What have I gotten myself into?

Trip Start Dec 07, 2009
Trip End Sep 26, 2010

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Flag of India  ,
Saturday, April 17, 2010

This place is scary. I arrived late at night, and quickly was hit by a heatwave as we had to take the airbus from the tarmac into the airport.

After customs, I found a prepaid taxi to take me to my hotel. The roads here are dirty and broken and filthy and there is dirt and dust and animals everywhere. It is very smelly. My first impression of Delhi is not good. The driving is crazy, even more so than in Thailand. There are no lines in the road here, or rules, everyone just honks at each other constantly, for no apparent reason, and uses every inch of the road possible. Accidents are common.

I made it to my hotel only to find it was full, and they found me another hotel but made me pay through the roof prices. This was a scam and I knew it but since it was midnight and it definitely did not look safe or welcoming outside I went with the porters to a new place down the road and settled in. Did I stress that everything is dirty here? Well it is. I got the random hotel knock on the door at about 6 am that I had heard about so I just stayed silent and said nothing and it went away. No possible way I was opening that door!

Anyways, the next day was better. I wandered back to my original hotel and checked into my room at noon. The room was much nicer and I felt safe here. It had working air-con and was nice and tidy. It is 45 degrees outside. This is hot for a Canadian boy.

I met my group that night and felt a little more comfortable with India. It seems like a good group of people and I like our guide, his name is Nagendra but we call him Nee2. To welcome us to India we wander around the streets and marketplace of Karol Bagh. It is still craziness outside and like nothing I have ever experienced. We stop for a nice dinner at a relatively upscale restaurant. This is nice. I enjoy the food and the local Kingfisher beer. We have an early night and I get a much better sleep.

The next day we take the subway to Old Delhi. The subway is insane. Imagine fitting 30 people in a small elevator. This is how cramped it is. It is nearly impossible for the doors to slide shut and sometimes security guards have to come and push the people inside so the doors can close properly. After about 30 minutes of this, we make it. We make a stop at the largest mosque in Delhi, then wander down random back alleys avoiding cows, honking motorbikes, and people. There are "shops" advertising anything and everything and a lot of colorful items being sold. We then make a stop at a Sikh temple and learn a bit about the religion. All in all a fairly informative little excursion, but the crowdedness of it all was nice to get away from when we made it back to the hotel. We killed a few more hours at the hotel with the lovely lovely air-con, then took off for the train station at about 4 in the afternoon. More crazy driving through the streets of Delhi in a taxi and an hour later we made it to the train station. It was much like the rest of Delhi, crowded and dirty. Finally our train arrived an hour late and we boarded heading for Jaisalmer, directly west and directly into the desert.

The train was actually pretty nice, decently comfortable and it had air-con in our sleeper carriage, so even though it was 20 hours until we reached Jaisalmer, it wasn't too bad! More adventures to come.

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