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The Epic INDIAN Road Trip adventure...... PART 2!!

  • Birmingham Airport

    B26 3QJ, Birmingham, Birmingham (map)

    52.451294 -1.731076

  • We'll meet at the Emirates check in desk at 05.00
  • Price: GBP275.00 /per person

    Refund policy

  • Well this has been brewing and bubbling away now for quite some time, but once the 17 of us who experienced the Epic INDIAN Road Trip Adventure Part 1 finally got home, I just knew that we had to do it again. So here we go, it's time for the Epic INDIAN Road Trip Adventure Part 2!!

    The last time we did this was in January 2016, we covered over 2000 miles all by train. It was an incredible, life changing experience which I think all of us agree we loved, however, it was tough going at times,  colder than we anticipated and the constant travelling, although exciting, became tiring.

    Therefore for the Epic INDIAN Road Trip Adventure Part 2, we're heading right down to the south of the country where average temperatures will be in the mid to high 20's, even in the 30's and the overall mileage is less than half of the first trip. An approx. 960 miles by train and private coach and will look like this.

    Although I should just add, that the Chennai to Mysuru leg is an overnight train and not by road, everyone should experience an overnight Indian train at least once in their lives!

    To truly comprehend just what a small corner of India this actually is, here's the same route but zoomed out to see the WHOLE country!

    Here is the itinerary....

    *** Just to add, that although this is NOT a guided tour with a set itinerary each day, as with every trip we do, there will be a 'suggested itinerary' of some of the things you may want to see and do in each location. However it may be an idea to also research the places yourself in case there's something you specifically would like to see***



    Thursday 12th January

    Flight EK42 from Birmingham at 08.15 to Dubai at 19.10

    Flight EK542 from Dubai at 21.00 to Chennai at 02.15+1


    Friday 13th January - Chennai - Puducherry

    Upon arrival we'll be transferred to a nearby hotel for a few hours sleep and a late breakfast.


    You'll have a few hours to explore if you'd like, or simply chill by the pool and relax before our journey starts. Late in the afternoon we'll take our private coach to Puducherry for two nights, or Pondicherry as it's locally known.

    PUDUCHERRY

    Puducherry (formerly called Pondicherry and generally referred to as ‘Pondy’) was under French rule until 1954 and some people here still speak French (and English with French accents). Hotels, restaurants and ‘lifestyle’ shops sell a seductive vision of the French-subcontinental aesthetic, enhanced by Gallic creative types whose presence has in turn attracted Indian artists and designers. Thus Pondy’s vibe: less faded colonial-era ville, more a bohemian-chic, New Age–cum–Old World hangout on the international travel trail.

    Coming from Chennai or some of Tamil Nadu's inland cities, Pondy may well seem a sea of tranquillity. The older part of this former French colony (where you'll probably spend most of your time) is full of quiet, clean, shady cobbled streets, lined with bougainvillea-draped colonial-era townhouses numbered in an almost logical manner. The newer side of town is typically, hectically South Indian.

    Part of the vibe stems from the presence of the internationally famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot just out of town, Auroville, which draw large numbers of spiritually minded visitors.

    Enjoy the shopping, the French food, the beer (au revoir Tamil Nadu alcohol taxes – Pondy is a Union Territory), the sea air and plenty of yoga and meditation.

    Puducherry is split from north to south by a partially covered canal. The ‘French’ part of town is on the east side (towards the sea). Nehru (JN) St and Lal Bahadur Shastri St (Rue Bussy) are the main east–west streets; Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Rd and Mission St (Cathedral St) are the chief north–south thoroughfares. Many streets change names as they go along and often have English, French and Tamil names simultaneously.

    I've actually been to Puducherry before and absolutely loved it. Not only is it an eclectic and wonderful mix of French and Indian cultures, you'll find that the architecture, cuisine, shops, language, customs, clothes and history all reflect this too. Puducherry was possibly a tiny Indian seaside town unheard of by many, but it became famous with it being the location (and starting point) for Pi in the 2012 film, 'Life of Pi.'


