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Author: lindajer

Joined: 7/23/2011
Posts: 1
Countries Visited:

Thailand, Eastern Europe, Peru, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, China, England, Italy, Vienna, Florida, Arizona, California, Canada, France, Netherlands

Traveler Since: 2001

July 23, 2011

I am considering "Heart of India" for Jan/2012 and would like comments about your trip. I believe there are long bus rides at times, which does not seem to be great. What did you think of that? And were you fond of Indian food before the trip, if not, how did  you handle the food situation? I have not eaten Indian food for some time as my husband does not enjoy it. 

Author: suepoor1234

Joined: 7/20/2011
Posts: 38
Countries Visited:

All the states except Hawaii; east and west Canada, all of Western Europe(except Iceland and Greenland); the Baltics and Scandanavia; Belarus, Poland, Ukraine; Russia; Turkey, Jordan and Israel; China, Mongolia, and Tibet; Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania; Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatamala, El Salvador; Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Peru, Argentina; Australia and New Zealand; Antarctica.

Traveler Since: 2007

July 24, 2011

I did a January departure for the OAT "Heart of India" tour.  Like you, my tummy doesn't tolerate spicy foods very well.  At every meal there were enough alternatives that I had no trouble finding appropriate food.  The desserts will add pounds!!  Breakfasts are quite nice, especially with wonderful fruits and teas available.  At one lunch I was a bit dismayed because I couldn't find anything on the buffet I could eat; then I was directed to the OAT sit-down meal featuring more convention Western cuisine.  The last night we had a Western style dinner with fried chicken and fried fish, mashed potatoes, etc. with plain ketchup and tartar sauce. The wait staff thought it comical that we could enjoy such bland fare.  It was a banquet to us.  The weather was perfect; mild weather and very little rain.  Some of the compounds where you will stay are magical places, real paradises from the teeming masses outside the walls.  The contrast is staggering.

As for the long bus rides.  There were a couple of those; however, you see so much of how the people actually work and live. The guide will point out many interesting things along the way.  You will be astonished at almost every turn. Keep you camera and journal at the ready.

Vendors are very much in evidence at the tourist locations. Our guide controlled them by not allowing any vendors on the bus.  He held up each item they were hawking.  Anyone who wanted it, bought it; none of us had to be pressured.  If people buy things on the sidewalk, they are mobbed by all the vendors.  It can be overwhelming for timid individuals, especially if they are alone.  Visiting India is quite an adventure.  Be ready for the culture shock and the crowds.  Have a good time.

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