24.03.2015 - 24.03.2015
Namaste from Delhi! This city is unlike any other I've ever been to. It's just constant mayhem. When I arrived at the airport, the cab drive to my hostel was hilarious (to me anyway!). There are road markings down on the streets, but they just drive on the lines, or wherever there's space, and when it comes to traffic lights they all just pile up together, tuk tuks, cars, motorbikes, vans...you just barge your way through, no relenting! I was amazed at the lack of bumps and scrapes. It was brilliant to watch. On a three lane road, there will be a row of 6 cars at the lights. It takes some getting used to! The drivers use their horns instead of their brakes! It's like they'll just take whichever path through the traffic they want to, lay on their horns, to say 'I'm coming through MOVE' and go. You have to have to be utterly ruthless to drive in India.
One thing that surprised me was how green the city is. Once you get out of the hubbub of the middle, there are trees and parks all over the place. I leant that Delhi is one of the greenest cities in India - a conscious effort to try and reduce the effects of the awful pollution. It sure makes for a beautiful city though.
Having arrived at my hostel, to a large 6-bed empty room, I plucked up the courage to venture out on my own. It was scary, but not threatening in any way, just lots of looks and the occasional comment. More intimidating that threatening. I then met a very lovely guy in the street who was kind enough to walk with me, and tell me what not to do, and where not to go. He then hailed a tuk tuk to take me to the tourist office, at the bargain price of 20p! Once there, I was convinced, possibly all too easily(!!) into hiring a driver to take me up to a place called Rishikesh, which is a yoga retreat up in the mountains for a couple of days. It turns out, this would be the best decision. But more on that later.
Heading back to the hostel, I realised I was real hungry, and wanted to explore the area to find some food, but I was so scared about going out on my own!! Eventually, another girl arrived at the hostel, who has just finished a trek to Everest Base Camp, so we went out for some dinner together. Things are far less scary with 2!! My first taste of real Indian food. We had some butter chicken and some aloo gobi, potato in spinach. It tasted much better than it looked! It was bright green, and nothing like the Aloo Gobi I've had at home! But it was food, and after my long flight and stressful day of crazy Delhi exploring it was goooood! After dinner it was back to the room to repack my bag ready for the 8.00am pick up to head to the mountains!