    Sunday 15th January - Puducherry - Chennai - Mysuru

    We'll take a late afternoon private coach back to Chennai. Then you'll get your first experience of Indian rail travel as we take our overnight train from Chennai to Mysuru. We depart at 21.00 and arrive in Mysuru at 06.50+1


    Monday 16th January - Mysuru

    After our private transfer to our hotel and checking in, we'll have two nights in Mysuru.


    MYSURU (formally Mysore)

    One of South India’s most famous tourist destinations, Mysuru (which recently changed its name from Mysore) is known for its glittering royal heritage and magnificent monuments and buildings. The kings of the Wodeyar dynasty set the bar high for the southern cultural capital of Mysuru. Its World Heritage listed palace may be what brings most travellers here, but it’s also a thriving centre for the production of premium silk, sandalwood and incense.

    These days ashtanga yoga is another draw card, attracting visitors worldwide with its reputation as one of India’s best places to practice yoga. From deeply significant temples set in the hills to zoos, from the ultra modern university with the most advanced IT department in the country to some of the most beautiful scenery that surrounds the city, there's an abundance of culture in Mysuru.


    Wednesday 18th January - Mysuru - Bandipur National Park

    Once we've had breakfast and checked out we'll be saying goodbye to Mysuru and taking a private coach to the next leg of the trip, Bandipur National Park for two nights. Here we'll be doing two safaris and just having some down time to chill and relax before the travelling starts again.

    Bandipur National Park is regarded as one of the most beautiful and the better-managed national parks of India. Located amidst the picturesque surroundings of the towering Western Ghat Mountains on the Mysore-Ooty highway in Karnataka, Bandipur National Park covers an area of about 874.2 sq. km. Together with Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala and Nagarhole National Park in the North, it creates the India's biggest biosphere reserve popularly known as the 'Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve'. The Bandipur National Park occupies a special place in India's efforts towards Eco-conservation.

    Bandipur also has a sizable number of Tigers. Other natural inhabitants of this lovely forest are gaur (a type of bull), sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild dogs, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, malabar squirrel, porcupines and the black-knapped hare. Birds like jungle fowl and green pigeon are also found here.


    Friday 20th January - Bandipur - Kochi

    Once we've had breakfast and checked out it'll be a long day by road. We'll have a 7-8 hour drive through the Indian countryside in our own private coach to the next stop on the adventure......Kochi, to spend three nights, two of them on a houseboat in the back waters exploring and discovering Alleppey and Kumarakom.


    KOCHI

    Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Kochi has been drawing traders and explorers to its shores for over 600 years. Nowhere else in India could you find such an intriguing mix: giant fishing nets from China, a 400-year-old synagogue, ancient mosques, Portuguese houses and the crumbling remains of the British Raj. The result is an unlikely blend of medieval Portugal, Holland and an English village grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast.

    Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide.

    Strictly speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region adjoining the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveller’s '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.


    Monday 23rd January - Kochi - Kanyakumari


    KANYAKUMARI


    Surrounded by Majestic Hills and the plains bordered by colourful sea-shores, fringed with coconut trees and paddy fields, here and there are few elevated patches of red cliffs with undulating valleys and plains between the mountainous terrain and the sea - coast, so closely interwoven with Temples and Churches and other edifices lies the district, 'Kanyakumari'.

    This is it, the end of India. There’s a sense of accomplishment on making it to the tip of the subcontinent's 'V', past the final dramatic flourish of the Western Ghats and the green fields, glinting rice paddies and slow-looping wind turbines of India's deep south. Like all edges, there's a sense of the surreal here. At certain times of year, you can see the sun set and the moon rise over three seas simultaneously. The Temple of the Virgin Sea Goddess, Swami Vivekananda's legacy and the 'Land's End' symbolism draw crowds of pilgrims and tourists to Kanyakumari, but it remains a small-scale, refreshing respite from the hectic Indian road.


    Wednesday 25th January - Kanyakumari - Vovalam

    KOVALAM

    Kovalam is famous for its beaches, among the most pristine in India. Kovalam is extremely popular among westerners due to shallow waters and low tidal waves. It is also one of the oldest tourist enclave in India, which known among tourist circuit right in 1930s. Kovalam shot into limelight in the early seventies with arrivals of the masses of hippies. That started the transformation of a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most important tourist destinations in all India- the Kovalam beach.

