One of Kathleen's Chicago friends is also friends with the former Governor of Ohio, who is currently the US Ambassador to India. As a result of this, Kathleen and her friends were invited to travel to India to ring in the New Year in true style. The Maharaja ("Mah" for short) apparently has an annual trek to his "hunting camp" in the Rajastan desert. He sets up a sumptuous camp complete with showers and full dining facilities (think "Arabian Nights" type tents!) and wines and dines his guests in the old style.
The group of 16 guests got to the campsite by train, jeep and elephant, and are then free to relax during the day or sightsee in transportation provided. The evenings are planned with Indian-style feasts, evening concerts in a beautiful grotto lit by hundreds of candles, or a wonderful dinner under the incredibly clear desert skies.
After a week of activity, Kathleen and her group went by train to the Taj Mahal. The site was beautiful, but unfortunately Kathleen found the trip somewhat disappointing by the ever-present poverty and filth she and her group had to travel through to get to this, one of the most beautiful structures in the world.
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