Well, after a 4 hour bus, a9 hour train and 3 new friends later, we have arrived in the bustling metropolis of Delhi. We apologise for not posting anything in a while but we got pretty comfortable in Dharmasala by just hanging out, watching movies, walking in the mountains and just generally chilling. It is a real travellers enclave with lots of western items, from food to clothing, making us pretty comfortable after roughing it for the 2 weeks previous. In the end, it was pretty hard to leave but our flight was calling and the end of our journey was approaching fast.
We were going to stop on route to Delhi at Armristar - the capital of Punjab - to see the Golden Palace, but seeing that it is, on average, 47 Celsius, we gave it a skip for the cooler climes of Delhi - a chilled 40 degrees. On the plus side, we have been upgraded to a deluxe super duper air con room - bigger than our London apartment - but only after spending a night in a room which resembled a prison cell. It had one 2 ft square window about 6ft up the wall in the corner. It really reminded us of our start in India (the hotel with no windows!) but after some hard complaining and moaning, we are living like kings.
Delhi, on the other hand, is a complete jumble of buildings clumped together, almost held up by leaning on the the building next door. In this city of 10 million people there is no getting away from the crowd and at times it seems they are continually gravitating towards you (or your money!).
Buy this for 10 rupees, take this tour for a 1000 rupees, eat this, try that.... personal space... no!
But for all India's exotic spices, the pervasive smell of Delhi is of urine. Most train stations in India have the scent of urine, as it persistently pushes its way through the cracks in the windows of the train and invades the nostrils. But in Delhi, where the population is massive, the smell gets worse. Every drain and river in Delhi vociferously exudes the same sickly odour, a combination of all forms.. from urine to vomit, damp and rotting food. Add this to the sauna like conditions and you have a nasty assault on the senses.
But for all of this,it is fitting that the city should remind us of these things as our to return to the first world is imminent. Having spent time in the beautiful surroundings of the mountains, you can easily forget the real India - a country epitomised by its capital, Delhi.
Spectacular, infuriating and outrageous, Glorious and dilapidated, beautiful but brutal. We have enjoyed every moment of our trip - even those when any toilet in the world couldn't be close enough at that very moment - and we will never forget the places we have seen and the people we have met. We are sure we will return one day to see the tourist sites of Rajasthan, Varnassi and the Taj Mahal - and all of you are invited.
So, with 12 hours to go.. too hot and too tired to do anything, we are going to enjoy the air conditioning!
Thanks for reading and we will see you all soon...healthy and happy!
Love. peace and 50 rupees....
Ant + Sim