    The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising are some of them. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night.

    The City of Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) is only 18 kilometres away and has interesting places to see like the Napier Museum, the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Ponmudi hill station etc. SMSM Institute, a State owned handicrafts emporium, is the ideal place to pick up ethnic curios and other articles.


    Saturday 28th January - Kovalam - Thiruvananthapuram airport

    After breakfast we'll take an early morning coach to the airport for our flights home.

    Flight EK521 from Thiruvananthapuram at 10.05 to Dubai for 12.55

    Flight EK037 from Dubai at 14.50 to Birmingham for 18.40


    Accommodation

    As with the Epic Indian Road adventure part 1, none of the hotels will be revealed before departure, this is for two reasons. Firstly we sometimes get members checking out the hotel choices in advance then either suggesting or commenting on alternatives we may like to 'consider.' But the main reason is purely that of mystery! On our first venture to India it was exciting and added to the adventure of the trip watching the members discover where they were staying only once they had arrived, so it will be this time too. However..........I love to tease!! So, your hotel in......

    Chennai

    Puducherry


    Mysuru

    Bandipur National Park

    Cochin

    2 nights on one of these....

    And 1 night here..

    Kanyakumari

    And our last location, Kovalam

    After the 'back to basics' stripped back Epic Part 1 trip, we felt this time we'd explore the south in total comfort, hence the far superior accommodation, the Emirates flights...from Birmingham, less train journeys and our very own private A/C coach to drive us between locations and to and from airports and stations.


    So who's coming to experience the south of India with us? With glorious sunshine, amazing food, spiritual towns, trains and coaches through break taking landscapes, beautiful beaches, and most importantly, wonderful company, it certainly promises to be another memorable adventure and once in a lifetime experience. 

    The total cost of this trip is £1,875 per person based on sharing a twin room  (Including all flights) 


    To attend this trip you will need to pay a NON REFUNDABLE deposit of £275 via PayPal when you RSVP. Your place will not be guaranteed until your deposit is paid.


    There is no single room option on this trip I'm afraid. With taking a group of 20 it's been difficult enough finding accommodation with 10 rooms.


    The 2nd payment of £600  will be due NO LATER than Sunday 31st July

    The 3rd payment of £500  will be due NO LATER than Friday 30th September

    The final balance of £500 will be due NO LATER than Wednesday 30th November



    All payments are your responsibility and must be paid into the following bank account before the dates given above. Please make a note of these dates as you will not receive reminders and your space will not be guaranteed if payments are late.

    Travel Together

    Lloyds Bank

    Acc:[masked]

    Sort:[masked]



    Please make a note of these dates and put them in your diary, as failure to pay on time may result in your place being cancelled with a loss of your deposit. 


    What IS included:

    • Return flights from Birmingham with Emirates (via Dubai)

    • A 30kg luggage allowance

    • 16 nights accommodation sharing a twin room

    • 16 breakfasts

    • Full board for 2 nights on the houseboat

    • 2 safaris

    • Overnight train ticket from Chennai to Mysuru

    • Train ticket from Kochi to Kanniyakumari

    • Train ticket from Kanniyakumari to Trivandrum

    • All transfers to and from airports and train stations in our own private A/C coach

    • 4 overland road journeys in our private A/C coach

    • Transfers in Kochi and Kanyakumari

    • All hotel & local taxes



    What is NOT included:

    • Visas. You are responsible for obtaining your own visa which you can do by clicking on the following link.....  https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/

    • Any meals other than breakfast not listed in the itinerary

    • Any entrance fees

    • Personal spending monies

    • Travel insurance. You are responsible for your OWN travel insurance





    Flights

    Outbound - Thursday 12th January 2017

    Depart Birmingham at 08.15 and arrive in Dubai at 19.10  Flight EK42

    Depart Dubai at 21.00 and arrive in Chennai at 02.15+1    Flight EK542


    Inbound - Saturday 28th January 2017 

    Depart Trivandrum at 10.05 and arrive in Dubai at 12.55  Flight EK521

    Depart Dubai at 14.50 and arrive in Birmingham at 18.40  Flight EK37




    Andy & the team


Join or login to comment.

