At last!!!!!! Had terrible trouble getting online.. but here i am with only a short time before we again head off on the road for Daramasala, and Mcloud Ganj....it seems like ages since i last wrote so much has happened but here we go!!
WELL where to begin...we got to train station in Delhi and waited surrounded as usual by lots of Indians wanting to talk to us!! an old school Colonel, Raj type found us most amusing and wanted to know our life history including our families life history eventually the train came.. ON TIME!! but hell it was miles long and we had to run like crazy fighting our way through masses of Indian families with their masses of luggage and it was quite a struggle laden down with back packs etc but i was determined after my experience in Thani last year to get on that train asap and secure our seats / beds!! poor Mick was lagging behind somewhere but I sharpened my elbows and went hell for leather..
. and hey! guess what I was the first in our compartment! I hastily put my rucky under the seat and chained it up shortly followed by Mike who did the same then we settled ourselves comfortably in the window seats looking very smug and pleased with ourselves and low n behold a few mins later in trouped a massive Indian family (yes a baby in tow again!!!) and they just looked in amazement at us 'foreigners' sat there in what i expect they hoped to be 'their' domain!!! after a lot of squashing up ..i think about 4 rather large ladies plonked themselves next to Mick squashing him into a corner a(only meant to be 3 on that seat!!) but i was determined to have my seat and didn't budge over but they still managed to get 2 adults a child and a baby next to me!! I have had a dose of these trains and know that you just have to do as they do and I did believe! LOL
Anyway the journey was pretty much ok and slept fairly well until awakened by yelling and banging and lights going on at 5am when one family were alighting at a station but we arrived in Amritsar safely... yet again to searing heat! of course got lunged upon immediately by a hundred tuktuk and taxi drivers trying to take us to 'their' hotel (where they get commission of course!0 but eventually agreed a price with one and headed of for the Golden Temple area, looked at quite a few (seedy ) places and eventually were so exhausted we settled for one of the least bad ones, despite them doing an extension...can i call it that!
! LOOL walls were missing everywhere and i really was concerned the place might collapse! anyhow we then had to wait for them to clean our room... hahah I ended up taking the broom of the guy and sweeping myself i just couldn't bear the hairs everywhere (like at the back of bed on the floor) those of u that know me know I HATE hairs! LOL I think i gave the cleaning guy a bit of a hard time .. what a surprise!! but it was the best it was going to be... we weren't too happy with the place but thought we could handle one night and were I am sure ripped off at 650 rupees, but we were just sooo shattered we couldn't look further or argue anymore... the positive side was it was literally a 2 minute walk to the Golden Temple and our window looked out on the beautiful Jallianwala Bagh (Martyrs square) a memorial 'garden' on the spot where the British in 1919 had massacred and attacked 20000 Indians who were protesting peacefully against the Rowlat Act.. which gave the British powers of various kinds.. anyhow we had a shower (was it a shower!?? 2 jets of water one of which went down the loo and the other in my face!! I resorted to a jug in the end!!lol) and we went off and spent some time in the memorial gardens, which were peaceful and very moving, 1500 were wounded and 379 died there men women and kids very sad.......this is where I realised for the first time that i must have unwittingly become some sort of film star... hahah......I was immediately surrounded by crowds of men women and children staring, pointing and laughing and sidling up to me ...to the amusement of their friends..who were surreptitiously taking pics of me and the 'friend' on their mobile (yes! they all have mobiles! even the poor ol peddle rickshaw drivers! it seems never mind shoes, clothes, food...u must have a mobile!!) in the space of 10 mins I had been asked by countless people..'picture please' i literally didn't move from the spot for i don't know how long as one after the other I had to stand with various family members and get photographed..of course lucky ol Mick got off scot free looking as tanned as he does like an Indian!!
Just lost all my pics will try again later... to be continued.....