Thursday, 1 November 2012

Connaught Place, India Gate and Train tickets!

Today I decided I just wanted a slightly more chilled day than yesterday, and I had resigned to the fact that I probably won’t get to see most of the sights, but I was ok with that, as I mainly just wanted to see Delhi rather than do all the touristy things which were all over the place!

So I woke up late again, my toilet didn’t flush so I resorted to the whole, bucket of water flushing mode haha. I went back to the tourist office to book my train tickets to Rishikesh, which turned out were fully booked until the 5th, but lucky for me I was able to get one of the last tickets which are reserved for foreigners. So I booked my train there and my train back on Monday 12th for the start of the tour. I leave Friday 2nd November at 6.50am from New Delhi Station, arriving at Haridwar Junction at 11.30am or something, the train back to Delhi on 12th November arrives back for around 11.30am too. I’ll then have to get a short bus from Haridwar to Rishikesh.

I’m quite looking forward to Rishikesh as it will hopefully be a little less toxic and extreme as Delhi – it’s more laid back being the yoga capital and is ‘the countryside’.  I’ve only been in Delhi two and a half days and I am already developing a small cough from the thick pollution so I am looking forward to slightly ‘fresher’ air though I’m sure not many places in India have ‘fresh’ air! I hope to do some yoga, meditation classes and see Haridwar and maybe Dehundran.

So once that was booked (I have to collect the tickets tonight), I also got myself a room at the Bhandari Swiss Cottage for 400 rupees a night (£4.60), as there weren’t any cheaper available, but if any become available during my 9 night stay they will move me if I wish. But to be honest if it’s a decent enough room, £4.60 a night is nothing!! The other rooms are only about a £1 cheaper, so we’ll see how I go. Bhandari is supposed to be a backpacker favourite about 20mins walk from Lahksman Jhula (main part of Rishikesh). It has an internet cafe, restaurant and does yoga sessions too.

Right, so my day today was definitely more laid-back. I walked from the tourist office to Connaught Place, the more commercial part of Delhi. I bought myself a book for the train journey (320 rupees) – Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed, the sequel to Eat, Pray, Love. And just casually browed the shops and the circle, sat in the ‘central park’ for a bit while deciding what to do next. I decided to take the metro at Rajiv Chowk from Connaught Place to India Gate, just for a look and a picture. I was going to walk the Raj Path when I got there, but it’s longer than Pall Mall, so I just got a tuk tuk for 50 rupees to get me there. All the government buildings are in this area and you can tell it’s definitely more up-market than the area I’m staying in hehe. 

I then got a tuk tuk back to my hotel as it was getting on about 4pm, not without a quick stop to this ‘amazing shop’ he knew – I just went in, walked around and came back out again. And then got some details about how I was to get to my train tomorrow. They will get one of the hotel drivers to take me there free of charge at 6am – youch! So I have enough time to find my platform etc. So that’s a lovely 5.30am wake up call, luckily I should have an air conditioned Chair Car ticket for the train, so may be able to kip for a bit – pah, use my backpack as a seat cushion and my bag as a pillow!

Now I’m just writing up my blog, waiting til I can go and collect my tickets, before dinner, last bit of packing (I’m doing well actually) and an early night!! Tomorrow is an entirely new experience – the Indian Railway and a local bus, I shall let you know how I fair!

1 comment:

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