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone, URGENT NOTICE!! I've had this email today from the tour company arranging our back waters Kerala tour. I've just copied and pasted it so you can read it for yourselves! Dear Esteemed Traveler,
    Namaste & Greetings from India!

    As per the recent Indian government notification & order, we would like to inform you the denomination of 500 / 1000 in Indian rupees (old Currency) are banned here in India & no more legal tender now. Therefore you’re requested not to accept these denominations while converting your currency into Indian rupees. Further we will also not accept the same currency from you if there is any payment due from your end. Rest denomination of 10/20/50/100 in Indian rupees is still valid & acceptable.

    So when you change your money in India, DO NOT ACCEPT ANYTHING OVER 100 INR NOTES! Cheers all

    November 22

  • Regine G.

    My surgery quotes £100 for the Rabies trio.
    I am going to another clinic tomorrow and will check about it with them also.

    November 21

  • Rebecca

    Hi everyone. It is against my work policy to post publicly on a forum under my own name, however I would LOVE to chat all things India trip - clothing, extra things to do, what to take, etc. I have also just returned from Bangladesh which was a mind blowing trip. I managed to do a lot of behind the scenes things which has made me so excited for our India adventure.
    SO, please can we make a whatsapp group to chat all things India? Just PM me or Andy with your mobile number and join in! It's a very user friendly format (much easier to follow than here) and that way we can bond more privately than on here.
    Rebecca x

    4 · November 21

  • Jason

    hey andy, steve was asking if u can buy any Tiger tablets over there to stop em attacking you lol. u mite wanna give him some tablets all thro the journey as he doesn't shut the f##k up. I was told to keep away from the meat as it may be contaminated or outta date in a lot of places even some hotels.

    1 · November 15

    • Mabel

      Jason, I believe Tiger balm is excellent! Good advice re meat dishes, also ditch the salads to be on the safe side.

      1 · November 20

  • Jackie N.

    Regarding vaccinations, I've now had Hep A, Dip & Polio at my surgery (already had Hep B). The cheapest quote I have found for the Rabies trio is £165.00. Has anyone found cheaper? What are the views on the need for Rabies jabs x

    1 · October 13

    • Jackie N.

      Lynda I haven't. It's very expensive so I decided as Rabies is fatal, I am going to opt for that one.

      1 · November 15

    • Lynda

      Hi Jackie, I agree with you. I will just have the rabies as that appears to be a must, and at least it lasts 10 years!

      1 · November 15

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone, This is just for the 20 going to India. The time has come for me to fill out all of the passport information for the group. However on the firm they're asking if we have any dietary requiremets for our meals on the flights. Plus if anyone had an emirates skywards loyalty membership? I have to return this form to them by NO LATER than Wednesday 9th. So in the next 5 days if any of you require a specific meal on the flights, or has an Emirates skywards membership (other than the one I know about) can you please let me know ASAP! Cheers all Andy

    November 4

    • Jackie N.

      Andy - no special dietary requirements for me 😁

      November 6

    • Denise M.

      Vegetarian option for me please..

      November 7

  • Jackie N.

    Richard Sweeney, I won't be able to make the meal on 26th but thanks for your kind offer of a lift 😀

    1 · November 6

  • Penny

    Hi Andy. Nothing special required for Ian :)

    November 5

    • Andy S.

      Ok Penny, thanks :)

      November 5

    • Jason

      hi andy, fish, meat or potatoes will be fine but no veg please

      November 6

  • Andy S.

    Hi Nisha. Ok, I've got it

    November 5

  • Jackie N.

    Think it's a kind of DIY kit but I will look into it. Thanks Andy 😀

    1 · October 13

  • Andy S.

    Hi Jackie. I'm not sure if this is any good but it says 'from' £35! You may want to give them a ring and see what they say.... http://www.nomadtravel.co.uk/rabiesid

    1 · October 13

  • Andy S.

