Modes of Transport - India

We've made multiple trips to India but none since I've started blogging. This post gives you an idea of some of the places we've seen previously...

One of the things I'm enjoying about having a blog is that I'm finally using our photographs, after all I'm a functionalist at heart!  Sometimes you scroll through hundreds of your pictures and  begin to see  a theme in the chaos.  So, here's my first "Modes of Transport" post - with images from previous trips to India. We love a trip where we take  various forms of transport and we often plan routes accordingly. I used to joke that it was a really good holiday if a small plane was involved, but for us it's all about variety. It's fun to travel by car, plane and train but maybe it's even better to combine car, train, plane, bus and boat!
There has been a lot of discussion, but no action, on banning hand drawn rickshaws in Calcutta
I adore India and we've made multiple trips to India visiting cities throughout Rajasthan,  as well as Calcutta, Assam, Delhi and the tiger sanctuary at Ranthambore, all taken before I began to blog. There's a diversity of everything in India, and so it's no surprise that there seem to be so many different ways to get around. We've  traveled by budget airline, boat and train; we've hired cars with drivers, taken tuk-tuks and bicycle rickshaws; we've traveled by jeep to view tigers, by elephant-back to view  rhino and we once spent an entertaining but fruitless afternoon in a camel cart hoping to view birds.
If only I had an embarrassing picture of the moment when Mr. Khan (our driver) presented us with matching white cricket hats emblazoned with an advertisement for 'Rajasthan Four Wheel Drive'.  He waited patiently until all four of us put them on and looked very pleased, at least for the short moment we actually wore them - we looked ridiculous!
Truck seen through a tuk tuk window
One of the millions of ubiquitous Indian tuk tuks, with Kesroli Fort Palace in the background. We were there to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday. I highly recommend the place particularly with a large group of friends.
Local transportation on the Brahmaputra
We spent seven nights cruising through Assam with Assam Bengal Navigation, Here was the boat below. The were only four of us on a cruise designed for twenty four as it was right after the bombings in Mumbai and everyone else cancelled. Perhaps they didn't know how far away Assam is, or that it's the subject of its own separatist struggle?

We went to Assam in mid December 2008, two weeks after the Mumbai bombings. Consequently many people had cancelled their trips and we ended up on this enormous boat with only one other couple, a Brit and a Zimbabwean - expatriates who were living in Bangalore. It  was surreal. We generally travel independently and ironically we were very concerned about traveling in a larger group! There were more than twenty staff including, a guide, a manager and a wildlife/bird expert. They  didn't scale back anything and continued to provide the same level of service  they would have done if there were twenty four guests on the boat. It was an unforgettable experience. 
He looked a lot happier after he received a ridiculously large tip!
The Rambagh Palace is  the most historic of the hotels in Jaipur and certainly one of the most glamourous. They are far too haughty for a bicycle rickshaw and we were unceremoniously told that we would have to walk along the long driveway. Which explains the picture next to the sign rather than next to the hotel!
Traffic jam in Assam
In India there's no guarantee you'll get somewhere fast and cows have a lot to do with it. They go where they want to, even in the middle of town! On a camel cartutside Jaiselmer at sanctuary for the "Great Indian Bustard". You can imagine the misspelled signs on the road!

The humble Ambassador is my vehicle of choice in India. Reliable and comfortable with a suspension system well suited to bumps in the road, it moves just fast enough. There's an elegance and a solidity to the Ambassador, which have been manufactured in India since 1948. 

Looking at our pictures makes me want to rush back to India, because there's always so much more to see there.