This trip in India is sort of divided into phases: few days in Delhi, ten days in Rajasthan, several days in Varanasi, precious Ayurveda time in the south and quality time with friends in Bombay. I planned to do more destinations but gave up. Gwalior, Orchha and Khajuraho will have to wait. I will be back sooner or later.
Together with my parents I did Delhi-Agra-the Ranthambore Park-Jaipur-Pushkar-Neemrana-Delhi. As most of the places were familiar to me, I didn’t need to do a lot of research but it was still very time- and energy-consuming. I like making hotel reservations myself, I book tickets as I desire and when I like, etc. I very rarely use a travel agency. I like being free and for example to be able to change a hotel upon arrival if I don’t like it. I believe that I accumulate some valuable experiences by practicing this “philosophy” but at the same I acknowledge that this “freedom” takes a toll on me. I have been in Varanasi since Sunday and I am totally drained.For example, what happened last Sunday, the day when my parents flew from Delhi to Dubai? The adventure begun!
In the morning all of us drove from Neemrana Fort-Palace: the magnificent 15th century palace to the Delhi airport. After saying good bye to my parents outside their terminal (only valid ticket holders are allowed in) I asked my husband a question “what are we going to do now?”. I was feeling very weak, had a cold and some stomach problem, and all I wanted was to find a bed with nice soft cotton sheets. But we had no reservations and no Internet connection!
Our only reasonable option seemed to be to spend some time at the airport and make calls, so we purchased tickets to enter the arrivals terminal (100 INR per person), ordered some drinks and sat down. I made some phone calls to a car company I had had contact with, but the idea of a road trip from Delhi to Varanasi (via Gwalior, Orchha and Khajuraho) seemed very expensive in comparison to what we had had in Rajasthan, and I was not sure that I could handle any more of Indian roads at least during some days.After abandoning the road trip idea we went to an airplane ticket seller and asked for available tickets to Khajuraho and Varanasi. There were affordable tickets left but at this point I was feeling so sick that all I wanted was a bed to sleep in, so I told my husband to get a hotel somewhere near the airport. My idea was to have a good nap, eat some dahl and rice, sleep a good twelve hours and then return to the airport next day fresh to continue the journey. Well, this is what I thought was going to happen.
Upon arrival at an appalling Hotel Lohias about 4km from the Delhi airport I drunk a coke and took a shower. My husband checked the bed and the room, and called me to get out of the shower. You are not sleeping here, we were leaving… He didn’t think that the room was clean enough and the more I looked the more I agreed with him.We did a bit of Internet search and found a flight leaving Delhi to Varanasi at 18h05 the same day (at the time of googling it was already 16h and we could not purchase tickets because it was too last minute).
We rushed to the reception (we had already paid the room by a voucher), gave 30 INR for the coke, ordered the taxi and run to the SpiceJet counter. The service was very smooth and we paid 11,590 INR (around 145€) for two Delhi-Varanasi tickets and by 16h30 we had tickets in hand.
See, most of the time things work out even if you leave it last minute and without a plan…Next we found a KFC (yeah, when you are sick you are excused!) and ordered a sandwich with a coke. Thirty minutes later we were inside an airplane flying from Delhi to Varanasi and the world was looking much brighter (well, we did not know what was waiting for us in Varanasi but that is another story!). Anyhow, I LOVE SPICEJET!!