    Right everybody, there seems to have been some confusion regarding the waitlist. This is because Meetup changed the settings and a waitlist wasn't possible, then they changed it back and it was. However in that time, people asked to join such a list or expressed an interest in wanting to come if anyone cancelled. Well a space has become available so one of you will be joining us. To keep it fair, I've gone back to all the correspondence of the members on the waitlist who expressed a desire to join it, whether they were able to or not, as this is by far the fairest way of doing it. So, in chronological order, I need to know if the following members still want to attend this trip based on the date they enquired about it....... 1) Gordon Aug 25, 2) Denise Sep 6, 3) Josephine Sep 23, 4) Clare Sept 26, 5) Kas Sept 26, 6) Grainne Oct 6. So Gordon, can you let me know ASAP whether you still want to go please, I know Denise and Josephine still do. Cheers everyone

    October 11

  • Cherie

    What is going on here? - am confused as to what the issue is here? - South America is very different to India - are we travellers or tourists ? not sure what to think about this - should I be concerned ? having travelled alone to india arriving at3 am in the morning on my own went to my hotel- ( £100 a nite ) and it was supposed to be 5 star but I would have said 1/2 ?? no one was up to meet me at all - etc etc - things are different in different cultures and we cant expect everything to be just as it is in Europe - but that's thepoint the voyage of discovery rather than the guarantee that things will be the same ????

    Please if I am missing something do let me know as not sure I have seen all the posts ??Cherie

    2 · October 10

    • Cherie

      Hi Andy thanks for your prompt reply - my concerns are not really about the accommodation as such - more about the expectations of my fellow travellers and the willingness to allow an adventure as opposed to a fully defined itinerised trip

      2 · October 10

    • Andy S.

      It's cool Cherie, this is going to be a fun, amazing and like it says on the tin... EPIC, adventure!! :-)

      October 10

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone. Well I've just listed a big night of fun, food and a get together on Nov 26th. I hope many of you can make it, it'd be great for everyone to meet as many of their fellow Indian adventurers as possible :-)

    1 · October 5

    • Nisha

      Hi Andy... I'd love to be there and meet everyone, however I'll be in Milan that weekend.

      October 5

    • Andy S.

      Hi Nisha.....oh bugger. I suspected it was never going to suit everyone, but trying to juggle so many diaries there's always a chance that someone won't be able to make it 😞. Sorry. Although have fun in Milan 👍

      October 5

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone. It's a very exciting day today so I thought I'd just share with you and let you all know! That as of about an hour ago, all 20 names have been given to the land based operator, Indian rail network and the Department of wildlife/tourism...... this means that now all of your train tickets and safari passes are now booked!!! How exciting :-)

    4 · September 28

  • Andy S.

    To answer Sue's question and in case any of your Healthcare professionals ask, we'll be going to: Chennai, Pondicherry, Mysore, Bandipur National Park, Kochi, Kovalam, Kanyakumari and Trivandrum. These are in the regions of: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala .

    2 · September 27

    • SueM

      Hi All, the NHS travel website (www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk­) is very good!in highlighting jabs needed for any destination and also

      2 · September 28

    • SueM

      ..... indicates malaria risk. Seems where we are going is a "low to no risk"!

      1 · September 28

  • kas

    Hi Andy I'm on the waiting list for the India. I would love to go if possible but a concern crossed my mind regarding the visas. As i am of Pakistan origin, would obtaining a visa be a problem for me ????

    September 27

    • kas

      I mean I'm a British citizen and have been here all my life. Just was born in Pakistan

      September 27

    • Andy S.

      Oh sorry. Well if you've got a British passport it should be exactly the same rules for you then, but hand on heart, honestly, I'd double check. I seem to recall there being some questions on the visa application about Pakistan but I couldn't swear to it. It's best to contact the visa department by following the link on the page

      September 27

  • Regine G.

    Meeting up for a meal prior to departure date is a great idea so lets hope most/all of us can do the actual date once it's decided.

    My understanding is that online Visa application not poss until max 34days prior to date of travel. Or has anyone come across a way to do this sooner?

    1 · September 27

    • Jackie N.

      Had this in my diary to do tomorrow so don't think I will be bothering now lol 😀

      1 · September 27

    • Andy S.

