Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

low cost housing

main bazaar at night

We weren't sure if we wanted to go back to Delhi. Actually we didn't, but there did not seem to have an easy way to get to Rishikes from Corbett and then there was the issue of a souvenir. In the 10 month of travelling so far we only bought souvenirs once, in Morocco. There we had some specific ideas and saw a good many of those at our first stop. We thought that it would be better to buy at the last stop before flying home, so we did not have to carry it around for another 2 weeks. Yet, we saw nothing simmilar from then on. In India what we had on our mind was a big wood carving of Ganesh, the god with an elephant head and a jovial big belly. We saw some good ones in Delhi, but not in Rajahstan. Not wanting to end up like in Morocco we decided to go back to Delhi.

The trip back was relatively quick. We had to stop in the next state (UP) when we crossed in- there was no state road tax collection along the road we that we entered the state on and had to search for one for an hour in the next bigger town. Good thing that Shyam did so, because we were stopped twice later to check the paper. Considering the we had to pay a goow week's salary for the priviledge of driving on their roads about 3 hours the state might want to make the payment easier, though. This main road that leads east, north east from Delhi is one of the worse when it comes to accidents. We saw burnt out or flipped over vehicles in Rajahstan, too, but here there was a real carnage along the road. Very sad.

Back in Delhi we moved to another hotel (vivek) next door from the old one. I started to work on this website, since last time, after Australia when we had over a month to write up with lots of stops writing became pretty hard only halfway through it.

Next day the two main items, the statue and the train tickets. For the statue we went to the shop that the different states have with their handicraft displayed in them. They are suppose to be fixed price and since we hate to bargain (we really don't want to have a great price, only a fair price). The first one we went in had a few items that were almost right, but not quite and they were more expensive than we wanted to spend. Suprise, as soon as we started to walk out the price felt by 25%!!! Hey, what happened to the fixed prices???? Then again, the statues did not quite grab us and it was still more expensive than hoped. Luckily in another one we found what we wanted and at the price that we thought was right.

Buying the train ticket had its hurdles that was well anticipated after reading Lonely Planet-people approach you, offereing to take you to the ticket office where foreigners are suppose to buy the tickets. They are taking you anywhere, but. We point at the sign, "Ticket office for foreigners", but he is saying that that one is only for bus. Yada yada. He is trying to take us to an outside travel agent. We manage to lose him, but it is only seconds before someone else offers "help". Once we grasp the idea that the help only leads us away and just follow the signs, we are all righ. The office is comfortable. If you ever get into this situation, two things. One, bring your passport. Two, although everyone is sitting, but there is a line- people keep moving their seats as the line moves forward.

After a last dinner with Peter and Krisztian we get out to the railways station. It is very crowded at 10 at night, offering entertainment like watching people trying to get good unassigned seat. Thew process is simple, attack the empty train when it pulls in, before it is stopped. Push harder than the guy next to you. Our second class sleeper is surprisingly comfy, albeit offers no privacy. There is the walkway on one side of the car, right of it wto beths above each other, on the left 3 and 3, not much division between the compartments. Nevertheless is great for the money. We lock the bag in a steel net and to the train (remembering our friend, Holger's story, but many other travellers do the same) and get comfortable. The night goes well until when I and Michelle on the bed under me is woken up by a sudden gush of water. We are soaked in a second; turns out in the morning that the water bottle of the Italian guy above broke. This is the least of our problem, because around the same time an older gentleman next to us decides to have a loud conversation and a smoke. Later he decides to read the paper, so he turns the light on. In the interim the train stops somewhere for over an hour where mosquitos flood the car through the open windows. The ride would have been so good, if not for all these...

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