It’s been a week since I last wrote. And there’s 34 more weeks left in this year to while away….
Last week Madhu spoke to his older (and wiser) brother regarding our plans and Venu actually thought that it was a ‘wonderful idea’. Venu also agreed that what we’ve budgeted for the trip is actually quite good for mid-range, budget travel in India. I value his opinion a lot and now that we have his approval, I feel more confident.
Venu said that other South-East countries are far cheaper than India and that we should consider covering them as well during this break. Out of these, we will definitely try to cover Nepal as Kavi will be around to help us plan the trip and provide insider trips – we’ll never get this opportunity again. As for the other countries – if there’s time and money left after the India sojourn, we will try to check them out as well.
Over the weekend, we stopped at the local library to pick up more travel guides. I was hoping to find one on Nepal as well but didn’t. We found a good book on trekking in the north and Lonely Planet guides for Mumbai, Goa and Bhutan. These gave us a lot of reading material for the weekend.
I’ve also been working on my ‘India Itinerary’ spreadsheet. I have separate tabs for each state or union territory. This allows me to easily distinguish (geographically) all the places that we intend to visit. Each tab has the total number of days that we ‘need’ to spend in that state. I’m, then, aggregating these on a separate tab to find out what it would take to see India completely! And to my amazement, the current tally is at 152 days to see just the North (Delhi,HP,Punjab,J&K) and Central (MP,Chattisgarh,UP,Uttaranchal,Bihar,Jharkhand)!! And there’s still West (Gujarat,Rajasthan), East (Bengal,Assam,Sikkim,Orissa,NorthEast), SouthWest (Maharashtra,Goa,Karnataka) and South (Kerala,Tamil Nadu, Andhra) yet to be counted!! I’m quite convinced now that we will not be able to see the whole of India in 1 year – especially considering distances and weather conditions.
Madhu has been browsing the web for accommodation options for the places that I have listed, so far, in the itinerary. We are a little concerned that all this research is a little too much, too early in the game. But we cannot help it! There’s way too much time until the trip and we really need to keep ourselves occupied. Moreover, my knowledge about India’s geography is increasing by the day and I’m sure that will help.