      No ladies (and gents) you're absolutely right. With the old system you could apply for your visa nearly 3 months in advance and it cost nearly £90. However they changed it about 14 months ago and as Regine rightly pointed out, now you actually can't apply for it more than 34 days before arrival. But on the plus side, they've slashed the price and it's now 60 dollars, about £45 I think. So all visas can be applied for from roughly 9/10 December

      2 · September 27

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone. I'm trying to organise a meal so that we can all meet each other and spend an evening with the people you'll be travelling around India with. Obviously the thing is, a) I can't physically manage 20 peoples diaries and so I'm just going to have to pick a date in Nov/Dec sometime. For those who will travel for the meal, it's going to make more sense on a Saturday to give them the option of staying over or crashing at another one of the members homes. If once the date has been fixed you decide you can put someone up for the night, please let everyone know on here please. b) Due to the members who are going on this trip living in the North West, Cheltenham, the South East and the East Midlands, it's makes perfect sense to make Birmingham the meeting place. Convenient for me I know, but it's just so much easier for everyone else to reach to. I'll let everyone know soon where it'll be and the date :-)

    1 · September 27

    • suenorthfield

      The nurse at my doctors wants a list of the places I'm visiting. Shall I do that from the original description or do you think she needs a list of the regions. If yes do you know them? Thanks. Sue

      September 27

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone. Ok I've checked today. First of all, we all check in together on the day as a group. So if anyone prefers a window seat or isle seat etc, we can try to facilitate this on the day, but nothing can be done about it before hand. You'll be glad to know that being Emirates, you're all entitled to a 7KG carry on piece of luggage but 1 free case to check in up to 30KG!! Just remember though that we'll be on and off trains, coaches and checking in and out of several hotels, you really don't want to be lugging around a huge case with you.

    September 26

    • Andy S.

      It's an economy ticket Lyndsey

      September 27

    • lyndsey b.

      Hi Andy, thanks sorry I'm a pain but several economy tickets. I've never flown emirates so want to find out what's included.

      September 27

  • Richard S.

    Hi everyone, I was wondering if it would be a good idea for all those on the trip to meet up sometime before we go. Any comments?

    1 · September 23

    • Richard S.

      Hi Jackie, of course you can have a lift.

      1 · September 24

    • Jackie N.

      Richard/Lyndsey I've booked the Arden Hotel now too 😀. Richard, I will only need a lift down as I am staying with my son in Birmingham on the sat night when we return.

      2 · September 26

  • lyndsey b.

    Hi Andy

    Can I ask which class ticket we have got for emirates please?

    Thanks lynz

    September 25

    • Andy S.

      Hi Lyndsey. Sure. Every single trip we do will always be based on a normal economy ticket. I do understand that Emirates has 3 levels of economy ticket, so exactly which one I'll confirm tomorrow once I've spoken to them.

      1 · September 25

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone,

    This is the week I have to book and order all the Indian train tickets for our adventure. Therefore I'll need the following off all of you asap please. 1) FULL NAME as it appears on your passport WITH title

    2) Passport number 3) Date of birth 4) Issue and expiry date of passport 5) Place of issue

    6) A reachable contact number You can send me this either by a text on[masked], email or a private message on here.


    Thanks all. Andy

    September 25

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone. Just to let you know, this trip, exactly like the first Indian road trip, is a pure adventure. It's an experience and will almost be as much about going from one location to another, staying in different hotels, on houseboats, overnight train journeys etc, as it will be the actual towns we're visiting. A famous writer once wrote that 'You have to hate India first before you can truly love her' and I think this is a beautifully accurate quote. India rewards you in ways that very few countries ever will, but you just need to let go and allow the country to carry you on a journey. The more you try and control your environment and the more you expect from this country (and the trip) the less you may really get and enjoy it. We're staying in some lovely hotels, going on safaris, seeing wonderful beaches and staying on serene backwaters, it's going to be incredible. You will all 'like' it, I'm sure, but if you all really want to LOVE & experience India, just go with the flow :-)

    3 · September 23

    • Cherie

      Hmmm wondering about all this excitement - it will be what it is when it happens and we will be doing what we will be doing as it unfolds - we can look forward but we have no control ???? am looking forward to the trip and wildlife and ponidcherry and kerala and the difference and change fro the dull grey uk in January

      2 · September 25

    • Lynda

      Excitement breeds positivity. It will be a great trip 😀

      4 · September 25

  • Denise M.

