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Pahar Gang, New Delhi.

INDIA | Wednesday, 17 September 2008 | Views [1114]

12/09/2009 - 17/09/2008

Pahar Gang, New Delhi.

Using Shai's planet, we navigated our way to Pahar Gang, the Main Bazaar. It wasn't exactly fast, but we were here. 5 1/2 hrs of buses, 38 on the train, then another to get to Pahar Gang - nearly 2 full days of travel. I was tired, sore, hungry and i smelt like a Delhi garbage collector. All i wanted was a place to put my pack, something to eat, and a lot of sleep. We found a cheap but dodgy hotel in the thick of things, and went for some food. It was strange to be in a city again; the noise, the smell, the activity, the myriad choice of dhaba's and restaraunts, guesthouses and hotels, the filth, the poverty, the incredibly diverse people - Delhi has it all. And Pahar Gang, being the main bazaar, has absolutely everything that is cool and Indian, in one street, at good prices. It was a shock to the senses! We found a dirty looking dhaba with the best looking parantha, and sat down to eat. The plan was to be here long enough to sort out Didi's plane ticket, to buy me one, and do a bit of shopping. 3 days tops.

Unfortunately, what day of the week it is doesn't mean a great deal to me at the moment. That really sucks when things need to be done. We had arrived on a friday, and because we had slept the day away, Cathay Pacific was now closed. No worries - we could check it out on the saturday morning, and hope they would be open. Either way, we could check out Central Park, Connaught Place (where Cathay was) and the Palikar Bazaar. Now, at the time, there was no way i would think this a stroke of luck, but we both awoke the next day, not feeling the best. Gastro. Or more locally, commonly and certainly more relevantly named, Delhi Belly. Needless to say we didn't make it to Connaught Place on saturday. And here is where the stroke of luck comes in - that saturday turned out to be Delhi's 'Black Saturday'. 5 bombs within half an hour, in Central Park, near the Palika Bazaar, in Connaught Place, and also a few other populated spots. I heard about the bombs within 1/2 hour of them happening, but it didn't sink in where they were. It wasn't until seeing the paper the next day, and where the bombs were that i realised how lucky we were. We really could have been there at that time....

Delhi had turned into an unplanned epic. 3 sick nights in a shitty stinky room, and we were still there. In the hope we would get the tickets sorted, we moved into a nicer room for another couple of nights. It's so much nicer to be sick in comfort.. A/C, room service, a window, clean bathroom - i felt better already. And while it was an effort to leave (more issues with Indian Railways), and frustrating to be there (Didi's ticket still not sorted), and of course a time of ill health, i had enjoyed Delhi. I did some personal shopping, some gift shopping, met some good people and got a small taste of life in one of the worlds more amazing cities. But i was itching to leave. 5 nights there was more than enough. It was time to head further north - to Rishikesh in Utterakhand. I had thouroughly checked the details this time, and it was a 5 hour journey to Haridwar, where we could get a local bus the rest of the way. A pilgrimage city with the holy Ganga running through, it houses a number of temples and is set at the foot of beautiful, forested hills. After Delhi, it would be a breath of fresh air. Literally. While all of the smog and crap in the air makes for stunning sunsets, it tends to weigh heavily on the lungs and soul after a few days. So to Rishikesh we go. I know more about the train's and buses there than i know about the town itself, so i am up for another surprise, courtesy of the Israeli Planet....



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