Day 14: Yuksom to Bagdogra to New Delhi
- 2 Photos
- New Delhi
Today will be a long and tiring travel day, as we shall go back to New Delhi. We took a jeep to Bagdogra to catch our flight back to New Delhi. Since it's a long and unpredictable journey, we would like to start our journey earlier at 6.30am.
Sadly our guide (or the driver) didn't heed our request seriously and arrived late at 7.20am. We quickly bid farewell to Michael and Lobo and proceed with our journey. The journey is quite a "joy ride" with multiple emergency braking and way too many overtaking, and almost kill a running dog and a greedy monkey. It took as 3 hours to leave Sikkim, which means we didn't travel any faster than expected. Though the distance might not be far, but the road is bumpy most of the times and busy at certain parts.
We met with a massive traffic jam at Siliguri. To add salt to the problem, the driver stop at multiple locations briefly to run his own errants, such as filling up water and picking up his sister at the very crucial moment of the journey. Anyway, thanks to this driving and overtaking skills, we arrived just in time, probably 1 minute away from being denied entry. To add to the excitement, we received an sms telling us to arrive 2 hours before due to the increased security checks.
At the end, we have enough luck to make it through.
At New Delhi, we would prefer not to stay in the dark alley of Janpath again, so we move slightly north to Ram Nagar, a street full of hotel with neon signboard. Most of the hotel recommended in Rough Guide is over RS 1000, so we settled for an unknown e-Punjabi Hotel for RS 400 (after a hard bargain).
First we visited the Tourism Office in the railway station where we found our first pre-paid auto rickshaw office in the city. Taking rickshaw is convenient and almost every rickshaw will try to rip off tourist up to a few times the original amount. Besides booking a pre-paid auto rickshaw at the office, we would know the correct amount to a certain place. We are very lucky again the tourism office is still open beyond 8.30pm (probably due to the Commonwealth Games 2010). We are very happy to be able to book all our train tickets for Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. Only thing lef is to figure out how to get from Jaisalmer ro Udaipur, since it is not connected by train.
By the way, New Delhi have a special lane on the road exclusively for Commonwealth Games-related vehicle, and main sport venues are filled with policemen and machine gun barricade.
We visited Connaught Place for dinner at Banana Leaf, but the place is closed (in fact, most of the shops around the circle is closed). Luckily we met a wonderful brother and sister who introduced us to another South Indian cuisine restaurant, which she claim is better than Banana Leaf. They even offered us a ride to the place: Saravana Bhawan.
The place is modern, well-lit and crowded. To our surprise, they restaurant have a few branches in Malaysia. We order Dosa, Puri and some mini platter (with a few dessert and other food). The dinner is great.
Time to go back to our cheap and cockroach-infested hotel and sleep in the sleeping bag, and be ready to take our first train ride in Indian to Jaipur early in the morning.;