    Thank you, will do. Fingers crossed!
    I'm going to put my name down for Costa Rica...

    September 6

    • Denise M.

      Hi Andy, been keeping up with comments and realised I'm not on the waiting list😫

      1 · September 23

    • Denise M.

      I actually enquire and asked to go on it way back, beginning of September with Gordon!

      1 · September 23

  • Nisha

    Hi all,
    Just over three months away and I'm excited! I've not been on a road trip... well at least not for 16 days so I was wondering what everyone is taking with them in terms of clothing/baggage etc.?

    1 · September 16

    • Nisha

      Cool. Do we get to check-in baggage?

      September 23

    • Andy S.

      Hi Nisha. Yes, we'll all have a 20kg check in allowance

      September 23

  • lyndsey b.

    Hi All
    My GP isn't very helpful, does anyone know which jab's we currently need?

    Thanks lynz

    September 23

    • lyndsey b.

      Hi And
      Thanks for your help. Blimey so many!

      1 · September 23

    • Charlotte O.

      Most of them you probably have. I've not looked but expect there's a special malaria website so check that carefully before buying tablets

      September 23

  • Andy S.

    Hi everyone. I'm not sure how it's working now but apparently now you can join a waitlist for the Indian adventure...

    1 · September 23

  • Lynda

    I'm 45 miles 1hr from BHX from the North and I'm sharing a taxi at 4am but anyone is welcome to stop at mine and share with us. I am a short walk from long eaton train station or there is road parking for the 2 weeks in a quiet road.

    September 16

  • suenorthfield

    If a female wants to stay and park at mine 20 miles from airport that's fine. Share taxi to and from airport around £30

    September 15

  • Richard S.

    Hi everyone,
    I know it is still 4 months til we go to India but I will probably be driving down from Manchester so if anyone in the northwest wants a lift let me know and we can share petrol and parking costs. We can arrange logistics nearer the time.

    2 · September 9

    • Cherie

      Hi Richard
      I live near Macclesfield and would be pleased to car share - I have already booked the travel lodge local to airport before I found out about the Arden - what time would you look to drive down ? Regards Cherie

      1 · September 13

    • Richard S.

      Hi Cherie, not sure yet. Probably early afternoon to avoid rush hour on M6. We can sort that out nearer the time.

      September 14

  • Jackie N.

    I am from north west and interested in car sharing and hotel sharing. However I may be staying at sons in Brum on way back so not quite got my head around how to work it 😳X

    September 13

    • Richard S.

      Hi Jackie, I live in Sale so I can give you a lift down on the 11th. As you can see from previous comments I'm staying at the Arden Hotel (about £69/night). x

      1 · September 13

  • lyndsey b.

    I've booked in a hotel near the airport the day before we fly if anyone would like to meet up before we start our adventure!

    1 · September 12

    • lyndsey b.

      Hi Richard, I've booked a room at the Arden hotel and leisure club its about 1.3 miles from the airport.

      September 13

    • Richard S.

      Hi Lyndsey, I've booked the Arden for the 11th January + parking.

      1 · September 13

  • Cherie

    Hi lyndsey
    Currently at work til 5 pm and traveling down to b'ham after work so won't have much time tomeet up before 05:15 am!! If the situation changes will let u know Cheriexx

    1 · September 12

    • lyndsey b.

      Hi Cherie,
      That's a shame. I've booked the day off before to travel to Birmingham. Plan to get there before the traffic rush at 5pm. If you can get away earlier let me know, I wouldn't mind picking you up at Crewe if you could get there as on my way.

      September 13

  • Charlotte O.

    I just thought I'd make a comment on the trust issue to try and give some reassurance.
    When I joined this group about twenty months ago it was then part of Travel Buddies, the Warwickshire based group.
    They had a trip to Mexico that I desperately wanted to go on but, like you're saying, it had a huge deposit and I asked myself could I trust giving this money to strangers.
    I decided to go on a weekend trip to Dublin to see how I felt and I came home and instantly booked Mexico, plus India, plus Geneva, plus Istanbul.
    At this point Andy asked if I'd lead some trips and give him some help.
    I am currently in South America leading this fantastic 17 day tour with 15 others and I will be leading the Rome/Florence week and jointly leading India in January with Andy.
    I am going to Jordan and Cuba as my holiday in the next two months.
    I have found a wonderful group of people headed by someone who has become a dear friend and I too am more than happy to meet with anyone to allay fears

    4 · September 7

    • Lynda

      Hi Charlotte, I think the main concern is that there is no paper trail. Would it be possible to say how much was received on what day and for which trip even if it is by email with a contact address on?

