Thursday, June 26, 2008

India I (June 20 - June 26)

On Friday June 20th we left Prague on our way to Vienna. Our plane to India took off at around 1:30 pm and successfully touched down in Delhi shortly after midnight on the next day. Although expecting "tourist" prices and a necessity to bargain hard, our first rickshaw and the first hotel turned out to be extremely expensive later on:) We spent couple of hours in the city centre and focused on four main tasks: buying a Lonely Planet guidebook for India, having a breakfast+lunch+dinner (all in one time), exchanging a little of money, and buying a ticket to Jodphur. Nothing could be so easy as may sound, but we eventually managed:) After a sleep in train we arrived to Jodphur on Sunday morning.

In Jodphur, the Blue city, we enjoyed a typical Indian atmosphere and set off to Jaisalmer, where we stayed next 3 days - not missing the "camel safari" that is said to be the main tourist attraction, and for sure was an amazing experience!

Today (Thursday June 26th, day 6) we are in Jaipur, where we finally encountered the first food store (small "supermarket"), and are looking forward to visiting Agra, Varanasi and few other interesting places in India in upcoming week.

All in all, despite all preparations, it is a little bit more tough and much more different than expected:) Of course, there are many interesting (or just funny... or sometimes even shocking) stories and pictures connected with every hour spent here, but it is not possible to post everything on the blog. We are making notes and back-uping photos, so just stay tuned for September:)

And so as to make the first update complete - so far we are not suffering from any diseases.

On behalf of the fatal crew :)

Lal Qila (Red Fort), Delhi

Jaswent Thada, Jodhpur

Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

Camel safari, Thar Desert

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The fatally excellent "project manager"

Although I have expected this year to be really busy and it was actually much busier than I have expected, I do not believe that Martin was less busy than I was. However he still found enough time for preparation and planning of our trip - mostly coordinating our activities, researching, "managing" the whole preparation. I believe Martin did around 60-75% of the whole work regarding the fatal preparation and I would like to express my great thanks to him for that.

So thanks a lot Martin, our readiness would not be so good without your effort :)!

On behalf of the fatal crew :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fifth strategic meeting

Yesterday we met in the university restaurant for the last strategic meeting, the fifth one. Originally (approximately in February:)) this meeting was intended to provide space for final check of everything related to the trip. As could have been easily foreseen, eventually there was a little bit more to talk about:)

We made final arrangements concerning few items on our packing list and were mostly discussing contents of so called Info kit (including all information we want to have available during the trip, e.g. basic descriptions of main tourist sights, contacts for embassies, important border crossings, specifics of tropical diseases and first aid and much other).

This week (starting Monday June 9th) is in fact the last one I can devote to preparations, due to logistical, technical, personal and other reasons. On the other hand, Zdenek needs to focus now on studying for his final bachelor exam that is to be taken next Monday, thus his final preparations will take place just few days before our departure (Friday June 20th).

I believe we both manage to get "ready enough" in time!
As for now, I'd say we are 86% ready;-)

See you soon, on the Fatal bye-bye party!

On behalf of the fatal crew :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fourth strategic meeting

On May 28th 2008, with 22 fatal days to our departure, another - fourth - strategic meeting took place in a small town of Czech Republic - Horni Jircany!

Points that we discussed were:
  • detailed plan of our trip - particular places we are going to visit
  • particular items of our baggage that we were not sure whether to take or not
  • fatal corporates :)
  • details concerning fatal bye-bye party
  • setting of rules and sharing of expectations
  • various random stuff (doctors, medication, insurance, packing logistics, consultations of all kinds, travel guides, cash etc.)
This meeting was quite long and exhausting, especially when it came to the rules setting part. However the output we produced is of excellent quality and we believe it will make our trip more enjoyable and with less complications and misunderstandings within the fatal crew :)

As usually, we divided responsibilities and have set next steps, so everything should be ready for our fifth meeting which will take place on June 9th 2008.

As far as visas and vaccinations are concerned, we are almost all set - to our surprise, we have fought the bureaucracy at embassies well enough and received all visas with required validity and of required type. Martin still has a few vaccinations to go through (or to skip and die as a hero).

On behalf of the fatal crew :)

Having rest after another successful meeting

PS: Well, we were not just discussing... and dedicated little time to practice, too. Zdenek had bad luck when tossing the coin for who shall try out our new toy, a pepper spray ;-) M.