India Trip - Day Eighteen - Delhi & Abu Dhabi
February 3, 2008
I get up at 08:30 and have a quick shower before heading downstairs with Angus to say my final goodbye to Anuj and give him a thank you tip for his great work as tour leader.I go back upstairs and pack my bags, go back downstairs again and put my bags into storage until I get back. I say goodbye to Angus and Hector and then get an auto rickshaw to the Red Fort.
It takes quite a while to get there, about20-30 minutes and it is quite cold with the wind blowing in my face.
When I arrive I need to walk under a separate subway to go underneath the road. Which I am glad of as if I had to cross the road I would be been taking my life in my hands.
I buy a ticket ($2) pass through security and enter the fort. I am a bit surprised as the first area you come to is a shopping arcade.
I walk to the main area of the Fort and a guard comes up to me and asks me to buy a video camera ticket, I ask how much and he says 100 rupees, I plead ignorance and he says 50 rupees, I still act stupid and he drops the price down to 30 rupees.
I know for a fact that it only costs 25 rupees as I neglected to pay it on the way in.
After a bit of arguing when I ask him to show me the ticket I would get, he walks off as he was going to just pocket the money himself and not given me a ticket. I decide to go back and buy an official ticket to stop the aggravation of it happening again.
This is when one of the guides starts to annoy me. He just will not leave me alone, he keeps saying I need a guide or I will know nothing, he stays with me for about five minutes, asking me why I donít want to use him, in the end I tell him he is probably a crap guide and that is why he has got no customers. I see him again later bothering some Japanese tourists.
I spend about an hour walking around the place and to be honest it is not as impressive as both the Amber and Agra forts.
When I leave the Red Fort I try to find an auto rickshaw to take me to Ansel Plaze, a shopping mall I saw on my first day in Delhi, unfortunately a lot of the drivers had never heard of the place.
I finally find one that says he has and go with him, it takes about 30 minutes and we stop for fuel along the way. I am surprised to find out that auto rickshaws are filled through the back seat.
I do quite a bit of shopping at the mall buying gifts for Sarah as well as sampling almost everything off the MacDonalds value menu.
The mall is shaped like two crescent moons and to get in you need to get frisked first.
After a couple of hours shopping, I get an auto rickshaw back to the hotel, which is easier said than done.
Once he gets to the Karol Bagh area he has no clue where the hotel is, neither have I. after driving down lots of streets and asking anyone he can I finally get to the hotel.
At the hotel I surf the internet for an hour until my taxi arrives to transfer me to the airport.
At the airport I try to go in through the main doors but the security guard sends me away and tells me to come back later because there is more than three hours to my flight, sod that I thought and try to go through another door further down, I enter with no problems.
I check in at the Etihad desk only to be told I need to x-ray my cases myself at the machine behind me, which I do. It seems a bit stupid though as once it is x-rayed and a secure tag and sticker is placed on it I am given it back, surely someone with ill intentions could just put something in it after the scan. Hopefully they are all scanned again before they make it onto the plane.
I go through security and then wait for the departure; I pass the time by getting a hotdog, which was a bad mistake as it tasted bloody awful. I also get some duty free, the chocolate of which I eat while I am waiting.
The flight to Abu Dhabi is very uneventful and I watch Balls of Fury on the way.
I have over a three hour stopover in Abu Dhabi and I spend the time walking around the place and getting something to eat in their small restaurant. I have to admit, for such a major hub the airport is very basic.