We checked our sacks in at Dubai airport (thinking this may become a common theme) and had a delicious Thai meal before we boarded. The three hour flight was filled with conversation from the lovely Indian man sat next to Chris, who taught him Indian phrases that were quickly forgotten. On arrival everything was fine, sacks arrived safe so we set off to the metro.
As we left New Delhi metro station we were greeted with a blanket of ‘tuk tuks’ and people sleeping homelessly on the streets. Pushing this to the back of our minds as it was expected we just wanted to find our way to our hotel. A kind tuk tuk driver told us it was just over the bridge and he would not waste our money driving us there but warned us that the bridge may be shut because of something to do with the government and to go back to him if this was the case. Making our way to the bridge by weaving in between traffic as you would expect we indeed found it was shut! We came across another kind man who told us that we needed a tourism pass to move around Delhi for the next four days as there were government elections taking place. So he guided us back to a tuk tuk so we could get our pass. Here we met the original tuk tuk man (the chances of that occurring seemed slim in the ocean of tuk tuks) and he took us to get a pass…
We arrived at an Indian tourism building and had a seat with the man there, who offered us Chai! He said that Delhi was ‘closed’ whilst the elections were on and we would not be able to do tourist things or find a place to stay, also informing us that our hotel was probably cancelled too. Which we called and that was confirmed. As you can probably guess, this was less than ideal, especially at 11pm!
We expected things to not go to plan for our entire journey, especially when in India but perhaps hadn’t expected it quite so early on. We both knew to keep our wits about us in these sort of circumstances but we were in a vulnerable position, however we agreed a city closure was too much to fake and were reassured by the receipts that were about and just the fact that it was a real building. So we went ahead with the suggestions of the tourism company and left Delhi that night to head for Jaipur with an Indian driver who would guide us for the next five days, departing with us in Agra on Thursday.
This meant spending around half our Indian budget for 10 days stay without the additional food costs and not doing things the way in which we wanted. But we arrived safely in Jaipur at 6am Indian time and looked forward to a few hours sleep. In the grand scheme of things going wrong, I think we did quite well!
Sorry for the lack of pictures, just wanted to inform you of the first low in our trip but onwards and upwards from here. Welcome to life in India!