dual carriageway, from sleeping donkeys to tuk tuks heading the wrong way. - The Taj Mahal. It doesn’t disappoint. I wasn’t expecting the extraordinary echo inside the tomb which brought the cold marble to life. - Walking through a field at dusk – just a few yards, unfortunately, but a taste of what an even longer tour could deliver. - JP’s daily surprises, culminating in a magical evening of dance and puppetry. I don’t think an itinerary can capture what this trip is about.