Saturday, 21 January 2012

India last few days...

Arrived at Manchester airport 4 hours early to be on the safe side for my flight for London.
Little did I know that should have rang the airline a few days before to check my flight had not been changed. The flight was changed which meant I had to pay for another flight at the cost of 140 bloody quid with British Airways…Bummer.
Arrived in London in perfect time for my Delhi flight.
Boarded the plane to Delhi which was half empty so I got my own seat.
A delicious 6 course Indian dinner was served and thoroughly enjoyed even though I never knew what half of it was. The plane then stunk of curry for the next 7 hours of the flight which made me feel a bit bilious. No matter how many times I brushed my teeth my mouth still tasted of a drunken Indian take away.
Time to get off the plane and I have honestly never felt as nervous arriving somewhere as I did then.
There was probably 500 Indians in the passport queue and 4 westerners. It took an hour to finally get through immigration and then I entered the chaos of Delhi arrivals area.
I had a taxi man picking me up from the hotel and was told to just look out for my name on a sign. Pretty easy hey? There was heaps of Indians waiting with signs so I had to walk back and forth along the lines with them all staring at me, feeling uncomfortable, paranoid and intimidated.
Then I spot my name in flashing lights! Well, not really it was just on a piece of white paper but I have never felt so relieved to see my name wrote on a piece of paper!
The man took my big bag and I carried my little one and he ran to the car park with me running after him. I wondered why we had to run. When we finally finished running up 3 flights of stairs in the concrete jungle I realised it was so he didn’t have to pay extra car parking fees!
Headed to Delhi…crazy roads…camels….crumbling buildings…goats and cows in the road…no road rules….crazy roads…noisy…smelly….foggy…cold…wet....damp….not how I imagined India at all.
Where is all the colour I seen on TV? All the pretty clothes? Blue skies? Scenery? It just reminded me of when I watched TV when I was young and the gulf war was being aired.
Every road and street has a raw sewage gutter running down the side of it and it smells disgusting. If you cant smell piss you can smell shit and if u cant smell that its curry. It stinks everywhere.
Its funny as I write this I think it sound like we are forever moaning but its weird we still enjoy I and are excited for the next day. It just feel s like 9 out 10 people want to rip us off but then when you meet that 1 who does not want to rip you off it makes you happy. Lots of Indians are so intrigued by our whiteness and ask to take photos of us and say hello, shake our hands, want to practice English and its nice.
Arrived at the ‘hotel’ which was not as described on the website. There was a bed, real toilet and a hot shower so that’s all that mattered.
Was very strange but nice to see Sorcha in India. We finally decided to venture outside and explore the streets of Delhi but we were so scared and nervous! Everybody was staring at us like we had two heads and we felt really uncomfortable. We found a chai stall had the best chai of our lives and then discovered a tourist office where we enquired about a few trips. The guy told us all about a 14 day Rajasthan tour but it was nearly $750 each!!! It took us an hour and two cups of chai before we could finally escape him and headed to the government tourist office which was meant to be the cheapest safest option around.
A tuk tuk takes us to he government office and asks do we drive.I say yes and he lets me drive the tuk tuk.Sorchs is shitting herself but filming in the process. I get a bit scared when more veichles come and give the wheel back!!
After another hour of tour chats we came to a price of $780 which was more expensive but we thought it was better as it was a government option. We both still thought it was really expensive for India but it was the government so we thought this was the right price.
The man sent us with his driver to the hotel to pick our money up. The driver parked the car and headed down the street with us. Me and Sorcha quietly discussed was we doing the right thing. We decided to say no. I broke the ice and told the man and after a few min of persuasion and a phone call to the boss he was gone and we were relieved. We then got the tour for half the price in our hotel which I was still a bit iffy about as I hate tours and being on a schedule but it seemed so much easier and less hassle than buying train tickets, bus tickets and booking accommodation.
We met an American guy who wanted to do the same tour so he joined us and now there is 3 of us for our Rajasthan adventure.
Day 1.
Delhi-Mandawa An 8 hour drive which pissed us off as we have spent more time in the car. Which I thought would happen with a tour…Got dropped off at a massive hotel which we would never have opted to stay in full of holiday makers and not backpackers. Mandawa was a really small town, half crumbling, old buildings and an old castle. Every Indian we have met has begged, tried to rip us off, sell us things,try to take us on tours or just annoy us. I think it’s because we are on a typical rich holiday makers route and they think we are rich. Very annoying.
Had a little look around the city and then got some beers and went back to the hotel and watched a freaky cheesy ,puppet show-which they tried to charge us for afterwards. Got chatting to the Indian hotel staff who were really nice and we showed them idiot abroad on the laptop which they were highly amused by,smoked birris,drank beer and got free Indian head massages off the waiters!
Day 2 Mandawa-Bikaner
Only a 4 hour drive today thank god.Got up expecting a nice traditional Indian breakfast only to be given Toast and eggs! We ask why? The Waiter tells us it’s what the tourists like..great….cant wait to get off this tour and do the backpacker thing!haha
The scenery is very dessert,yellow and los of camels and goats.
We stop at a temple which is home to thousands of rats! As with every temple you have to take your shoes off before you enter. We walked in stepping on rat shit, pigeon shit,shit everywhere…rats every stunk.For some reason Indians think the rats in this temple are holy so they come and feed and worship them daily.It was all goin great taking photos,walking about on rat shit until one ran up my leg and I nearly shit myself so I decided to get out.Fast.
Arrived in Bikaner at another amazing tourist hotel and headed out and ate a delicious Indian feast for 6$ for 3 people!It was fantastic.We have all still eaten no meat in case we get sick and have not missed it.The vegetable dishes are fantastic.

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