Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wednesday 27th - Back to Delhi

The latter part of our final proper train trip for this visit is rather tame. We all have a good night's sleep and wake to the cry of the chai seller. D now considers himself to have moved up a level when it comes to Indian Railways expertise as he manages to unfasten one of their deadly fiendish compartment door locks with one hand. He also gets in a spot of door riding and a row with a Dutch couple who want to smoke in the lobby. He sort of wins as they move off down the train in the hope of finding somewhere without objectors.    

Progress is very stop start but we are only 20 minutes late when we pull into Delhi Cantt. station where a car is waiting to take us to Lutyens Bungalow.  We are welcomed with hugs and a cup of tea and while away half an hour watching the birds in the garden until our room is ready. There are still plenty of parakeets around and they rather bully the pigeons and the squirrels.

After a shower and a change of clothes we head out to the metro for a two leg trip to the Lajpat Nagar market, on the south east side of the city. This market is traffic free and there is very little hustling by the stallholders. There is one very persistent young man selling alleged Rayban sun glasses. Even when D's total apathy has brought the price down to 200 rupees (about £2.50) he insists that they are the genuine article. There is a truly excellent nuts and sweets stand and it is D's turn to expand his wardrobe.

We get back to base in time for afternoon tea on the terrace and we get a couple of clear sightings of a pair of Indian Grey Hornbills who have become regular visitors. As usual D is too slow with the camera. We sit out in front of our room with a cold beer in the hope that they will return but no luck. Dinner turns into a party as we are all together on one table - two French ladies, an Englishwoman and her Dutch husband who live in the south of France and their fellow travellers, a Belgian couple. There is a very lively conversation that switches from English to French and back again with a little Flemish thrown in for good luck. The four of them are taking a 2.30 a.m. flight to Brussels and have a good go at drowning the misery.

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