Arrival

Trip Start Oct 20, 2008
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Trip End Oct 20, 2009


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Where I stayed

Flag of India  ,
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A melting pot of noise, heat, traffic, dust, electricity pylons & wires, fumes and a dizzy mass of people who, if not on the road, act out every activity you can think of at the side of the road. One sign which caught my eye in the taxi to the hotel read 'Mortuary Available' !?  Our 2-night boutique hotel is about a 40 minute tuc tuc ride outside the centre of Delhi in a green surburb called Sikhdev Vihar and was luxury - no doubt our last bit.  To our western suprise our first 2 approachees in the centre wanted nothing more than to help us and recommended a great restaurant where we had our first curry.  No bowel movements yet.   Desperate not to get scammed we walked into a tourist office recommended by our kind gentleman in search of some free maps.  An hour later we had booked two weeks worth of hotels, our own driver and 3 train journeys for a jaunt into Rajasthan!.  Happy to have sorted this difficult part of the trip mobility wise i had the knotted feeling we had been 'had' and after only 6 hours since we landed.  I considered how each man might be woven into part of some masterplan to against us.  With no time to dwell on it we donned our tin hats and headed into Old Delhi where things were a little more...er....authentic.  The streets were narrow and uneven, advertising signs fought for space, horned beeped, bells lingerlinged, bikes inching past at speed and people rushing about but again we were left largely to tootle about on our own free from the harrassment i expected. 

We picked up our train tickets from the tourist office and went to check out the station for tomorrow's ride north.  At the crowded entrance a stern station official asked to check our tickets and their validity.  He held them and asked where we had bought them, how much we had paid for the trip and what it included.  Hearing myself say the figure out loud seemed ridiculous and readied myself for worst.  He paused before saying, "This is a good price.  You went to a government approved office."  Relief! Vindication! Of course it was a government office - i never had any doubts at all.  What lovely strangers they were!  We later found out that the government have placed umarked helpers to try and change the city's reputation for harrassing and scamming tourists. 

Travelling for an hour a day in tuc tucs in and out of the city was great fun.  On the manic roads at least four 'lanes' of traffic squeezed into the designated two.  Tuc tucs, rickshaws, lorries, buses, cars, taxis and coaches all jostled for space and with coded beeps they weaved their way through, everyone trying to get ahead.  I came to the conclusion that this chaos was very considered and organised and with not one cross word, near miss followed crazy manoeurve - these dudes are the best drivers in the world!

2 days in Delhi - not scammed & no dodgy belly.  Jones' 1 Delhi 0.

Time to get out of the chaos.....

...will try and work out how to post some pics  
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