Udaipur's hot air balloon ride

Hello, Happy Wed.:))

Could someone please... share their thoughts & experience on the air balloon option , is it really worth it? how early do you have to be ready and would I have enough time for breakfast between this activity and the actual tour visit to the veg. & spice market.
Also @ the Veg.-Spice market do we have time to shop? I would love to buy some spices.


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    Yes, it would be worth every penny! This was our 4th hot air balloon ride and was very unique its own right. What made this ride special was all of the people who came out of their homes (on their flat roof areas) to wave and smile at us as we flew over. Our group was smaller (as we were the first tour on the new itinerary) and we still had three balloons. We landed separately (softest landing EVER) from the other two, but I think each experience was similar. An entire village came out to see us land, and as we waited for the trackers to catch up with us, more and more people came out to see what we were all about! Then, many of them joined us for a "group photo"! Our photos of this moment are priceless! Perhaps in time the locals will become more accustomed to the balloons, but I understood that this was a new endeavor in Udaipur, hence, the curiosity.
    Yes, it is a very early morning. We had a 4:15 wakeup call for a 4:45 departure. Perhaps, our experience was a bit different as we stayed at the Taj Lake Palace (fabulous! not upset at all at not staying at the Oberai) which is located in Lake Pichola, and taking a launch to land is part of the process. Then, as is frequently the case, weather dictated a change of launch area. Perhaps by the time you go the routine might be a bit different, but it will still be early morning so that you can be aloft by sunrise.
    Then it was back to the hotel for breakfast and then on to the market area. This walking tour was another highlight in a tour full of highlights! The vibrant colors, bustling activities, and, as always, smiling people made it so special. Some purchased small things as we walked along, but we did keep up a pretty good clip, so I don't think there would be time to do some serious shopping during that part of the tour. I am not sure what the others did after our walking tour (I believe some went back to the hotel and some went back to the City Palace area to shop), but nine of us boarded a bus with one of our guides and went to Nagada Temple, which is a site not to be missed! I hope Tauck will include it in future tours. We expected to be charged for it as it was an extra but were not. We had all pre-ordered box lunches from the Taj which our guides had picked up for us.
    Since we did the "Portrait" tour, we knew we would be going to Cochin, known for spices, so I don't think anyone bought spices in Udaipur. I did not notice packaged spices (like we found in the South), but perhaps I just didn't notice them.
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    Thank you! Joycesw.
    I'm going to do it! First time ever ... and I'm sure this will make the trip to India even more Special. :))))))
    Cannot wait.
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    edited February 2016
    Hi, Joycesw.
    I hope you see this :)
    After reading your reply on the air balloon subject , I noticed what you said about the extra visit; that nine of you boarded a bus with one of our guides and went to Nagada Temple. I am interested on visiting this temple and was going to hire a private guide, but before I do... I would like to ask you if this visit was something that some in the tour were interested and mentioned to the guide as a request and consequently the guide took the group or was it something extra that the guide wanted to offer?
    Please advise and thanks for all your help.

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