Friday, August 10, 2007

Planning is so much easier when you have help....

After I settled on my itinerary for Delhi, I decided to see if there were any India based travel agencies offering city tours that would cover the sights (major tourist spots) that I was interested in seeing. Google "Delhi City Tour" and you'll get a slew of hits. I pored over one tour company website after another and finally found the one that offered an itinerary that appealed to me. More importantly, from what I can tell, it is a reputable agency that has been in business for 20 years.

I filled in their email request form and I swear, no sooner had I clicked the Send button, than my phone ran. I picked up the receiver and on the other end was a guy named Subrato who had a VERY thick Indian accent. That, coupled with a bad phone connection, made conversing a bit difficult but nonetheless, I was able to tell him I wanted to do and see on Day 1 of my stay in Delhi. He ran through their city tour itinerary which covers a bit more than what I wanted to see. Not a problem visiting more sites than planned so I gave him the verbal thumbs up. I also asked him about Indian music and dance performances and he said he could arrange for me to attend a show on the evening of Day 1. Perfect, I said. A ton of questions from me, a few phone calls and emails later and my first day of touring in Delhi is arranged.

I also love having Indian friends who know Indian travel agents. In this case, my colleague Viju whose wife, Sindhu, is a travel agent. It took a bit of effort for Sindhu to get the entire flight route mapped out to match the days I needed to travel from DC to Delhi to Kathmandu and back but she finally did it! Only one teeny, weeny detail left and that's to get aisle seats - especially on the 14 hour flight from Newark to Delhi! I don't think I can handle being squashed in either a window or aisle seat on that long a flight!