Delhi - not for the faint hearted

Trip Start Feb 21, 2012
Trip End Sep 20, 2012

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

If someone had offered us a flight back home yesterday we both would have accepted and put an early end to an amazing journey that had just become too much. The recent events and yesterday's arrival in New Delhi drained us of our last energy.

We arrived in New Delhi around 9am local time. Feeling exhausted we were happy to get to our hotel, have a shower and some rest before we started exploring. We had booked a budged hotel four days in advance. According to the taxi driver, there were parts of the address missing so he would stop over and ask someone. A local pedestrian didn't know the way either and pointed us to the next tourist information where our complications began.

We called our hotel in order to find out the complete address, but all the unfriendly receptionist told us was that there was no booking from us and that the hotel was full so he couldn't offer us anything. When Jack told him that we had already paid for three nights and also had confirmation, the man hung up.

The guy in the tourist information showed sympathy for our situation. He called up many more hotels and agencies to finally inform us that in all of Delhi there were no rooms available due to the Shiva festival. Okay, so no rooms in the whole city - sounded a bit strange but what could we do. We had arrived in this new, dirty, chaotic city and had no clue where exactly we were or where we could go. We believed him.

Our next idea was to take a train straight to Agra and skip the whole Delhi experience. The city didn't seem very friendly anyway. The tourist guy checked transport online and showed us that for the next week everything was fully booked. So there we were, no place to stay, no way to get out of the city and apparently private taxis are too dangerous for tourist to take.

Maybe it sounds silly saying it now but at that minute we both felt so helpless and frustrated. It all sounded very strange because now our only option was to book a chauffeur that would take us to different cities within the next days, all accommodation included, for a lot of money. Like I said, something sounded seriously wrong, but if there was something dodgy going we had very little option. If we had at least prepared our trip a little... My only thought at that time was why had we made the decision to come to India? I had enough of this trip and of getting screwed over and of bedbugs and dirty rooms and just everything. All I wanted was to be at home. Jack felt similar.

We were just about agreeing to the expensive deal with the chauffeur when another tourist couple came over to us. They had exactly the same problem and asked if we wanted to share a private taxi to Jaipur to at least get out of the city.
How dangerous could it be with four people? We agreed. We just needed a plan and to get out of that sticky tourist information. But even that plan failed to turn into action in the end.

The tuktuk driver, who was supposed to take us all to a private taxi, also told us how dangerous it is for tourists. What agenda could he have to lie to us? We believed him and went into a government operated office to book a taxi there. It wasn't crazy expensive but we were also provided with some other options that we preferred. So we ended up having the government tourist information sort everything out for us - trains and accommodation - until we end up in Mumbai. Apparently because it is run by the government they have certain rights for trains and accommodation while for everyone else it is booked out. I don't care anymore whether that is true or not.

I'm sure we still spent too much money but I also don't care about that. We have sorted it out, got our trains, our hotels and all we hope for now is that nothing else comes in our way and we can enjoy the next two weeks.

Today we checked out New Delhi - from the safety of a car. We needed this one day safe behind some glass before we can personally face the chaos.


P.s. God knows when we will be able to upload the pictures. Maybe one day within the next to week we will find a computer. One day.
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