Saturday, Delhi. Another early start for another guided walk. This time we’re exploring one of Delhi’s ancient cities, Tughlaqabad, built in the early 1300s. It is a fabulous set of ruins in a fabulous setting. We have a great guide, who is both interested (so much so he started the company) and interesting. Even more remarkably, he has visited Australia, including Adelaide. It’s a terrific walk.
After the debacle of the previous afternoon, we change our schedule to some upmarket window shopping. The last of these destinations is just inside an Indian Air Force compound (no, we don’t understand it either). This seems to be a destination of choice for Delhi’s “ladies who lunch”.
Our final objective for the day is to find a pack and send business for the final parcel home. We fail spectacularly. Plan B is to buy a cheap bag, and take our goods as checked luggage on the plane.
At Delhi airport on Sunday morning we have an astonishing 24 kilograms of excess baggage. The cashier for this purpose has a sense of humour. As I approach the counter he asks how I am, I say I am overweight. He replies that he can make me lighter, I say I am sure he can. He does, to the tune of 6,000 rupees.
We are headed for Rishikesh, for what we hope will be a relaxed and relaxing end to the trip. Not by design, we are arriving at the beginning of International Yoga Week, and Rishikesh will play host to plenty of foreigners. Two years ago on our previous visit here, we took a propellor driven aeroplane under the Kingfisher banner, to an airport which was almost deserted upon our arrival. Kingfisher is no longer an airline, and our 737-800 is packed to the gunwales, not least with oversized cabin baggage. Maybe we could have saved 6,000 rupees after all.
Regrettably adding audio to these blog posts is, for now at least, beyond Indian Interlude. Please re-read the post with the sound of monks chanting, temple bells and horns playing in your head. It has been the soundtrack to its composition courtesy of the small temple next to our hotel. Truly beautiful.