So I’m in India, finally. I was super anxious several days before my departure, mostly about how the heck am I gonna pack for those nearly 3 months I will be spending here? Since I will be in the mountains, desert, beach, city – every location has specific set of clothes and other gear, and it all had to fit in one 65l bag. Well it did fit. With total weight of 18,1kg (+ 7kg daypack)🙄 I know that some people manage to pack themselves for a year of traveling but I’m still learning.
I know, the weight sounds terrible. But almost 1/5 of that big bag weight is alcohol (😅) so I won’t be carrying it for too long. Note: nope, I won’t be drinking it by myself btw😄
So on Friday (Saturday 00:20 actually) I landed in Delhi and got myself to the hotel. As soon as I stepped out of the arrival hall into the hot humid air outside, I realized I will be sweating until October, nonstop. Just standing there waiting for taxi to arrive cost me at least 0,5l of sweat but I must say I got used to it pretty quickly – waiting at the railway station for 5h without AC helps I guess, but I’ll get to it yet.
I didn’t want to waste much time in Delhi so I took a train to Agra right away – next morning. We were supposed to leave at 14:05, we actually left at 15:05 and I got to the hotel in Agra at 7pm or so. Train was okay, with AC, sometimes even too cold inside. Hotel, well.. I decided to go relatively low budget this time so hotel ok I thought. Until! Until I went to bed relatively early cuz I wanted to wake up for the sunrise at Taj Mahal and suddenly sth ran over my legs!!! Just imagine, lying peacefully in your liner, almost asleep, earplugs in, eye mask on and suddenly this shocker! Heart rate over 200 and thoughts as follows: ‘WTF! A ghost! A cockroach! WTFWTFWTF! It felt heavy! Take the eye mask off!!’ I turned on my phone torch and was looking, nothing on the bed, nothing in front of or next to it. But there was one more place to look – under the bed. Every time I’m about to look under the bed I feel like I’m gonna witness a gateway to hell or something similar, so nervously I moved my head down, expecting the worst (a cobra maybe even!) I shed a light there and what I saw in exact order was this: disgusting carpet, ton of dust, breadcrumbs, garbage and a rat. I looked her into the eyes (she probably couldn’t look into mine because of the torch that was blinding her), shivered and was glad it’s not a cobra. I called the manager, he called two guys to take care of it, they turned the room upside down and rat was nowhere to be found, so of course they didn’t believe me. But I could even hear her squeaking there, somewhere! And then one guy moved the curtains and there she was – 30cm long! Yuuuuuck! So she ran away through the door and guys were all so happy that rat is gone, telling me that now I can sleep peacefully there. Yeah, right. Not after I saw the rat poop all over the carpet from underneath the bed (the breadcrumbs from earlier, as I thought).
The hotel was fully booked so I couldn’t change the room so I agreed with the manager to at least not charge me for the AC. But still, for the rest of the night I was half expecting to feel sth running over my legs again.
After 3-4 hours of sleep I went to see Taj Mahal. Clear skies, no line at the entrance, not so many people inside, perfect conditions for great pics. And I took some nice ones, I must say. Taj is so indescribably beautiful, especially when this soft orange sunlight is slowly shining on its white marble, while the palace reflects itself in those small pools in front of it. I really was amazed.
Then I had nice breakfast and went to the railway station to catch a train at 10:15 to Delhi because then I booked a bus at 17:15 to Manali. Train arrived 13:40. Guess what – I didn’t catch the bus. Luckily, some nice Indian family in the train helped me to agree with the company to go to Manali at 8pm with another bus. And maybe it was a good thing because the earlier bus was seater and the later one semi-sleeper, so I even managed to sleep for good 7h. You see, everything works out in the end. Because if it’s not ok, then it means it’s not the end yet😜
And so today, on Monday morning at 10, I arrived to Manali. I took a shower – first hot shower in India (previous hotels had only cold water), had an excellent chicken biryani for lunch – my second warm meal in India so far (you see, I was careful about eating on the street or at the train station so at the end I ended up eating nothing at all..maybe some biscuits) and then I thought I will go for a walk but it started to rain so I decided I can just chill on my balcony. I have plenty of time for some exploration.
Don’t know how long will I stay here, boyfriend will arrive tomorrow (yay!😍) and then we’ll decide. But since it’s supposed to rain all week, I guess we’ll move to Ladakh sooner than later.