Hello India – New Delhi

Delhi was our first stop in India. We arrived around midnight and managed to dodge our first scam at the airport when it came to taxi’s. It appears there’s only one prepaid taxi booth with two very loud guys that call you over but after quoting us 1,400 rupees we knew something cheaper had to be around. Luckily we found another prepaid booth for 460 rupees… much better. We were staying in Paharganj which is the main bazaar and also known as by tourists as the ghetto of Delhi. Driving down it at 1am was interesting… it was very dark, quiet and almost a bit apocalyptic. There were also lots of rickshaw drivers were sleeping either on their rickshaws or on the ground. Quite sad to see and definitely a little culture shock to see so many of them (30 odd) in a row together on the ground. After a quick walk down this tiny alley the cab refused to go down we made it to our room!img_0717The next day we headed out to explore and oh my gosh had our surroundings changed! They quiet dark street we drove down the night before had completely transformed into a hectic, bustling street of shops that you could hardly walk down! It was full of tuk tuks, rickshaws, scooters, cows and so many people! It was really great though, Charlie and I couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces, we were definitely in India!img_0780We got a rickshaw to take us to Red Fort which was a fun experience. It’s definitely not a comfortable ride on the uneven bumpy roads but Delhi driving and traffic is fun to experience on one of these. They are old and rusty an definitely don’t have gears to help the drivers pull you along but somehow they make it look easy. We arrived at Red Fort (Delhi) and experienced first hand the local/tourist price difference. Locals paid 30 rupees and tourists paid 500. We paid the fee and went around for an hour or so inside, unfortunately we both felt that it was much more impressive from the outside.img_0782After the Fort we ran into a man who wanted to take us to the spice market before we went to the Fort. We thought it would be interesting to see so we told him maybe after the Fort. As soon as we exited he Fort he was there waiting. It was only 200 rupees for an hour tour which we felt we probably could have negotiated but we liked the guy so we said yes. The tour was ok the traffic was bad so it took ages to get to the spice market. Once we got there it was really cool though. Very busy and pungent with smells of spices, chillies and tea. He also took us down cool back alleys and onto rooftops to see other views of the market.img_0846img_0785img_0784 All up until this point was great. Then the polite little man at the start became the cheeky little scammer. He started taking us into shops and it was becoming obvious he must get a cut for us buying stuff, this was when we started getting fed up. It took ages to get back, he rode so slowly and he took a huge detour to all these other shops and monuments we never asked to see. We tried to stop him a couple times to let us off and he kept saying not long etc. So long story short our 1 hour tour for 200 rupees went for 3 hours. He then claimed it was 4 hours and said whatever we want to pay him 1000 – 2000 rupees was fine. We were not happy but agreed that for the 3 hours he took us around we would give him 600 (200 per hour). He wasn’t happy but neither were we so we didn’t budge and walked away. Lesson learnt.

We met up with Ravi and Bhavani for dinner who are mum and Chris’s friends and had a lovely evening. The food at the restaurant was incredible and they gave us so many tips for our trip. They are such lovely people and we hope to see them again if possible before we leave India.

The next day we headed to Humayun’s Tomb which was again 500 rupees for tourists and not much for locals. Classic. I think I should point out here that Charlie and I don’t mind paying more than locals as we can appreciate why it is done, however, it is the ridiculous increase and difference in prices we don’t understand. Anyway back to the tomb… it was pretty interesting. There was a lot of beautiful architecture and lots of different tombs inside.img_0781After the tomb we headed to India gate. It was very busy there but it was nice to see.img_0847We moved on towards Janpath market as Bhavani had recommended a southern Indian place for dinner. We asked the girl next to us to recommend something as we had no idea what any of it was but we ended up with these delicious dosas.img_0747We headed back to Paharganj to look at the shops and head back to our room to pack and book some accommodation for Varanasi!

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