If you didn’t know already we’re forever itching to hit the road, itching to breathe the air of new places, itching to meet people, and itching to try new foods.
The fanciful travel itch has just one impediment – visas! Vid and I have spent the past month renewing dreaded visas. Vid’s in Australia this weekend to meet his lil nieces, but me? I’m still stuck in India waiting for my passport.
Of course that never did stop me from travelling 🙂 One of my friends is visiting from the US, so I’m thinking of heading out of Delhi for an impromptu road trip with him. I want to show him a couple of my favourite spots which make for a perfect weekend getaway from Delhi. I also want to show him our way of looking at places which are touristy and jam-packed with visitors in the hope that he will enjoy it as much as Vid and I do.
I want to start with Agra since it is my friend’s first time in India and like most tourists, he wants to see the iconic Taj Mahal. After a quick stop at the neighbouring Fatehpur Sikri, we will drive onto Sariska Tiger Reserve for a couple of days. Since Vid’s not here and neither my friend nor I are comfortable driving long distances, we’re thinking of renting a cab. My mum recommended Ola Outstation to me since she used it recently and I’ve decided to go book a cab with them because it’s easy to book just an hour or two before departure and prices are competitive and more importantly, fixed (I suck at bargaining!). I also noticed some cool offers on the website for first time users, so I’ll probably use a coupon or two.
The service also boasts of features like 24X7 assistance and SOS support while you’re on the road, which I miss every time I’ve rented private cabs to cover long distances in India. I also love the sound of the tracking feature, so someone back home knows exactly where you are in case you’re in trouble or they need to contact you! Can you tell I like to play it safe? 😉
That’s the logistics out of the way. Let me tell you what I’m hoping to do this long weekend. I’m usually not one for touristy sites because I hate crowds but I’m particularly excited about re-visiting Taj Mahal. We’ll spend little time inside the monument but we intend to spend lots of it gazing at the monument from Mehtab Bagh (one of my favourite vantage points for viewing Taj Mahal) and floating past it on a boat. Agra is also famous for its petha (think of it as candied pumpkin), so we will definitely be hitting the local markets and sampling a few variations of the iconic sweetmeat.
After a day or two in Agra, we’re off to Sariska – Vid and I really enjoyed our time there last year, so re-visiting it seems like a good time. The name – Sariska Tiger reserve – is a bit of a misnomer. The truth is, it’s really hard to spot a tiger at the reserve. But that’s fine by me! I loved seeing other animals – antelopes, jackals, deer, and even a leopard – bathed in the morning light. But my favourite part is a series of dilapidated forts and temples in the vicinity, especially the little known Kankwari Fort. Vid and I spent the better part of the day there the last time we visited. Not many tourists make it there, but I’m really looking forward to revisiting. We went glamping last time and loved it but I’m hoping to try another hotel this time around – do you have any suggestions?
So that’s it – one cab and lots of lil adventures – that’s what’s on the agenda for this week. What are you doing this long weekend? 🙂