Bit of a mixed day really.
We slept really late and when we got up we weren’t quite sure what to do.
So we took a walk down the main road toward the market. It was hot, dusty, very busy and extremely noisy. Everywhere there was traffic and it didn’t seem to have any structure. At the major junctions cars, Tuk-Tuks and rickshaws all jostled for places with scooters and people. It was a ‘Dog eat Tuk Tuk’ environment and no one gave ground.
The poverty is ever present. Litter piles up on every corner. Mangy dogs keep one eye (some only have one eye) on the traffic whilst foraging amongst the waste for food.
Workers take on tasks with basic often inappropriate tools.I watched a guy chasing out a wall ready for an electric cable or a water pipe, using only a claw hammer and a wood chisel.
Old children’s toys are recycled, repaired and resold in shabby little workshops that are no bigger than my greenhouse.
We were swamped with hawkers trying to sell fake watches, Sun glasses and of all thinks, rugs and blankets. Sadly one or two were very persistent and wouldn’t take ‘NO’ for an answer. A far cry from the pleasant banter with the street traders in Thailand.
So we cut short our expedition and returned to the Hotel for lunch.
The food was pretty good though the ambiance of the roof top restaurant left a lot to be desired.
We are being cautious about what we eat and drink, and perhaps just as importantly, what we eat with and drink from. But there is only so much you can do without being paranoid.
We did watch one of the staff fill a jug with chilled water from a big chilling machine, drink straight from the jug, then put it back ready to serve iced water to the guests, which does demonstrate the sort of challenges a tourist faces here.
At 6 pm we met up with our fellow travellers most of whom are late twenties early thirties making us the oldies. Most are from the UK though there is one couple (Aric pronounced like Eric but with an A) and his partner Marta from Norway.
After our introductions and some more mandatory form filling (mainly replicating all the other paperwork we’ve already done) we all set off for a local restaurant. unfortunately our Guide who calls himself Roma (or some thing similar) took us on a hike through the now dark but just as frantic streets pointing out on route a cash machine, big news here in Delhi and a Hindu shrine that looked very much like a Ratner’s jeweler in Bedminster, before eventually stopping at the Restaurant.
The food was very different to that which were familiar with in the Frampton Balti with the majority of meals being vegetarian. Paneer being the main ingredient.
Jaki and I both went for Chicken dishes which were OK but had very little heat and if I’m honest wasn’t very tasty. Sad to come all the way to India only to find they cant cook Curry properly.
I asked if there was any chilli and they brought fresh green chilli’s on sticks which was novel and our group seemed to enjoy.
We made some initial chit-chat with our fellow traveller but did I ‘Feel the Love’ immediately? I wonder whether we will make any friend here or whether the gap is just too wide?
Time will tell.
I managed to get Roma to book Jaki and I a Taxi for the return journey though none of our fellow travellers wanted to share with us, preferring instead to continue the walk.
I suspect we will find ourselves taking our own path again before the week is out.