Saturday, 4 April 2015

02 Apr - Arriving in Delhi

The train ride was surprisingly restful and I slept quite well on my top bunk, but considering I was  travelling in the best class of carriage on offer it was pretty shabby and the toilets were a challenge!. Still you could open the door of the carriage and get a good view of the world passing by, and at every station you could hop off and stretch your legs. There was plenty of food on offer but the choice and quality was poor.

I counted 50 of these petrol tankers. At 54 tonnes each (70,000) litres that train is hauling 2,500 tonnes!

When we get to Delhi I fight my way through the scrummage of porters and barrows around the bagggage van. When the door is opened the van is stuffed with sacks of bananas, potatoes and who knows what else and my bike is completely buried. Eventually it is passed out and fortunately there is no real damage (it's only paint!). I hitch on the panniers and am directed to cross the multiple rail tracks and leave through the 'Goods Out' exit. Great!

I never really established which Delhi railway station I would be arriving at but had optimistically booked a hostel 500m from the main 'New Delhi' station. Wrong!  I had 9 km ride through Delhi to get there. It was all boulevards and huge roundabouts........very pleasant riding. It did get more challenging near the hostel but no worse than any other big town in India. It wasn't long before I was in a crowded and busy backpacker hostel, just in time for the wheeling out of the 4pm tea urn! Not for the first time though, I felt absolutely no empathy with the backpacker set. Partly the age difference, but mainly because we seemed to be travelling in a parallel universe. However, the bed was comfy and none of my 5 dorm companions had any anti social habits, unlike the Chinese chap whose bed I'd taken over who managed to get drunk on non-alcoholic beer and raved and ranted the whole night until removed by the management.

Desperate for fruit and veg after 30 hours on the train crap-food diet, I stopped immediately at one of the many veg stalls lining the streets outside the station. First, a whole cucumber, delicious!

Not much room to wiggle your way through here.

Not an accident, just the standard way of getting engine access on these three-wheeler rickshaws

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