It may sound a little far fetched but let me assure you, nothing I say here is fabricated, and this is something I’ve said to people when I’ve been telling them about our time in India.
“Let me begin with, nothing I say about our time away is exaggerated..”
J and I chose to go to India as it was one place neither of us have been before, and we have both covered a fair bit of ground in this here ole’ crazy world, so we made a list of some places we haven’t been and that we would like to.
India was quite high on J’s list, and no so quite on mine. However after we talked through a little bit of trepidation on my part, we decided that was where we were going to holiday/explore for our main vacation of 2012. We also picked Thailand as our other destination, to chill out before we came home.
I told J that I was really happy to go an explore the world of India, but I would prefer if we did an organised trip, So we researched and booked a 8 day tour, exploring what tourists have coined the “Golden Triangle” (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur), I also added in Rathambhore because I found out about a Safari you could do and thought that would be a once in a lifetime kinda thing, especially considering India is one of the only places that Tigers actually originate from.
I had anticipated the cities to be quite decent and the in betweens to be the slight shock, and I thought I was pretty well prepared, seeing pictures, hearing others stories etc.
Nothing can prepare you.
Arriving in Delhi, we got picked up from the airport and taken to our hotel, the next 25 minutes of my life, I was sure I was going to die, about 42 times. This was our first introduction to “No rules India”. Something we would see much much more of, and funnily enough, get used to through the day.
Delhi was out of control, more people than you can ever imagine, more cars than you can imagine, more dogs than you can imagine and due to a festival in the coming days “Bakrid”, more goats than you can imagine. Not just your average goats though, these babies have been groomed and primed and .. I believe some may be pumped with steroids.. see for yourself.
The smog was thick, so thick, I thought I was going to have an asthma attack within the first few hours we were outside. Time ticked on, and thankfully, you got used to it. But, it was so thick that sometimes you couldn’t make out something that was 100 meters away.
The ‘India gate’ was high and mighty and once you got past the smog, it was really beautiful, in an area of gardens that was looked after really well, which we didn’t realise was such a rarity in India. While visiting the India Gate, J and I got accosted by some Indian children who wanted to take pictures with us, as we had somehow just turned into the local attraction!
We spent our day exploring new and old Delhi, old Delhi saw us take to a bicycle rickshaw, ridden by a local round the streets, seeing some amazing things and also seeing things that cannot be unseen, the poor lying in the middle of the road, people taking a poo on the side of the road, a family of 6 hooning past on the one motorbike, rabid dogs, elephants, buffaloes wandering around aimlessly. But, let me clarify, this wasn’t JUST in old Delhi, this theme carried its way through the entirety of our trip…
New Delhi held a bit of charm, the Presidents Palace was stunning, grand and enormous and it really stood out in comparison to the half built houses and shacks set up on the side of the road for the majority of the rest of Delhi. It proves to you just how far apart the poor are from the rich. There really doesn’t seem to be an in between.
We walked around the site where Ghandi’s ashes lay and again there, the gardens were magnificently groomed and kept so spick and span, you felt like you had somehow made it into another country all together, compared to what awaited right outside the entrance gate.
I took some time out and wandered away from J and our guide and watched 4 woman work tirelessly within the gardens, weeding in fact, bare hands, bare feet, miniature shovels, direct sun light. I watched them contently go about their job, which I found out later on, sees them take home a salary of about 10AUD a day which is enough to feed a family, for that day..
The day in Delhi enthralled and exhausted me, it exhausted all my senses, everything had been working on overdrive, sight and smell had gotten the work out of a lifetime, and it would not be stopping there…
Linking in with Mrs IBOT herself for the infamous.. you guess it, IBOT! The community is thriving, have a peek for yourself.