Maybe my post should be called New Delhi/Agra because India is a huge country and i guess it would be like somebody visiting NYC and saying they’d seen the USA.  I’ll be honest, when I first got an Indian visa it was because I found a super cheap way to get to Nepal through India.  Then American Airlines cancelled that flight and I found a different way there.  By that time though I already had my visa and damn it if I went to all that trouble to get one I was going to use it.  Also, how could I pass up checking out one of the “wonders of the world” when I was only a couple of hours away.  I had heard many things about visiting India, from the terrific to the terrible so I was pretty much ready for anything, and anything is pretty much what I got. Delhi really is crazy, there are so many people, so much pollution, people drive cars, rickshaws and autorickshaws wherever they want, with no regard for who they hit, and there are just bizarre things everywhere. You can be walking through this scary labyrinth of alleys in a bazaar, people screaming at you to buy their street food with people urinating on the wall right next to it, and then all the sudden there is a nice little, old, temple right there in the alley.  It’s wacky. Ok, so people seem to like the bullet points. Back to that. If you want to see pics from Kath, Delhi and Agra here they are.

  • We did not get out of Lukla on the first day but thankfully do to some creative wrangling on my part we switched tickets and made it out to Kathmandu the second day
  • Lukla is the  craziest airport I’ve ever seen. No security, nobody knows when planes are coming (not even the guy who ran the airport), total chaos
  • When you finally get on a plane you go down a short steep runway and it feels like a rollercoaster ride. It seemed like we lifted off right as the plane ran out of tarmac
  • Being back in Kathmandu was culture shock.  Thamel is a interesting place and caters to tourists, it felt almost like home
  • Flying into Dehli was cool because you could see the big mountains on the way
  • Delhi airport had the most modern bathrooms I’d seen in almost a month
  • I decided that when I got to Delhi I needed to get myself together so I splurged and got a real hotel room
  • When I got to the hotel they were working on my rooms AC so they moved me to a suite at no charge.  So I had a huge bed, a couch, a shower, a tv and even a fishtank. $32 on Not bad
  • Riding in the back of an autorickshaw through a bazaar is also like an amusmant park ride. With vehicles swarming on all sides of you/
  • Bike rickshaws crashed into me three times already
  • I’m not generally a big fan of Indian food but I have to admit, the food here is amazing.  The first day I got pointed to this place that turned out to be in my guide as the best Dosas in Delhi and they really were amazing. And super cheap
  • Speaking of super cheap and tasty: street food.  I was pretty hesitant to eat it but a couple of the guides I read said that if you didn’t try it your really missing out. So I gave  it a shot and its pretty amazing.  For 10 rupee (about a quarter) you can get these potato/pepper burgers called vada pav
  • After a month on the road, eating dal bhat for breakfast, drinking water spiked with iodine that had random stuff floating in it, the spiciest thing I’ve ever tasted (yak momo soup) chased with offbrand red bull and now Delhi street food I’ve had no real stomach or GI distress.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, as I know some of that stuff can kick in later but right now I’m thinking that years of eating in DC dive restaurants has paid off
  • My first night in town was a Thursday and my guide book said that on Thursday nights after dusk there was singing at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah so I thought I’d check it out
  • There was some singing but if I was writing the guide that would not have been my focus: the temple is in this crazy bazaar, I left my shoes with this very dirty kid and he gave me a knit white hat and charged me ten rupees. I then walked through this maze of scary beggers, women screaming and crying, and other assorted madness till I got to the courtyard and saw the singers.
  • I was one of maybe 5 non-Indians that I saw out of probably about 1000 people. It was definitely interesting
  • Taj Mahal is truly beautiful but it is just a building and might be hard to live up to the hype
  • I had orininally planned to go to Jaipur, Varnessi and Darjeeling but I had no idea that you needed to buy the train tickets so far in advance because all the good routes sell out weeks in advance.  Being on the trek I couldn’t plan this out properly
  • That being the case I decided to bail earlier then planned and bought a ticket to Bangkok
  • If I come back to India I will do it right and spend more time here, buy train tickets in advance and probably get the hell right out of the big cities
  • As far as Delhi and Agra I’m putting them in the category of “I’m glad I came and saw them, but as of right now I don’t think I’ll have a strong desire to see them again”
  • Right now I’m sitting in an internet cafe, I already checked out of my hotel and Im going to get some food and then go to the airport for a 5:30am (did you know they flew that early?) to Bangkok. I figured if the first was that early I might as well spend the night at the airport. Wish me luck.

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