India – “The Graciousness of The Indian People”

Somos muy felices! ( we are so happy!)

Just returned from our trip to India.

As before, Big Five met &/exceeded all of our expectations.

A big KUDOS & THANK YOU & to ALL the crew at Big Five.

Everything went flawlessly (as with our last year’s trip to Ecuador, the Galapagos & Peru)– a great comfort – very much appreciated & contributing much to our enjoyment!

 Most important was the graciousness (courtesy, kindness & pleasant attitude) of the Indian people.

Additionally, to repeat an old adage- it’s all about location, location, location—–the Sanctuary Inn at Machu Picchu last year, The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, etc. etc….

Our guides were very pleasant & even personally accompanied us for a portion of our trip.

My wife’s foot injury (fractured calcaneous & torn peroneus tendon) was taken into account & properly cared for.

 Loved every portion of our trip—-without exception!!!

May go back to Varanasi for our cremations. Varanasi was really a highlight. A Holy place for Hindus where they go to die/must make a pilgrimage during their lifetime (like Mecca/Jerusalem). The Holy River Ganges—bathers brushing their teeth, bathing, washing their hair, submerging for blessings next to a guy washing his dirty kitchen pots & dishes next to somebody doing their laundry (with detergents)–the water is absolutely filthy!!!!–but who cares: it is the sacred River Ganges, Gangrithi!

Walked through very narrow streets amongst the tens of thousands of people & cows & cars & motor scooters & bicycles. Cacophony of sounds including the ever-present blaring car-horns! Saw lepers for the first time in my life. And of course the ritual cremations on the Ghats – 11 going on at the same time on this occasion- great flaming & smoking pyres, lots of family members, goats, cows, dogs everywhere! 

Also loved the ever-present cows everywhere, the Taj Mahal (the most beautiful, magnificent edifice we have ever seen, “heaven on earth”), and Mihir Garh. … Our driver, Balram, often quoted that in order to drive in India you must have “a loud horn, good brakes, and much luck!”

My wife was almost attacked by a cobra at Jawai; and we repeatedly spotted many leopards, rare birds, crocs, & other wild life as well as the other 9 couples at this camp. Met a nice Welshman, now a businessman in Vietnam, & his wife (Australian).

A Brahmin priest in a remote village invited me to partake in an opium ceremony to Lord Vishnu (of course)….. but they sure were looped on opium… when I correctly diagnosed his L5-S1 radiculopathy; he even showed me his MRI.  I was instantly promoted from my status as third caste to first caste (Brahmin status) for telling him he did not require surgery & would most likely benefit from an epidural steroid injection.

We were invited to an Indian wedding in Jaipur–about 2,000 guests…  (the bride) was bedecked in a gorgeous golden sari & he in a similar golden outfit with matching turban & large golden scimitar & jeebs for shoes (you know, the Aladdin type). We watched them circle the ceremonial fire 7 times, sang our blessings & then danced (Bollywood-style). Everywhere blazing colored lights, garlands of flowers, gorgeous saris—-the whole works!

The food everywhere was magnificent!!! Fantastic curries & spices & yummy Tandoori-baked buttered Nan with saffron. Dinners on gorgeously lit terraces with accompanying musicians & classical Indian dancers. At the hotel in Delhi, ate at their restaurant – best meal we have had in years!

Visited several villages, meeting many villagers & actually seeing how they live without any staging whatsoever. All spontaneous & natural. People in India however were the real highlight—-very friendly, genuinely, & interested in foreigners. Bunches of families invited us to their homes for tea, etc (we graciously declined) & to take photographs with them. The kids are amazing & very inquisitive–education is highly stressed.

Thankfully we remained in good health throughout. The weather was perfect during the entire sojourn.

 So…….

We are now ready to plan our next trip: JAPAN.

We have decided on an EXTENDED visit to Japan, especially KYOTO. We would like to be there as long as necessary with several days- at least- in each locale; best for the proper rest, absorption & enjoyment of the entire visit!

We will skip other locales, for now, on this trip. NATURALLY we want to go at the best times for weather & events there. Staying in some ryokans while there would be interesting. As usual meeting the people and learning about their culture is most important. A priority would also be a visit to the most important sites, gardens, celebrations as appropriate So start planning for us!

C&CG

 

April 13, 2015

Big Five Rectangle Logo

Travel to Vietnam & Cambodia

COUNTRIES VISITED:

We returned from our trip yesterday, and I wanted to write you about our experiences now, before the din of...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

A boundary-pushing vacation in Central America

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Having never been to Central America, it was important for our family to work with an experienced operator with trusted...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Wonderful safari

COUNTRIES VISITED:

While at Saruni Samburu, the guests had wonderful safari. They spotted a number of animals including highlights of a family...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Borneo (Malaysia)

COUNTRIES VISITED:

I was thinking about you yesterday. I am going to call you when my clock is in order. This was...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Truly a trip of a lifetime

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Dear Big Five: Please accept our upmost appreciation for the attention to detail in planning our African safari to celebrate our...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Zimbabwe

COUNTRIES VISITED:

We wanted to tell you how much we appreciated (Destination Specialist)! He was kind, patient, professional and capable,  and we...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

East Africa Safari

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Amazing Company! Working with Big Five Tours & Expeditions was a great experience. Every aspect our tour was outstanding and we would...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Belize trip

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Just wanted to give you some feedback on our trip. It was fantastic and we would recommend (the hotels). In...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Paradise in Indonesia

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Just to let you know, we had a wonderful time on our trip.  We were phenomenally lucky with the weather, and...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

No Worries in Costa Rica

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Dear Big Five, We were so happy with Big Five’s service. Everything went as planned and there was not one...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Wonderful time in South Africa

COUNTRIES VISITED:

We all had a wonderful time. At Safari Camp – everyone was fantastic! The staff, food, spotters, guides, accommodations and transfers. Cape...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

India A Pleasant Surprise

COUNTRIES VISITED:

This was a wonderful trip for us, we were well taken care of in all situations.  A pleasant surprise in...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Peru – A Reality

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Dear (Travel Agent) Thank you so much for all your assistance in making our trip to Peru a reality.  As you...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Myanmar with Big Five

COUNTRIES VISITED:

I just returned from a month long travel adventure that began with 11 days in Myanmar with Big Five.  Thanks...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

South Africa Safari – Tailor made each drive

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Guests) had a spectacular stay filled with many amazing sighting, walks and runs in the bush which (Guest) loved as...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Morocco – Thanks to Big Five

COUNTRIES VISITED:

We had an awesome time at Greece, thanks to Big Five. The hotels provided excellent accommodation & the local guides...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

PERU – Very white glove!!

COUNTRIES VISITED:

The airplane/train/car transfers in Lima and Cusco were seamless and very efficient. The agents who met us were proficient in...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Kenya – My grandson was interested in everything around him

COUNTRIES VISITED:

I just wanted to thank you again for helping us plan our trip. Everything was wonderful and went without any...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

White Glove Service – “It’s quite a feature”

COUNTRIES VISITED:

Hello BigFive,  Many thanks for the update.  It’s been a pleasure having you keep in contact with us regarding this...

read more
Big Five Rectangle Logo

Morocco – “Start to Finish to a Wonderful Destination”

COUNTRIES VISITED:

This was a wonderful trip, start to finish to a wonderful destination. Everything was perfectly planned and executed without a...

read more