The Night Train Delhi Jaisalmer
I’ve finally worked out how to use WordPress from my iPad. I, er, downloaded the app. I know it’s a bit late, but then India is one of those places where you are lucky if you can get a couple of hours peace. Happily, I spent last night in the gorgeous French-run Rose in New Delhi, where peace is everything.
So I now have a good couple of hours to update my blog and bring you the sights, sounds and smells of India, one post at a time. I hardly know where to begin and whether I should work backwards, forwards or at random. India is like my brain, it goes off in tangents constantly. One moment you’ve accidentally picked November 25th to visit the mosque, which wasn’t what you were looking for anyway, and 11-year-old boys are walking down the street throwing water and weilding swords you think might fly out and stab you in the face, and a thousand people wrapped in colour stand up together on the steps to watch. Because it’s a Muslim festival. Another moment you are meeting the editor of a luxury Delhi-based magazine and talking about your rates and where to order more business cards (they are far cheaper over here, everyone).
Tonight, I ride the night train Delhi Jaisalmer.
I hope to see more of this.
But am equally aware I might have a rat pushed toward my face again by a small boy who has initially put it on the back of a puppy and watched as people waiting for trains take photographs on their mobile devices, but gotten bored and offered it up to my face instead.
I also look forward to arriving and seeing my friends. The ones who cooked mutton for my friend Clare and I in the desert and boiled masala chai, the ones who took us to a wedding where I ate my own weight in approximately fourteen dishes. The ones who drove us home on a scooter and made me feel 15 again.
And I look forward to seeing these guys too…
Because riding a camel is like riding a dinosaur. And if you haven’t tried it yet, you simply must. You too can hear silence in a way you have never heard it before, crisp and clear.
The Rose New Delhi is in Delhi’s trendy Hauz Khas Village. It costs about £40 a night, which for a beautiful room in a serene space is worth it. Plus where else can you get great French food in Delhi?
An Indian friend managed to get me a 3rd class ‘bench’ bed on the night train to Jaisalmer by booking through an agency, but if you want to secure a ticket yourself, either go to a reservation centre well before you go (tickets can be purchased 120 days in advance now) or buy an Indian SIM card for your phone and register for an account on the IRCTC site. Sound like a struggle? Get used to it, you’re in India now. Alternatively, head to a reservation centre for 10am the day before you wish to travel and see if you can get a Tatkal ticket. These are whatever’s-left tickets. First come, first served.
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