Delhi, India
28° 39' N 77° 13' E
May 06, 2009 18:38
Distance 6898km

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Text written in: English

Day one - wasn't that fun?

Hi folks. Well, we've arrived in India and still talking! Got the goodbyes over and done with at Glasgow and got on or transfer to Heathrow. Landed at Terminal one, gad a final cheesburger and chips then got the train to the infamous T5 (carrying our own luggage just in case). Went through some fun customs searches and finally got on to the plane for Indira Ghandi Airport in India.

 8 sleepless hours of other people's smelly feet, entertainment system not working properly, crying baby, curry / some strange sort of unrecognisable goo for dinner and something not dissimilar for breakfast, we arrived not very bright eyed or bushy tailed in India. Now just the Swine Flu screening process, the hugely complicated customs form and bag collection to go!

 Got the bags, managed to work out how to pre pay a taxi from the airport 'so they don't rip you off' and then realised we'd need to get soem money. Success, the cash card works int he machine, how much do we need? Ah, okay so how much is a Rand then, and how much is it in real terms in India? A random guess at 2000 seemed to provide us with some suitably large notes that we barely managed to get any change from the taxi booking office. Still, armed with our new found international traveller experience we ventured forth from air conditioned airport to, suddenly, the real India... Hot, jam packed with people wanting to take our bags or drag us into a taxi, basically, a scene I'd only ever seen on TV before.

 One dodgem ride later through teh carnage that is India's road system - apparently driving down the pavement, making five lanes out of the two that are marked on the road and randomly swerving into the path of other traffic is the only way to get anywhere. Needless to say, with our worldly wise answers, telling the taxi driver that this was our first visit, we were not meeting friends anywhere and were only staying in Delhi for two days we were promptly taken for an elaborate trip around the city in preparation for a scam. After stopping to ask several people for directions and having to go to a 'tourist information office' we were told by the nice man that our hotel had double booked and couldn't take us. Despite our insistence that we be dropped off at the hotel and we woudl sort it out from there, we found ourselves sitting in a Delhi back street with (allegedly) no accomodation and no hope of getting any in the middel of the ntional elections. Fortunately - and although we didn't actually have to call him, the production of a local contact name and number miraculously resulted in the 'tourist agency' being able to find the hotel - so Manoj, despite not having to do anything, thanks a million!

 Anyway, we're now ensconced in a typical backpackers sort of hotel (see photos) in the middle of what seems to be a rather dodgy area. So been for a very short walk, plan is go for a swim just now, then tomorrow try to hire a car and driver to take us around the race track.

 Bye for now.

 

Photos / videos of "Day one - wasn't that fun?":

"T5 Ready for the off" "first hostel accomodation!!"