Following on from a lonely couple of days in Jodhpur where I befriended a man selling ribbon for interaction that went beyond;
‘which country, what is your good name and are you married’
I was very much looking forward to my friend Karens arrival; for a two whole weeks!
I had started to develop a strange travelers patois, dropping words, speaking slowly and using sentence constructions which would make any English teacher shudder. As soon as she walked through the door I couldn’t stop, jabbering in fast unhindered English like I’d not seen another person for years!
I was also doubly delighted to be back in Delhi where I started, (much to my surprise, most people I’d met visibly recoil in horror at the memory) with Shanali, owner and host extraordinaire of Sham Nath Villa. After settling in we set off for India gate, a tame introduction to the city..
‘I am going to die’
Said Karen as we careered a couple of inches too close to a bus that was trying to barge another car out of the way.
Oh it’s fine Just think of it as ‘intuitive’ driving I said, they always seem to know when to get out of the way just in time!
Secretly though I was feeling slightly guilty knowing that I’d booked us on to the Delhi cycle tour in a couple of days time and Karen hadn’t ridden a bike since she was 10..
The following day we took the train to go and see the most beautiful building in the world. I’d heard a visit to Agra described as ‘agro’ many times owing to the hassle and was dubious, but when we approached the Taj glistening a bold brilliant white against the clear blue sky we fell in love, and couldn’t keep our eyes off it all day.
Riding the rails
We had to fight some touts for this one….
The UN called….Angelina Jolie would like her job back…
After our sample tour of the north it was back to Tushar (read: surrogate Indian family) my tower of support in navigating trains, buses and a manner of other indian idiosyncrasies, for a final goodbye before flying south to Goa, where the fun could really begin..