Filming in India has been such an amazing experience

Cheryl Gibbs with cameramen Andy Davis, left, and Lloyd Thompson, right, on location in India
Cheryl Gibbs with cameramen Andy Davis, left, and Lloyd Thompson, right, on location in India

India – what a place!  I’m writing my column from Udaipur which is known as the Venice of the East because of the seven rivers that surround the region.

I’ve fallen in love with India and after spending the past 10 days in this beautiful country I’m sad to leave, but also keen to get home, although not quite yet as we leave India tomorrow for Abu Dhabi so I have a few more days to go until then.

We arrived in New Delhi and spent five amazing days at The Oberoi, New Delhi hotel before travelling down to Udaipur where we’re also staying at an Oberoi hotel – The Oberoi, Udaivillas.

I’ve travelled quite extensively around the world and am extremely proud of the places I’ve seen, the cultures I’ve learnt about, and the sheer number of experiences I’ve had. 

But I have to admit that few hotels have ever lived up to the hospitality you get at an Oberoi hotel – it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

The staff, the attention to detail, the food (my goodness the food is amazing and India is perfect for a vegetarian – the veggie options are endless) it’s all been incredible.

As I said, I love the country too – I don’t know what I expected really, but it’s surpassed any preconceived notions I may have had.

It’s full of colour and texture and bright patterns and there’s a meaning and depth behind almost everything – even down to the colour of the saris worn by women on different days. 

There is a story behind all that you see and I’ve just been fascinated by the place.

I think what has surprised me the most (and I don’t know why I was surprised by this) is the incredible friendliness of the people here. Everywhere you go, and not just in the hotels, you’re greeted like a friend or family member, and it does touch you.

Although we’ve been manically busy filming – and I mean crazy 14-hour days busy – we’ve managed to get out on the odd occasion and film the surrounding region as part of the series, so I feel genuinely fortunate to be in a position where I can add a few more pins to my map!

Delhi belly is one of the fastest ways to lose weight

Any regular reader of my column knows that I’m a yo-yo dieter and fitness fanatic – I go up and down and round and round…literally.

One minute I’m dedicated to fitness and losing weight, and the next thing I’ll eat everything in sight.

When we arrived in Delhi I went a little crazy on the food for a couple of days before I was hit with a shock when I stepped on the dreaded scales.

It was probably a good thing because it kicked me into remembering this isn’t a holiday. 

I’ve been hitting the gym and swimming loads and lost five pounds since I’ve been here.

The heat, long hours on your feet, and Delhi belly have no doubt helped!

It’s true what Dorothy says, ‘there’s no place like home’

When you’re away it feels that time has no meaning. 

You get it on holiday, around Christmas time, but also on a trip like this – almost every day one member of the crew has asked ‘what day are we on?’ because they all blend into each other.

Mondays feel the same as Saturday and you don’t get that Sunday feeling because it’s no different to the next day.

I can’t believe we’ve only been out here 12 days, it genuinely feels like I’ve been away from home for a month.

I’m loving every second of it and soaking it all up, but it’s true what they say – there is genuinely no place like home and I’ll be keen to get home to Matt. He won’t know what’s hit him.