Day 23: Amritsar to Delhi

New Delhi Travel Blog

 › entry 24 of 26 › view all entries
Paul, Singh, Sonia and Anneke.

Four hours of sleep later at 3:45 we jumped out of bed to pack our last stuff. This wasn't only the day of our return to Delhi but also the moment we would say goodbye to Judith. She would take a taxi back to McLeod Ganj, starting her voluntary work on Monday. After many hugs and kisses we left her waving at her while crossing the street to the train station.


We had seats in an air-conditioned coach and left promptly at 5:10 AM. And this punctuality wasn't the only pleasant surprise about the Indian railways. This being one of the biggest employers in the world they did quite a fine job on the Amritsar-Delhi route. We got thermos flasks for warm tea twice, a breakfast with a fried egg and a small pack of mango juice in the 6 hours it took to reach Delhi. Unlike other trains in Asia this one ran rather smoothly, making it possible to listen to some music and doze off a bit.

When we arrived in Delhi, passing the shanty towns at the edge of town where people live under horrible circumstances, it was still a cloudy and drowsy day, as if a grey blanket lay over the country. Well, you won't hear me complaining after the heat in Amritsar and it made carrying your bag all the way across the station to the parking lot much more bearable. A bus took us to the metro station near the hotel, from where we were taken by rickshaws for the last bit. And then we were back in the Regent. Construction work was still being done but the complaints of the first night seemed to have hit home since we noticed several improvements about the rooms and the service we got.


Plans for this afternoon were quite non-standard. We could have gone to view more sights but having slept only a few hours several of us didn't feel like that too much. Instead, a small group of 7 people opted for the experience of a real Bollywood movie in a big cinema. So, after having a quick bite at Spicy by Nature (where no beer would be served unless we would sit out of sight, in an obscure dark corner in the restaurant, we were off to the movies, but not before I called Judith to check if she was okay. She had arrived in Dharamsala safely in only 5 hours and had already had one of those big bowls of 'special muesli'. She was most definitely going to survive in that place.


Again we took the metro and soon arrived at a big cinema. Security regulations were very tight and after being scanned and searched we had to leave our cameras in the manager's safe. I actually had to show the security guard that my hand gel wasn’t nitro-glycerine! We bought some American-sized buckets of popcorn and Pepsi and we were going to have an Indian cinematic experience.

The film, the extremely popular Singh is Kinng, dealt with a sort of Indian Ali G equivalent and mixed in rap gangster and James Bond elements. As most Bollywood films it also featured lots of dance, songs and music and although we couldn't understand a word of what they were saying we followed the general drift of the film and enjoyed the experience. Getting out of the seats, which were comfortable but definitely not build for European (let alone Dutch) length, was a challenge in itself.


The whole group returned to Spicy by Nature for probably the last group dinner. This place has absolutely excellent food but it is beyond me how a place of such standards cannot serve a cold beer or a decent cup of coffee. The initial humour and acceptance of such situations are quickly starting to dwindle, so maybe it is better that I'm going home this weekend because the constant inefficiency of some of the Indian catering providers is really starting to get on my nerves by now. Anyway, dinner featured a very nice 'farewell speech' by Kirsten, touching upon every individual and all places we visited and marvelled at. This was also the moment the tip from the group was handed over to her. And then, being awake since 3:45 AM and sometimes having fallen asleep during the movie of this afternoon it was best to pack some stuff and go to sleep. Tomorrow would bring us the last day of sightseeing in Delhi. 

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Paul, Singh, Sonia and Anneke.
Paul, Singh, Sonia and Anneke.
New Delhi
photo by: peeyushmalhotra