09.08.2014 33 °C
The road to Dehli from Agra, was a great disappointment to me, but Bill and Vinay were very happy about it. The road was less than a year old and was like a motorway in the UK. The price to use the road was more expensive than other roads and consequently we saw about ten other cars on our three hour journey. That was the problem for me, we didn't see any cows, camels, water buffaloes, vans filled to capacity or people on the roadside. The roads in India have been a great joy to me as all life goes on on the roads and are a joy to travel on. Since Vinay picked us up in Ahmedabad on the fifteenth of August, we have traveled 2,734 miles with him, which is pretty good for two people who really don't like travelling in a car; 2,734 miles is equivalent to travelling to Malta and back from the UK.
So, we have arrived at our final destination. We have heard a lot about Delhi and not all of it positive, but we absolutely love it; it is our favorite Indian city. It is a very green city, with lots and lots of trees. It is quite unbearably hot here, as the monsoon still has not arrived and people are quite desperate for the rain. Vinay dropped us off at The Marigold (not as in the film) and we said our goodbyes. Ramesh, who organised our trip around Gujarat for us, welcomed us at the Marigold and plied us with gin, whilst we chatted to him and Paveen, not forgetting Brandy the dog. We were originally going to spend two nights at the Marigold, but decided to head for the Imperial hotel a day early as it is nearer tourist attractions, allowing us to spend our last three nights in what is said to be the best hotel in India (Bill, would beg to differ, he has already fallen out with them about our fridge, which is heating everything up).
We have been travelling around with some material for a few weeks, waiting for an opportunity to find a tailor. So yesterday afternoon, we headed to a tailor, which was recommended to us. We have not had a good experience with tailors previously, so we left the material with some trepidation. We returned this afternoon and we are both really pleased with our clothes and the brilliant work the tailor has done on them; our faith in tailors has been restored. What has been good is we have been using tuk tuks again. We had a driver yesterday, that tried to play us the whole journey, we had agreed a price and he kept moaning about the heat (mopping his head and sighing) and then moaning and moaning about the traffic (it was bad), when we got out of the tuk tuk, he was quite surprised we gave him the originally agreed amount. Bill says I am going to continue to haggle with everybody, when we get home!
Tomorrow is Raksha Bandhan. All the shops today have been full of people buying things for the festival. It is a Hindu festival meant to tighten the bond between brother and sister. Sisters tie a thread on the wrist of their brothers. The festival is celebrated to protect brothers from evil things and sisters also pray to God for the well being and long life of their brothers. Sisters wear new clothes and do not eat until they tie the rakhi on their brothers wrist. The brothers give gifts on Rakhi (usually money) as tokens of love and blessings to their sisters. So, Happy Raksha Bandhan, Nick and Myles.
Tomorrow, we have a day of sightseeing planned.