A Travellerspoint blog

Delhi

We arrived at about 11pm last night and were immediately besieged by rickshaw drivers touting for business, as is customary. After a lot of haggling we finally got the price down from 200 rupees to 60, which was still about twice as much as it should have been. Usually when you do this to a rickshaw driver they take you to a hotel of their choice rather than yours, so we made sure to explain that we didn’t want to go to any other hotel, didn’t want to go shopping first and didn’t want a sightseeing tour.

After getting lost, he did take us to our hotel, although we noticed that one of our bags had been opened by him. We couldn’t se anything immediately obvious that had gone missing so we checked in anyway. The hotel tried to increase the price of the room and give us one without a window. I became increasingly annoyed and eventually the hotel owner gave us a the correct room – probably to stop me making a scene. We’re staying in the Pahagang area of town, a very smelly, very busy, crap-on-the-street area where one of the Delhi bombs went off, although it’s incredible to think that anyone noticed.

When I woke up this morning I discovered that it was my sunglasses that the rickshaw driver took from my bag, which is annoying, as they’re prescription so I can’t just pick up another pair on the street. We went to the police station to file a police report for insurance purposes and met a couple of Australian girls who had their passports, visas, money and bags taken. On top of that, she’d injured her back landing on some rocks after falling off a camel. She seemed quite relaxed given she’d just lost all her stuff, done in her back and was complaining that she was loosing feeling in her right leg. Call me sadistic, but there’s nothing like the misfortune of others to cheer me up and the Aussie’s tale certainly put ours into perspective.

We left the police station with our police report (that I wrote, I hope the insurance company accepts it) and onto a pharmacy. I carry a nebuliser for my asthma and unfortunately parts of it got broken en route and needed replacing. Amazingly a local pharmacy stocked the spare parts, and, for an extra few rupee, one or two asthma drugs that are supposed to only be available on prescription.

We’ve decided not to visit Agra and the Taj Mahal, it’s not going anywhere and neither of us feel like facing a long train journey and a visit to another city full of tourists and locals trying to rip them off at every turn.

We fly out of India at 00:05 on Thursday morning, so tonight is our last night and tomorrow our last day. On to Bangkok in Thailand now, where we begin an overland journey through Cambodia to Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) in Vietnam.

Posted by roblist 03:47 Archived in India Comments (8)

More photos!

Travellerspoint have featured some of our photos in their India gallery, which has inspired us to add some more. You can check out the all of the latest additions here.

Here's a couple of my favourites:

Udaipuir City Gates.jpg
Udaipur's city gates

Pushkar Street.jpg
Pushkar Street Scene - almost got run over taking this

Udaipur Lake Palace.jpg
Udaipur Lake Palace

We're off to catch a bus to Ajmer now, and then we take a train from there to Delhi. Two more nights left in India, then onto Thailand!

Posted by roblist 22:11 Archived in India Comments (1)

Pushkar

We arrived in Pushkar by bus as there are no trains, it's in the opposite direction to Delhi and although we've done a little backtracking it's nice to be away from Jaipur.

Pushkar is a very small, very religious town based around a lake that's supposed to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. The pace of life is very slow and relaxed, and we no longer have to worry about street sellers trying to rip us off.

We haven't done an awful lot other than sit around, read our books, drink tea and relax. There are plenty of places to eat, and we've had some great meals, although I think I'm missing a few vitamins as I've picked up quite a bad cold. Tabi, the travelling pharmacy, has given me all kinds of pills so I expect it will be gone in a few days.

We've made plans to head off to Delhi tomorrow, this involves taking a bus to the nearest big town and then taking a train from there. Neither of us are looking forward to Delhi as we have preferred the small towns to big cities, but we only have to spend 2 nights there before our flight to Bangkok.

Tabi's updated her blog, which you can read here.

Posted by roblist 06:26 Archived in India Comments (0)

Jaipur

We left Udaipur for Jaipur a couple of nights ago on another overnight train. As Udaipur has only narrowgage tracks, and Jaipur only broadgage, half way through the journey they lifted the carriage off the wheels of one track and dropped it onto another. Although this is much easier than changing trains, it did rather take us by surprise!

We've not enjoyed Jaipur very much, despite hearing lots of positive comments before we came. We've been stalked by a crazy rickshaw driver who waits for us outside the hotel, and even came to our door and woke us up yesterday. Even when we manage to escape him, the town's even fuller than Mumbai with over forcefull sellers who find it hard to take no for an answer.

Yesterday we were chatting to one of the locals, saying how we've found Jaipur full of people wanting to sell by employing unpleasant methods. He spent about an hour telling us how this wasn't the case and how open and friendly the locals are. We were almost convinced until by the end of the conversation he was trying to sell me a container full of jems that he said I could have taken to England and sold at a large profit. Had I have bought them, they would almost certainly have been worthless.

So today, in about an hour, we're heading for Pushkar, a nice small little town (14k pop) about 4 hours by bus from here. Hopefully we'll find that nicer!

Posted by roblist 21:30 Archived in India Comments (0)

A day of sightseeing

We did a lot of touristy things today, with our rickshaw driver Billau. Billau has 7 books filled with nice comments from other travellers and was keen to show them to us. For some reason, he didn't ask us to write anything.

We visited a zoo, and met with some childen on a school trip. They seemed more interested in following us around than looking at the animals, and we didn't stay long because of the heat.

Next was a cemetry - very interesting, up to a point, but I was rather bored and the heat made me rather lathargic. After this was a museum. After selling us the tickets, the ticket seller ran out of his booth and into another booth just by the entrance where he checked our the validity of our tickets before letting us in. We watched a puppet show, performed by the versitile ticket seller, and on leaving had our tickets removed by the ticket seller/master puppetter who had somehow now morphed into a security guard.

We were rather tired, so headed back to the hotel for a quick nap, before heading out for some dinner, at a beautiful hotel overlooking the large semi natural and semi man made lake that sits at the centre of the town. They had a good menu, including some English dishes so I was finally able to have a good feed without fear of nuts.

Posted by roblist 08:56 Archived in India Comments (0)

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