Saturday, October 17, 2009

If at first you don’t succeed, Chai Chai again

It’s only been a couple of weeks but already it feels like we’ve been here ages, and we already have the smug feeling of being “seasoned travellers”…

After the last post, we quickly found the cheapest bar near our hotel to warm up for our last night in Delhi. We stumbled across a club with a live jukebox – a band made up of a variety of east-asian nationals who took requests. And of course every band is not without their groupies – we made our first Indian mates there, a group from Manali in the North of India, Himalayas who insisted we should travel 13 hours north to visit their home. Tempting though it was, we stuck to our original plan and caught our first train the next day to Agra.

Going for budget over comfort, we have been choosing the cheaper tickets for train rides. It’s no luxury but with a few cups of chai (Indian tea) from the chai-wallah to feed our ever-growing caffeine addictions, the journeys pass fairly quickly, although not helped by the inevitable two hour delay on every train.

The train eventually brought us to Agra which is home to the Taj Mahal. Aside from the Taj and a fort, there is not much of interest in the city and we dubbed it “the second ****hole of India” (after Delhi) during one of our more cynical moments! The Taj itself is a complete contrast – seeing it just after sunrise was brilliant (except for the getting up at 5.30 part) although we appreciated it just as much from our hotel rooftop in the evening whilst drinking a chilled Kingfisher.

As we write this we have also covered a large part of Rajasthan – going east on the train through Jaipur (the pink city), Jodhpur (the blue city) and Jaisalmer (the golden city) where we are now. We’ve now seen enough forts and palaces to last a lifetime but the highlight of each day seems to be the food. It’s turning into a gastro-tour! We used Japipur to relax after the hustle and bustle of Agra and Delhi, Jodhpur was pretty but we had exhausted the city after half a day, however Jaisalmer is a definite favourite city so far. Jaisalmer is a lot cleaner and more laid back (probably due to the heat) and has a more European feel to it. We are still recovering from memorable 2 day camel trek into the Thar desert where we slept on sand dunes under the stars. Tonight we will celebrate Diwali, no doubt with lots of ‘crack’ and food, before heading south to Udaipur tomorrow evening.

We promise to upload some photos when we find an internet cafe with a good enough connection!


Rickshaw driver: Hey, you want ride? Indian helicopter!

Ollie: Yeah, our train was delayed by a couple of hours, not sure why…

Hotel Manager: *acknowledging smile* India!

Mikey (admiring the Taj Mahal): It’s quite big, isn’t it.

Mikey (still admiring the Taj Mahal): It’s not got as much blue as I expected…

Indian guy: India is great but always late…

No comments:

Post a Comment