      1 · September 8

    • Rebecca

      Personally, I would also really like an emailed receipt and a business bank account to pay money in to. The other travel groups I have been away with have all had that (apart from whenever it's Iran as banks can be tricky with Iran on bank transfers!!!). But I know that costs money to make it all official and it then becomes less of a going away with friends arrangement. Since I met Andy, I am not worried :-) And I am really looking forward to India with who I hope will become a group of friends.

      1 · September 8

  • Terry S.

    Hi Andy - I think this is a legitimate concern. Yes, it's a matter of trust and I was pleased to meet you so I could decide for myself that all is ok. However, as Sue said, the arrangement is very informal (apart from money changing hands!) and so it may be in your own interest to consider offering receipts/acknowledgements etc for money paid. This may actually increase your business as some may be put of by the lack of "official" paperwork. Regards Terry

    September 7

    • Cherie

      Hi Terry an dSue

      September 7

    • Cherie

      ~I did receive a receipt for my payments which were made via the secure paypal thingy Cherie

      1 · September 7

  • Terry S.

    Andy - how/when are the flights arranged for India?

    September 6

    • suenorthfield

      Thanks for your reply and I am grateful that you are not angry with me for my questions. I hAve spoken to Charlotte once - I thought as I contacted her direct it was in confidence!would you mind if I had your address? Thanks Sue

      September 7

    • Andy S.

      Hi Sue, Charlotte is part of the team so of course she'd inform me if a member I was taking away had concerns or was anxious about something. I'm glad she did, I'd be more worried if she didn't. I want every member to feel comfortable booking on to one of my trips. If you really want my address I'll give it you in a private message. Regards Andy

      September 7

  • lyndsey b.

    Hi Andy, how do allocate who is sharing a room? Lynz

    September 6

    • Andy S.

      Hi Lyndsey, I normally pair up as close a match as possible. So always the same gender, of course! Similar ages etc. Plus if more than one person is say coming from Manchester or Leicester, I try to pair those too because they'll have a geographical familiarity in common too.
      Of course if you know someone who's going that you'd like to share with, just let me know and I'll sort it out :)

      September 6

  • Andy S.

    Hi Denise, Welcome to the group too. Like with Gordon, I've just been looking through the settings to see if I can add you, but it doesn't seem I can. When you look at the trip it should say 'wants a spot' or 'wait list,' if you click on that you'll be first in line should there be a cancellation. Andy

    September 6

  • Denise M.

    Just joined your group and would like to go on your waiting list too, please!!!

    September 6

  • Gordon

    I just joined this site and I'm late! I am interesting to go but will catch the Part 3 trip (if any)

    August 25

    • Andy S.

      Hi Gordon, Yep, I'm afraid it is. Unless someone cancels we've got the full quota of 20 people now. I suggest you join the wait list in case we have a cancellation. Cheers

      Andy

      September 3

    • Gordon

      Ok put my name on waiting list. Cheer

      September 3

RSVPs closed

19 going

RSVPs closed

  • Andy S.
    Organizer,
    Event Host

    Travel is one of my biggest passions. Quite simply I want to explore the World and experience... more

  • Charlotte O.
    Event Host

    Travel is my passion, any where, any time, any place - will you be joining me on these adventures???

  • Jason

    Hi im jase. love exploring new countries and going away 4 weekends in Europe...

  • Cherie

    Hi Looking forward to this adventure and exploring with new adventurers

  • Jackie N.

    Hi I'm Jackie. Enjoy meeting new people, eating out, travelling and reading.

  • Mabel

    I enjoy travelling and exploring different cultures and enjoying local cuisines. Looking forward... more

  • Richard S.

    Seeking to travel far and wide but do not wish to travel alone again. want some adventures, good... more

  • Nisha

    The journey is about to begin... :)

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