From July 6th to 21st this year, I had gone to Himachal Pradesh for some trekking and sight-seeing. I was very excited about it and this time I had several advantages while preparing for the trip when compared to my last himalayan trip. This time my room-mate/friend Deepak was also coming. Also, I had learned some lessons from the near catastrophic mistakes I made in the run-up to the trip last year. Oh! I still wonder at myself when I think of those stories.
Anyway, this time we planned everything well. Did all our shopping at Decathlon well in advance. Went on a preparatory trek with the team members. Double checked the airline reservations to make sure that I hadn’t screwed up again! Booked a taxi to go the airport etc. etc.. In short, this time I was ready for anything!
On the appointed day both of us jumped out from beds at sharp 6 in the morning and in 15 mins were out of the door and inside our taxi. The flight to Delhi was pretty uneventful. But, I was determined not to waste any time at Delhi. So, when we got there we set off for Karim’s which is supposed to be a famous hotel there near Gate 1 of the Red Fort. Shafeeq had recommended it to me. We first caught a bus from the aiport to the ISBT and from there went by Metro to Chandni Chowk. Then, from there we walked to Karims.
That walk was a real-eye opener for me. The energy, history, diversity, the brutal weight of power resting within its limits and the consequent corruption is apparent in the maddening buzz of the streets, the monuments towering over the landscape, the edifices built to project the power and pride of institutions and states and even in the smallest streets and in the atmosphere of the endless markets with their bewildering rush of people, animals and even men struggling in a sub-human manner against the pedals of illegal cycle rikshaws.
It was simply mind-blowing. Coming from Bangalore it was a completely different experience for us. We walked some 7 kms that day through the streets of Delhi.
Looking at this and that, drinking Badam milk and Tulsi water when we were thirsty, trying not to get rammed by the endless number and variety of moving objects on the roads with our heads swivelling continuously in every direction taking in the sights and smells of this strange and wonderful city!
By the time we got back to the ISBT we were thoroughly tired.
The heat was simply unbearable. Anyway, the next day we were going to be in the cool and pleasant Shimla.
The ride to Shimla was perfectly comfortable and on the way we had a good dinner and slept.
Next day was spent roaming about onand enjoying civilization as much as we could while it was still possible.
Stuffing our faces with all sorts of stuff we found in the amazing way-side eateries and enjoying the ambience and aura of the Mall road.
All about that in a later post!