The first thing we had to do was fly to Delhi (actually a plane did all the hard work – I just sat and watched telly and luxuriated in the emergency exit seat legroom that I ended up with – thanks BA). Once at Delhi we caught a bus to a complex just outside town for a quick wash and brush up before the ride to Agra, competition HQ for the next few days.
Everyone has been fantastically welcoming. The team who greeted us at the first pit stop were really excited about having us here. We were a bit jaded, in that we had just had a long flight. But to us it was just early evening. To the home team it was after midnight, and they had obviously been working like mad all day to set things up for our arrival. To get from Delhi to Agra we had a four hour night drive. At first it was dark, but as we got to our destination the sun came up and we got to see more of the countryside.
Driving in India is interesting. It involves a lot more use of the horn than back home. And there is always the possibility that might be a cow stood in the middle of the carriageway just around the next corner. When the road side cafes feel the urge to drum up trade they simply put up a road block outside their establishment to give you more time to read about their special offers.
However we all got here safe and sound after around a days solid travelling. (I felt quite proud of this until we met up with one of the Microsoft chaps from Seattle, who had spent 47 hours getting here).
The courtyard outside the room
The hotel is very impressive. Nice and cool and with big rooms and the most attentive staff I have ever experienced. Everyone seems determined to do their utmost to make your stay a really happy one. I think they are going to succeed.