Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Hello India

Rise and shine... New Delhi is waiting. First port of call - breakfast! There was no wasting time with Pia, straight into the Indian style brekkyfest... You go girl!! Hopefully it doesn't lead to an immediate intestinal cleansing. ;)
Next on the agenda was to brave the streets and head to the local train station. As soon as we stepped out from the comfort of our hotel lobby (which still smelled questionable) we were greeted by the Sunday morning lull of Delhi. Many stores were closed, however, the roads were in full force with a colorful array of rickshaws, bicycles, cars, buses and a fair share of pedestrians thrown into the mix. Even through the film of funkiness ( meaning dirt and poverty) covering the city there is an intriguing energy pulsing through the streets, that niggles at you, making you want to discover more about this culturally enriched nation.

After a mere 300 metres later we arrived at the train station where there was a constant flow of bodies. Obviously, looking like foreigners we were kindly pointed in the right direction for train ticket purchases. This lead to us taking our first rickshaw ride to the local tourist info office. We were kindly hand delivered to our tuk tuk driver with the fixed price of 30 rupees... A whopping 2AED! Ruth, Pia and I squeezed into the back, quite comfortably. You know we had prepared for the worst when we all looked at eachother and said 'Wow, there is going to be heaps of space for 2 of us back here!'
From our breezy rickshaw ride we were escorted into the local tourist office to organize our 5 day 'Cultural adjustment period' prior to our off road adventure. We were given the unfortunate news that all trains to Agra were booked, overbooked in some cases by... Aww, you know, just 60 or so people!!

Soon our decision was made very easy for us, a private driver... Why not! A time to learn some private driving tips from a local before race day.

Before we knew it money had been exchanged, an itinery planned and hotels booked. Moments later we were introduced to our driver, tour guide and driving mentor... The very best... Mr Singh!

Straight away, we went to explore the sights of Dehli. First to the presidential buildings, followed by the India Gate, Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple and Ghandi's tomb. We even managed to be stuck in a political rally. All in all an eventful day roaming the streets of Dehli.

To finish off the evening we found a rooftop terrace where we munched into a delicious array of Indian cuisine. Nom, nom, nom!!

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