I managed to convince a guy from Chile and a guy from Spain to come with me to the Delhi Dynamos match.
We caught an Uber over to the station and arrived at a very busy stadium. The football stadium is also the one used for the Indian National team and was also used by during the 2010 Commonwealth games so it was quite a good stadium.
We didn’t have any tickets so had a nice long walk around the stadium to the ticket counter. Constantly harassed by ticket touts.
As we were buying our £3.50 tickets we were approached by a Dutch guy travelling alone. As the only white faces at the stadium we stood out so he asked to join us for the game. Back home you wouldn’t really dream of this sort of this happening but in India it seems to be so commonplace.
Due to the stadium having an old athletics track we were quite a bit away from the action, but not so far away as to not enjoy it. It was a thrilling 1:1 draw and the standard was similar to HobNob FC at times but a great day out. Although this was marred somewhat when the Dutch guy got his phone pick pocketed. An early lesson in staying vigilant.
I spent the next day planning what to do post Delhi and decided on a few days in Agra for the Taj Mahal and then on to Pushkar for the worlds biggest camel festival before a week in Jaipur. I’m staying at the same chain of hostels for all 3 so fingers crossed they are nice!
That evening I joined some fellow backpackers from the hostel and went on an organised pub crawl, now drinking is not something I was expecting here in India however the standard of some of Delhi’s bars are fantastic. Great service, great drinks and wonderful prices. I even found the famed Beergaritas I enjoyed so much in Canada.
We managed to buy a bottle of Rum called Old Monk for 500R, around £6 and proceeded to all enjoy this straight until it was empty. A very cheap way to enjoy an evening! We spent the night dancing away to a mix of Indian and western music and I had such an amazing evening with some fantastic people. Even if we butchered Sweet Caroline on the Karaoke
The following day I got ripped off for the first time. I asked the Tuk Tuk driver to take me to the train station to get my tickets for my next journeys. I thought he had taken me to the tourist ticket office, so I went in and got my tickets, before doing some quick maths and realising id spent nearly £200 on tickets that should have cost £20. The tuk tuk driver had obviously taken me to his mates travel agents and would have got a cut from the money! A lesson harshly learnt to the unscrupulous nature of some of the people here. Time will tell if these tickets are even real!
This all put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day, I was fed up of Delhi, with the smell, the pollution the incessant beeping of cars. One of the girls at the hostel gave me some great advice, to spend the next day seeing Delhi’s sights to recapture why I was travelling. What advice this turned out to be. Backpacking is all about His and Lows. Being ripped off was a low, the next day spent seeing Haus Cauz village and the Lodi gardens was a Hi. Haus Cauz is a new development in southern Delhi and is just lovely. Some ancient ruins at one end of the street and some little nice shops along the road. It is much cleaner than the rest of Delhi and people didn’t feel the need tassle you in the shops.
From Haus Cauz we took a tri[ to Lodi Gardens. Lodi gardens is a nice green space, within which are ruins dotted about. Some over 400 years old.
Seeing green spaces lifted my mood massively and Nick, an English guy who joined me for the day, and I had a great time wandering around taking some photos.
The evening was spent celebrating Diwali. The hostel set up a shrine in the common area and invited us to take part in some of their worship. I held the candle and brushed the smoke through my hair before being given a traditional Hindu red dot on my forehead.
We then stepped outside to the front of the hostel and played with some fireworks on the street. The fireworks in India seem to be the rejects from other stores around the world, some would be way way to loud, others wouldn’t go off. Some even exploded without going up! Its a wonder no one was hurt! But it was nice to celebrate with the rest of Delhi.
We finished this off with some pakoras and beer. Well I had beer, the liquor shops had closed for Diwali but I was forward thinking and got 4 bottles the day before. I had several envious backpackers staring forlornly at me. I relented and shared with some so we could make a toast.
The rest of the evening was spent watching fireworks and explosions from the roof. If I thought we were unsafe earlier it was nothing to what I witnessed from the rooftops. Kids throwing fireworks at each other, tuk tuks driving past lit fireworks, people just casually walking within inches of these explosions. It was crazy.
There was a smoggy haze over Delhi the next morning as I went to visit the old spice market only to find it closed. Myself and a few other backpackers took the opportunity to head over to the Qutab Minar. The biggest brick minaret in India, surrounded by ancient ruins, some over 1000 years old. It was really impressive and well worth a visit. We were like local celebrity’s posing for pictures and catching local’s subtly taking paparazzi style photos of us!
We finished the afternoon off back in haus kauz having a nice meal before heading back to the hostel for a relaxing night of Bollywood films and popcorn. We watched Delhi 6, which was a really good film, id recommend anyone wanting to try a Bollywood film to give it a go.