About 7 years ago (2005), I had a grand plan of traveling 2-3 months across the Himalayas from China to Tibet to Nepal to Northern India and ending my trip at Dharamsala. However, it did not materialize. I went to China & Tibet and ended my trip in Yunnan, China. In 2007, I explored the Northern India. In 2009, I went to Nepal. Finally in 2012, I went to Dharamsala. =)
I was beaming with joy when I arrived in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala. It is a nice place and I like it a lot. More importantly, it is about fulfilling a wish and journey that I did not complete, and I could finally strike off 1 item from my bucket list.
The other main reason to go for this trip is traveling with 2 very good friends. The last time I traveled with xf was back in 2001 (Sarawak, my first backpacking trip) and with ying was 2005 (Tibet).
6 of us at Singapore Changi Airport
Prior to the trip, there were so much problems.
1. Air India crews were on strike and we had to cancel 2 flights and re-booked it through Kingfisher (which is financial difficulties) and Jet Airway. After a few painful calls (including a customer service officer slamming down my call), we managed to find out that our flights had been canceled and we requested a refund. Then, a few days later, I received 90% of my refund. And I had to ask for my remaining 10% refund.
2. Kingfisher Flight. After we booked the Kingfisher flights, there was news that 15 Kingfisher planes had been grounded as the airline did not have money to pay the lease. This is a significant number of planes being grounded and we had no details if our flights are affected.
3. India visa. After sending the application forms, I realized that my new visa was quite different from my previous one (the embassy stamp & a signature was missing). We had to send back our passports to get it corrected. Unfortunately, this is an example of India's inefficiency.
4. Negative News. 1 week prior to our departure, there was a huge power failure in North India that paralyzed that region and news about tourist bus falling down in the mountain area.
Well, our India adventure had started even before our departure. =)