So turns out we’re terrible at keeping up to date with anything and everything! Apologies for the wait!
After Rajasthan we headed for Delhi (our final stop with our extra team member). We got on an overnight train from jodhpur and arrived into Delhi at the ungodly hour of 4am.. Not sure you can classify it as ‘overnight’! Much to our surprise we discovered we could use Uber here and avoid the dodgy scams that are running all across the city. NOTE: don’t let taxi drivers or any one that’s offering help for that matter, take you to the ‘tourist office’, because it is about 99% likely to be fake and you will spend an extortionate amount of money trying to escape the situation. Luckily we avoided this and made our way to Madpackers!
Upon arrival we discovered we couldn’t check in until 2pm so the situation was.. sleeping on the sofas for the next few hours! After several hours of interrupted sleep we were able to check in and discover the beauty of actual comfortable (bunk)beds, with actual proper pillows.. Oh the luxuries!!
We managed a few cultural excursions amongst what turned out to be a messy week in Delhi!
The metro service there was incredibly efficient and very clean.. Not what we expected at all to be honest. Our first visit on the metro was to the Lotus Temple which when you know it’s been designed by the same architect as the Sydney Opera House.. It all kinda makes sense!
Popped into the Dalli Haat market on our way back, which wasn’t a traditional market as such but was still pretty cute. Forked out a grand old 60p each to get in and obviously managed to find a little old lady who did hair braiding (soz mum) for a bargain £1 each!
Acquainted ourselves pretty well with the local wine and beer shop over our stay in Delhi, purchasing many a bottle of Kingfisher and of course Old Monk!
This became our routine before our nights out in Hauz Khas which we did too many times to remember.. And it all kinda became a blur! Not our fault it was either someone’s first or last night at Madpackers! Several karaoke bars, free drinks for ladies and the inevitable visit to Social were the real highlights of Delhi.. Shame on us!
We obviously managed to tie in a trip to Agra and visit the Taj Mahal. Unfortunately we had perhaps had a tipple too many the night before, and 2 hours sleep prior to this was a terrible idea! Roll on 3 hungover Brits on a tour of the Taj! Did not however appreciate a ‘group’ decision to stay there for 5 hours! Once I had my selfie I was ready to leave, only 4hours 55 minutes left to go… Despite being terribly ungrateful due to self pity and self inflicted pain, it was incredible!
Of course it was covered in scaffolding, too good to be true that we would ever get the perfect photo (re. The time we went to take a romantic photo at the Trevi fountain and they’d drained the fucker and covered that, once again, in scaffolding).
We loved our stay in Delhi, mainly due to the wonderful people we met whilst at Madpackers who made the whole experience one to remember! Also a massive shout out to Chewy for aiding our hangovers and the take away menu for saving our souls.. Or maybe the other way round?!
With Delhi out the way, and a hangover that felt like it would never leave it was time for some R&R. To Risikesh we headed with our Aussie pals who were also suffering from their consumption of Old Monk. As a dry town we knew it was time to clean ourselves up and pretend like we came here to do more than get drunk!
We met another guy from Australia who was obviously from Melbourne because that’s where everyone who’s from Australia that we meet is from.. Not sure there’s anyone left there any more?!
Time for an adventure! Life jackets, helmets and oars at the ready.. Off we went white water rafting down the Ganges! Thank god for the lengthy introduction to rafting given purely in Indian… We had NO IDEA what was going on! Safe to say it was going to be an interesting ride!
Not sure it’s a good thing to say you’ve been swimming and cliff jumping in the Ganges but it was a great experience! There was also a moment in the rapids where I nearly fell in.. Jess saw the terror in my eyes as I nearly flew backwards out the raft, but all was well as my feet were firmly in place in the raft..
We’d heard about a daily ritual at the ghats called aarti and decided to go and see what it was all about. Headed down to Triveni Ghat and managed to get ourselves seated in the hustle and bustle of the whole thing and had no idea what was happening! Lots of fire, bells, singing and chanting, finishing with everyone throwing offerings into the Ganges. We made a swift exit after this was over as we felt extremely out of place!
Also had a minor encounter with the law during our stay in Rishikesh, as we’d heard getting into ‘The Beatles Ashram’ was extremely overpriced, but worth a see.. Therefore it seemed like a good idea to hike through the jungle and break into the place! It is also safe to say that I was not wearing the most inconspicuous outfit (bright yellow sunflower top..soz team!) and therefore spotting us jumping the wall wouldn’t have been too difficult. We were first spotted within about 30 seconds however we hid in the toilets and managed to escape to have a good 20/30 minute look around, before security managed to catch up with us again. After a very expensive bribe, we were escorted back out and over the wall and told to ‘have a good day friends’, thank you kind, corrupt officer – and on we went with our day!
After our stay in Rishikesh we were lucky enough to get ourselves a train to Varanasi for Holi festival. Everyone had been trying to head in that direction but were having trouble getting tickets. Not sure how he did it but we found a guy who got us 2nd class a/c (oh how we’d missed this) and into Varanasi the day before the festival began!
Unfortunately we’ve left this so long I’ve now run out of steam to explain the rest of our time in India (oops). I can tell you, never, that Holi in Varanasi was absolutely incredible and such an unforgettable experience – a part of the trip that we will never ever forget! (Despite all the groping.. Which we were warned about, but still very scary!) here’s some pictures instead of our Holi in Varanasi….