Rajasthan’s “Palace on Wheels”

Palace on WheelsThe best way to get from Lusaka to Dar es Salaam (without flying) is to take the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). I made this 2-day trip, and I loved it.

The Advantages:
* Highly affordable.
* You can easily see the surrounding countryside.
* You can chat with locals on the train and those hawking goods at the stops.

The disadvantages:
* There are no toilets; there are just holes in the floor.
* They ran out of water half-way through the 1150-mile trip.
* They stopped accepting the currency of one country the instant we crossed the border. We hadn’t changed money in advance and were charged an exorbitant rate.

In our minds, the pros outweighed the cons, however, and though we sat most of the way, it was still a rollicking adventure. That said, it was certainly no “palace on wheels.” That title is reserved for Rajasthan’s train.

The Palace on Wheels is a rail journey through northwest India. Starting in Delhi and chugging through Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai, Madhopur, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra, the train is vaguely cruise-ship-like — in the sense that everything is planned out, and there are time restrictions to which you must adhere. However, considering the stops and the experience, generally, it could be classified as “luxury adventure.” If you haven’t got a month to Rajasthan, this may be the best way to compress it into one week. Sign me up!