Maaike & Martin with Rattan, March 2012

We only had 1 week to traveling in India and chose to catch the night train from Bikaner to Jaisalmer to gain time. That is why we only had booked a car for 2 days with driver from Delhi to Bikaner (with overnight in the Shekhawati area).
But, if we had known how fantastic the ride was -and especially our driver Rattan- we had booked for the whole week.

Just an idea why Rattan was fantastic:

– he drives very carefully, takes into account other traffic and doesn’t m ake these ridiculous overtakes -> that you can’t say of many many Indians on the road! We never have felt unsafe on the road;

-he is a very sweet and helpful man who did everything to make our trip as good as possible (eg.: took into account beautiful things to see along the from the car (by driving slower or making stops), took us to good res taurants, showed a typical Indian village as he recognized we we interested to see this. He listened very well to know our interest/whishes and proactively made suggestions to visit sights (even when he had to make more kilometers). He even brought us to a nice museum where they were amazed by the fact our driver had recommended this, because they give no commission;

-he didn’t rush and wasn’t obtrusive at all;

– We had very nice chats with Rattan. When he noticed that we were interested in the Indian culture, the daily habits, the differences with the Netherlands, the things we saw along the way, he began to tell us more and more (his English is very well).

Apart from Rattan, I would like to notice one thing: we had booked hotel Apani Dhani in Nawalgarh by ourselves in advance. A beautiful lodge, but: we invited Rattan to join for dinner. We insisted to pay for him (you don’t have to btw, it was our choice) and said this clearly and explicitly to the owner. We were told that he got a shelter just outside the lodge-area and that he would be called for dinner. Dinner came, but Rattan not. We asked where he was and the hotel-personnel told us that he went out to do something else. The next day we heard from Rattan that he was told to leave! Being a driver he was allowed in the lodge and could not sleep or eat there! We were stunned and very, very disappointed in the lodge and felt sorry for Rattan.

So: Let Rattan choose a nice hotel for you, I’m sure he knows something splendid.

And Rob, I would like to thank you as well for the good and detailed information you have given us in advance of our trip and that you are the link to these great Indian drivers!