Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Jaipur to Delhi -- Jan 11th

Today was another bright sunny day but most of it was spent driving between Jaipur and Delhi for our last day in India. We passed the Amber fort on our way out and were once again impressed by its scale and grandeur and the elephant procession up to it.
We have come to understand over the last week just how the traffic works. It appears chaotic and shocking at first, everyone going anywhere they want, including over red lights and the wrong way down roads, animals included, and so loud with everyone honking away. But, once you realise no-one obeys the rules and no-one expects you to, the system becomes clear. Basically you try to drive as fast as you can, weaving your way in and out of the slower traffic and you honk to inform anyone in your way that you need to pass. They move out of your way and you do the same when someone faster wants to pass you.  So far so good, and no aggression or road rage. Then we saw the normal system of squeezing 7 lanes of traffic into 5 happening at a toll pay station and no-one would allow the extra 2 rows into their queues, and we saw our driver become agitated for the first time…so obviously there are some rules! Opportunist sparrow sized birds were taking all sorts of chances in their attempts to find the odd bit of grain dropped off the back of a lorry or picked up in the tyres.
We also had our first stop at stand-up non- flushing toilets on the road, not a very pleasant experience, but necessary. The coffee or chai stop a bit later was nicer. We saw a few wrecks along the way as drivers went into the ditches or turned sharp left forgetting that their load was rather top heavy…. Oops why is my lorry on its side in a ditch?
Then, as we got into Delhi again we noticed some interestingly different architecture and the use of solar panels in the more modern part we drove through. Those following the blog for some time will remember that we had to find an extra night’s accommodation due to flight changes.  Well here we are at the Hotel Impress. Not as posh as the other hotels thus far, but a bigger room, free WIFI, a sofa and what appears to be a comfy bed. We can only just detect the airport noise and that is a lot quieter than the traffic noise associated with the previous hotels. We are about to go to  sample the Indian Spice restaurant, attached to the Hotel, for one of its “Crispy meals” …… or so it says on the web site.  We will leave the “Today’s Chosen Image” as that selected for yesterday, otherwise it will be only displayed for a hour or so. Tomorrow we fly to Bangkok and arrive at 1800 hrs Bangkok time.  It is highly unlikely that we will blog that day, so we wish you all a good night and see you soon. Photos here.

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