11.08.2014 36 °C
Well, the title really should be 'How not to sightsee in Delhi'. Yesterday morning we got up bright and early to catch a 'hop on, hop off bus'. Leaving the hotel, we were met with a gauntlet of taxi drivers and tuk tuk drivers offering us all sorts of different journeys. We eventually got into a tuk tuk and insisted they took us to the bus stop. This was about the last time we had any control on the day. The tuk tuk driver and his mate (sitting on the same seat as the driver), were telling us because it was Raksha Bandhan (brother and sister day) everything was closed and we should use them to take us sightseeing, but we kept insisting we went to the bus stop. We got to the 'bus stop' and they told us to go into the office and find out about the bus. We went into this strange office, where this man rang the 'bus company' and told us they were not running that day and our best bet to see anything was to use the tuk tuk driver. We came outside (Bill was in a foul mood with them) and we got back into the tuk tuk and told them to take us back to the hotel. It was a terrible journey, Bill was refusing to talk to them and they spent the journey trying to get me to agree to use them for sightseeing. I kept telling them to take us back to the hotel, they kept trying to persuade us to use them for the day and I kept falling out with Bill for being so rude to them; he was furious we had spent sixty rupees on the journeys (sixty pence).
We did eventually get back to the hotel, Bill spoke to the hotel, who told us the bus was running and most of the taxis and tuk tuks outside the hotel were touts and we had literally been taken for a ride. By this time I had no desire to go on the bus and said I wanted to get an old fashioned taxi, Bill eventually agreed to this and the hotel sorted it out for us. We agreed a price with the taxi driver and gave him a list of places we wanted to see....then down came the rain. We wanted to go to the Lotus Temple and sat in traffic on a bridge for over an hour (in the pouring rain) as the road was flooded at the bottom. The roads were littered with cars, bikes and tuk tuks which had broken down. When we eventually got to the temple, the queue to get in was phnominal, with an estimated two hour wait, so we turned back. It did stop raining, but all the roads were still flooded. The driver took us to Humayun's tomb, which we had on our list, and it exceeded our expectations . By now our arranged four hours was virtually over with the taxi and we had to go back to the hotel.
This morning, our final day in India and the final day of our travels, we decided to spend the morning next to the pool and then go sightseeing in the afternoon. There is no rain today and it is extremely hot. We went outside the hotel to try and get a tuk tuk to Chandi Chowk and the driver proceeded to tell us it was closed today, but he could take us to this big shopping centre near there, we walked away from him and he started to say he just remembered the chowk is open today, but we keep walking. Going back into the hotel, we arrange a taxi, which was half the price the tuk tuk driver quoted. The taxi driver proceeded to tell us, that everyone outside the hotel is a crook, apart from him and we should use him for the day! We eventually get him to drop us off and we were immediately surrounded by people telling us various things are closed and we needed to come with them. Natalie had told us, we should get a guide to take us around the chowk (market), but we didn't; consequently we couldn't really find our way around and it was hot, so hot. After walking around for about an hour, we decided to head back to the hotel as I was feeling I'll with the heat. The tuk tuk driver gave us such a low quote to take us back to the hotel, we doubled it!
We are all packed, seats have been booked on the plane, taxi booked to the airport and we are feeling very sad, but tomorrow we return home. We shall write a final blog when we get home, to round everything up, but we have had the time of our lives (que song).