After Bharatpur we headed back to Delhi. Where we would then fly into Kerala. Finding the hotel was incredibly difficult. Hardest days travel & hotel find yet. Train delayed 1 hour. Previously blogged about fish bowl experiences. This one was very uncomfortable.
Huge train arrived & was about to set off before we were able to find our carriage. We jumped on any carriage & then unable to locate our seat we asked the train conductor which carriage we belonged to. Eventually we were told we were ten carriages down. We set off with back packs smacking every seat as we passed. Catherine's backpack belt was not buckled & she accidentally twatted a sleeping man straight in the face. Looking back there was a lot of humour in that. For us of course, not sleeping beauty.
Four hour train journey later we arrived in Delhi & were immediately swarmed upon. I couldn't help but look back to when I got off the train in Venice & compare the two. Beautiful canals, boats & beautiful people. Delhi was like a garlic press & I was the clove. We battled our way through & jumped into a rickshaw. Thirty kilometre roller coaster ride later we were dumped outside a police station. Our hotel was apparently three hundred meters away. Yeah whatever. The driver had stopped a few times before dumping us like rubbish to ask for help with directions. Why he asked men carrying hammers for no good reason is beyond me but in any case no one knew where the damn hotel was. Our phones had no signal so was forced to rely on people from the street.
We asked everyone & was sent nowhere. We eventually found someone who did send us in the right direction. We then found another & he called the hotel. "Go to the syndicate bank" we were told "someone there will know where we are". No one at the bank knew where they were. At this point Catherine was as close to breaking down as I have seen here during these types of situations. I told here to keep tough & we marched across the road to a shop and then asked the shop keep if I could use his phone. The shop owner claimed to know the hotel. His directions lead to a dead end where a man appeared & helped us the best he could. He took us to another shop & they called the hotel for the second time. The hotel manager appeared within 2 minutes on his motorcycle. He lead us back to the dead end. We cut through & then before our eyes was our hotel (see above pic)
We were exhausted but ready to kill. Within half an hour of the famous Indian hospitality we were both completely chilled. Free water, tea & coffee. Even had a bath! It was a tiny bath mind. I felt like one of those cowboys from an old western movie. But relaxing all the same.
The hotel was great & so were the people. The room was extremely clean. In the evening we were brought take out from an excellent local restaurant. The breakfast the following morning was brilliant. One week of spicy food left us craving something a little tamer. We had the best scrambled eggs & toast!
I asked the manager where the nearest post office was & he said "I will take you on my motorcycle" Erm, yeah ok cool. Whizzing around Delhi on the back of the bike? Too much fun to say no to. Sorry Mum :) Oh and the post office was closed of course.
So yeah this is just one example of how India can one minute kick you in the nuts then make everything all right the next. This has pretty much been our North Indian experience so far. For every nonsense there is something breathtaking, for all the crap there is beauty.