Monday, 7 March 2016

Palle Khan The Best Zig Zag Driver In India

(Picture by Richard Huckvale)
A little later than anticipated but as promised I'd like to introduce the blogging world to Palle Khan. Palle started off on the 24th February as nothing more than our driver for a little over a week, but left us on the 5th March as our friend.

When we met Palle it was under stressful circumstances, we had just booked a tour around Rajasthan in India for 12 days and after thinking more and more about it on the day we booked it the more we worried that we had done the wrong thing, had we over paid? Had we been scammed? Were we going to get murdered? Yes, this one did cross our minds. I can honestly say though we did the right thing.

We have seen so much more of India in the last 12 days then we ever anticipated, The journey has taken us to so many beautiful cities, we have seen so many beautiful places and met some amazing local people a long the way. We ate at some of the nicest street food vendors in the world, we have laughed and talked all for hours drinking whisky in the car, We have even drank homemade Indian farm alcohol (It wasn't the nicest but my god was it strong).

The trip started in Delhi then onto Agra, then onto Jaipur, then onto Pushkar then onto Jodhpur then onto Ranakpur the our final destination with Palle was Udaipur, from here we were on our own booked on the sleeper train for an 18 hour journey to Mumbai.

So Palle, he's a humble man and one of the craziest but best drivers I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a car with. Literally zig zagged our way through India narrowly missing scooters, cars, tuk tuks, people dogs, donkeys and cows lots and lots of cows.

The first 2 days were pretty subdued as you would expect with the language barrier and not really knowing each other but the more time we spent together the more we all started opening up, we've shared so many stories about back home over dinner and heard so many jokes and stories of this mans life that in the end I felt I had known him years.

We've been on secret missions in the middle of the night to get more whisky so we can carry on laughing and joking about Palle growing up in India with his best mate George. Palle has a wife and one son who is 10, he lives in Delhi in a house with his wife, son, mum, sister, her husband and their 2 children. We have been told that next time we visit Delhi we are not to check into any hotels or hostels we are to go and stay with him and his family.

I personally think we got really lucky with Palle, we met other people along the way that were on tours just like us and they didn't seem to be engaged with their driver at all, We would take Palle for food and drinks and he would do the same, we had some amazing road side breakfasts and even more amazing street food in the evening, but above all Palle has shown us parts of India I didn't think I wanted to see and shown us places you wouldn't maybe want to see, but we are so glad we have seen them and they have made the start of this journey that extra bit more special.

Our goodbye on 5th was an emotional one we took pictures with each other and left him a glowing review in his diary for other travellers to read. As a parting gift he arranged for his brother who lives in Mumbai to pick us up at the train station and take us to our hostel.

Palle has made the transition into India that little bit more easier, We have spent 3 days without him now and honestly the first day we were a little lost but now we do feel like travellers finally, So no more staying in hotels with swimming pools and room service for us (only £15 a night between us mind)

The planned trip is below and although he will probably never read this blog I'd like to thank Palle Khan 007 (he literally took no shit off nobody) for showing us the real India that's not wrote about in any Lonely Planet guide or on TripAdvisor.

Take care

Richard :)


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