Posts tagged 'India'
On my first morning alone in Udaipur I went for a bit of an aimless wander around, and ended up at the zoo, which with my typical travel luck, was closed that day. I had a bit of a walk around the gardens surrounding it which were very nice, and sat in the shade reading a book for a few hours.
I took a very round about walk back into town and stumbled across quite a long street market which was full of colour and activity, so I spent quite a while taking photos.
The next morning half the tour group boarded a train heading to Delhi to finish up their tour, but the 4 of us staying on and Moon went and got a local bus heading to a little village called Nimaj Bagh. The place were were staying was an old palace turned into a hotel, with beautifully painted trims on all the doorways, arches and windows. The place also had a pool which we hung out in all afternoon, making the heat a whole lot more bearable.
The overnight train the second time around, from Varanasi to near Agra, was a bit of an ordeal. We showed up at the station at 21:00, one hour before the train was scheduled to depart at 22:00, and were soon told that the train had been delayed a few hours, now expected at 00:00. We went into the upper class and sleeper class reserved seating area to sit and wait and found it was full of people sleeping on the benches. One of the guys checking people were allowed to be in there went around and woke some people up, clearing enough seats so everyone could at least sit down.
We soon noticed what appeared to be rats lurking in the shadows underneath benches, occasionally making dashes in and out of the toilets. The toilets were a sight to not be seen. Wreaking of shit, the guys toilets consisted of three squats one of which had leaking plumbing that sprayed water at you as you first walked in the door, or went near the basin to wash your hands. How lovely!
I'm going to prefix this by apologising that it's ridiculously long; I really understand that quote "I'm sorry for the length of this letter but I didn't have time to write a shorter one". I'm struggling to keep up, this will probably be the last post I write in this format, which is probably for the best. I'm going to post this as 4 parts as I get the chance, photos will have to wait until I'm somewhere with reasonable internets.
I arrived in Delhi quite late at night, about 1am, and was very glad to have an airport transfer already organised. The roads of India didn't seem too crazy at that time of night, or at least no worse than Vietnam or Cambodia; how little did I know back then. I checked into my hotel, Hotel Perfect, and went straight to bed.
I woke the next day and went out in search of an ATM so I could get some Rupees and some breakfast. The ATM was easy enough, although the maximum withdrawal was less than AUD $200, another win for my overseas-transaction-fee free credit card. I'd hate to be getting socked with $5-10 foreign ATM fees for every $200 I needed.
Breakfast wasn't so easy to find. The area the hotel was in, Karol Barg, seemed to be mostly closed, which seemed a bit silly in a country where it gets so hot to be shut for the coolest part of the day.
I'm jumping out of order for a bit for a quick story about the joys of security theater in Indian airports.
I get dropped off at the airport by a taxi and head towards the door in which I can see signs pointing to departures and arrivals. I go to enter and the security guy on the door, holding what I think was an MP-5 machine gun, wants to see ticket and passport. Having only booked my ticket online hours earlier and having no printer I had no ticket to show him. He says I can show him on my phone, I pull up Trip-It and show him the flight details and confirmation number but he's not happy because there's no name listed so he sends me around to the ticket desk to get a ticket printed. After trying the next two entrances in the direction he gestured I realise the desks are basically just invisible slots in the glass front of the building.
There's a guy in there on his phone, but he doesn't look over when I say nameste, nor when I knock on the window. A rather stressed out looking Indian man comes over and tries as well but the guy inside completely ignores both of us. Nice to know it's not just because I'm a foreigner.