Trip Start Sep 28, 2008
26Trip End Oct 15, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
After the initial euphoria (squealing like school girls, hugging, jumping, knocking over grannies and fondling) of meeting Ryan at the airport after so long, the adventure began.
You can do all the research and reading you want, but nothing can prepare you for your first Indian experience. And the scams come thick and fast. We would like to believe that we are reasonably experienced travelers, but these guys are goooood! We stepped out of the airport and into our first scam, which pretty much played out word for word from what the guide said. before we knew it our friendly taxi driver had taken us to a "tourist info" place instead of our hotel, where they proceeded to tell us that the hotel we had booked was in a bad area and then tried to sell us on their idea of another hotel and some tours. We managed to sidestep this and eventually get dropped off where we "thought" our hotel was and eventually found it. (it turns out it was actually another hotel by the same name and we wee actually about 5km form where we thought we were).
Scam 2 - The auto rickshaws (tuk tuks) conveniently overcharged (5 times the locals) us, but it doesn't take long until you figure these things out and the bargaining begins.
We spent a few days in Delhi and we were lucky enough to arrive during the Diwali festival, which made things even more colourful and noisy, with festivities, fireworks and lights throughout the streets. Diwali is the biggest festival of the year (equivalent to our new years) and is known as the festival of lights so all the buildings are lit up at night and the place looks amazing. Diwali is officially only 2 days, but is celebrated for about a week.
Once you get your mind around the poverty and constant tauting from people trying to sell you anything and everything, the people are really friendly and they sure love their cricket!!!!
Wanting to move on from Delhi we entered into scam number 3. We headed to the train station to find out about moving on and were promptly pulled aside and told that if we wanted to book tickets for next day travel we had to go to another office in another area of town. Now even though this makes no sense and our logic told us that this is a train station I'm sure we can buy tickets here, we still headed off to yet another tourist office (I did mention before, these guys are good). Before we knew it we found ourselves down $400 each and hooked into a two week tour of Rajastan. Their sales pitch was helped along by the fact that in one of their guest comment books the very first entry we read was from one Scott Bridger, written 3 years before in the very same office. (Scott is a friend of ours from the boats - a dirty Aussie!). We took it as a sign and in hindsight given our short time in India it was a good option as we got to see a lot more than we would have. This said it is not the cheapest option.
Off to Agra we went.