Our family of 7 (3 kids (18, 20 and 22), 2 lovers and parents) experienced an incredible cycling tour through amazing Rajasthan during 14 days. Throughout the journey our Rajputana Adventures guide, Kunal Kumawat, gradually became a friend of the family in stead of the pure professional guide he is. We enjoyed every single bit from the moment Kunal picked us up at Delhi airport (we took the overnight train to Udaipur 18hrs later) till the drop-off at Delhi airport a fortnight and a full life later. Apart from being a guide, Kunal is a classic singer and an excellent cook, combining all his skills into a broad ambassador of India's immense culture.
We cycled in September 2019 and were lucky with the monsoon; we could count probably five drops of rain during our complete trip and road conditions were excellent for cycling. Rajputana Adventures provided a very friendly team: apart from Kunal, Tapesh is a very experienced cycling guide (thank you for the warm-ups!), Kudu is an elegant and courteous van-driver (thank you for keeping us comfortable and safe at all times!), while Manish and Ranjit form the best possible back-up-truck team (thank you for appearing instantly and fixing any technical issue within minutes when in need!)
We negotiated the itinerary, experiences and corresponding all-in price in January/February per email. Apart from cycling through the countryside and villages that rarely encounter white-noses, we experienced home cooking on wood fire with fresh milk from milking the buffalo, hand weaving while separating the layers with the toes, block-printing with hand-cut blocks and natural dyes, pottery with nothing more than a hand-turned flywheel in stone, shoe-making on the floor with hardly any tools, bareback riding of and showering with elephants,... probably in the same way as these activities exist for thousands of years. Seeing mud-walls topped with thorn branches and motorcycles with mobile phones at the same time is simply amazing. We immersed in the stunning beauty of holy places (Ranakpur, Taj Mahal, Bahai Temple) and in the extraordinary nature everywhere and anytime (centuries old trees, birds small and large, dragonflies,... and even more in the nature reserves).
Cycling was safe at all times: Indian drivers are vigilant for cows, buffaloes, dogs, pigs, wild boar, monkeys, sheep, goats at all times (and we had to be too!), so why not for a couple of strange-behaving bare-white-legged cyclists? Nature is everywhere on the streets and fauna is more respected than elsewhere in the world. If India would respect its flora the same way and would stop littering anything and everything it would complete the picture (and smell) of heaven on earth (but probably not for the same price ;-) )
Food was delicious at every single occasion: from the wood fired chapati during home cooking to the (sometimes) traditional inox plate at an en-route lunch to the (most often) abundant, versatile and gourmand lunches and dinners at restaurants and palaces.
On top of the food and experiences, our stays outperformed our expectations; we stayed at marvelous heritage forts and palaces such as Ghanerao, Chandelao and Barli (!), and more modern but neat, charming romantic places such as Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Godwad (!), Jodhpur (!) and Jaipur. Unexpectedly, everything was working in our four rooms during all nights at these well-chosen spots. The only minor stay was at Bundi and this... just because I insisted upfront to stay at a different place than what Rajputana Adventures suggested ;-)
Thank you all @rajputanaadventures for this milestone experience with our children!!!