Whenever you tell someone you are going to India, that person will undoubtedly tell a story of a friend of a friend who got sick in India. The warning will also be followed with more specific warnings about drinking bottled water that may not be sealed, eating meat, brushing your teeth with water, etc, etc.
I heard you. I also have the Internet and have read my own warnings.
But no matter what you do, sometimes it is just going to happen. In fact, I challenge anyone to eat curry everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner (who is not Indian) and tell me how you feel.
Maybe, a little off?
When I woke up in the middle of the night, I knew that was it. I had been here before in Guatemala and in Thailand. I knew how this all was about to go down. I grabbed my antibiotics and immediately took my first dose. I had learned my lesson after Thailand. Waiting a week was not going to happen!
The worst part about being sick is travel days. It is your living nightmare. Are you going to make it? No one really knows.
But I pressed on.
Super early in the morning, we loaded into jeeps and headed to the local train. Want to know the best way to take your mind off of feeling sick? Just put yourself in a situation where you think you might die. Sickness kindof gets pushed aside at that point.
The morning was foggy. More specifically, it was the “you can not see a foot in front of you” kind of foggy. This was paired with the jeeps we were driving in didn’t really have working windshield wipers. We were going down the road blind. Literally.
Luckily, India has a good “honk while you drive” system that goes something like this..
You drive and honk to let people (or cows or dogs or pigs or goats) know you are coming. The expectation is that they move. This is needed because there really is no other systems used. No one really sticks to their side of the road consistently or signals. These appear to be more recommendations that are followed occasionally but not always. Oh and stop signs and traffic lights are rare. Even more rare is if they are followed.
So honking was the system we approached to the train. After almost hitting a pig only, we made it.
On the plus side, for about 30 minutes, I forgot how sick I was.
Eventually, we loaded on to the local train.
Now, we had been on the local train before but this time we took the basic cabins. There was no assigned seating or real seats. You just found a spot on a bench and went for it.
As I was still not feeling well, my plan was to just pass out and hope the ride went as fast as possible. I blew up my neck pillow and took my drowsy motion sickness pills and hoped for the best.
The locals on the train were quite curious about my neck pillow. I can’t really blame them as I, once again, could not look more out of place. We all had a good laugh at me while I demonstrated how it worked and then I went to sleep.
Word must have gotten around through the cabins about our presence on the train, as more and more, people started to stop by across from us and others in our group. Smiling with curiosity, they asked us where we were from and what our names were. They were also more than happy to have pictures taken!
After about 3 hours we made it! Well, most importantly I made it. Now, I just needed to make the 45 minute drive to the campsite where we would be staying that night.
Now, I love camping! But camping while sick is not quite as fun. I had no idea what these tents were going to be like. At a minimum, I prayed for the durable quality of the tents we had in Africa.
After taking a quick snooze on Kevin, we finally arrived. Following the sound of drums beating, we made our way to the camp.
The camp was on a lake and it was beautiful! And these were not just tents for us to sleep in – they were amazing canvas cabins each with our own ensuite.
I was so relieved. I could definitely sleep off whatever I had in here! So, I rested. All day. It was the perfect place to recoup while my antibiotics set in. I even made it out at night for a little bit too!
The next day, I would say I improved from about 40% to 60%. But I was over 50%!
That was something.
We headed to our next spot in Bijaipur for the night at a Heritage Castle that was converted into a hotel. I loved staying in these places – they had such character and history you can not find staying anywhere else.
On the way to the castle, we stopped through a local village to visit a public school and take a walk through the town.
Once again, I can not express more how friendly everyone is. I will forever be thankful for the beautiful pictures of them and their lives that they allowed us to take. They are the only true souvenirs that we need.
After the village, we stopped into a local farm where they grew different vegetables, herbs and poppies. Another side of India we got to explore!
From there, in no time at all, we made it to the castle. It was beautiful! Once again, I could not believe how lucky we were to get to stay in such an amazing historical place.
Even though I was sick, the last couple of days in Bijaipur were amazing! I could not wait for Udaipur tomorrow which was our guide’s favourite place in all of India!
Seriously, how could Rajasthan get any better?