Delhi Delhi and more Delhi Wed 4 May – Sun 19 June 2011
We seem to have been stuck in Delhi for an eternity - which is why my writings have ground to a standstill -not a lot of interest to report! Have had to be here for a few ongoing projects -nothing worth reporting really. Just so we could say we'd done SOMETHING touristy we wandered around a park and pictured a Mughal era tomb -actually we thought we could get to it but there was a rail track in between. The heat stopped much sightseeing though -like being hit by a sledge hammer on the back of the skull. To add a bit of drama Andrew actually managed to burn his eyeballs -and we had to make a 3am dash to the hospital when he woke up in dreadful pain due to seeing a welding flash when working on the car. All good now but I've told him to be sure to wear his safety goggles form now on!
So, we never made it up to the Golden Temple. Now that we know we can get our Pakistan visas -only not from India - we'll save that for just before we cross the Indian border. The idea of going into a packed temple in this crazy heat…forget it!
So Andrew's been hard at it getting lots of car maintenance stuff done -this really mounts up on the road and we're now A OK and 100% for the rest of our journey (we hope!) Amongst other stuff he's sorted out welding the brackets to fit the airbags for our new Airlift suspension - we have a much more comfy ride again now -thanks to Debbie and all the team at Airlift- www.airlfitcompany.com
Still having some battery problems as I write which no one seems to be able to get to the bottom of -Andrew's off dealing with this now.
As mentioned on our front page huge thanks go to all at Kenwood India -especially Mr. KG Satheesh and Mr. Shinmen Takeshi from Japan who presented us with our new stereo -we love it! Please see their site for all their great systems http://india.kenwood.com
Thanks also again to all at Jaagruti the Delhi based animal charity, who send out free vetinary help for street animals, contact them on 981814424 or see their site www.jaagruti.org After often failing to find any help for sick animals on our journey around India we were so pleased to find these guys and applaud the great work they do. Little Dog (aka as LD or LSD Little Snappy Dog - but not with us!) is still wheezing away - antibiotics don't seem to make a difference, and his blood test showed no problems. He begins a week of stronger antibiotic injections now -poor LD - he hates injections! Another canine friend we'll be loath to leave. He's in good hands here though -being a Tibetan area the Buddhists (particularly the monks) are very good to animals and the street dogs here are probably the luckiest in Delhi if not in India.
The staff at our little guest house are predominantly Tibetan (the remainder are Nepalese) and are very lovely people. They often have amazing stories of escape. One guy walked for days hiding out in the mountains before entering Nepal on the Kodari border, by paying a bribe of about $800 Aus to the Chinese border guards. No doubt the same charmers who nearly arrested Andrew for taking a picture on the "friendship bridge" -on the Nepalese side, after asking the Nepalese authorities for permission mind you! Entering this way is pretty high risk as sometimes the soldiers take your money then hand you into the Chinese authorities anyway. So sad, such a lovely gentle race of people and in a relatively few years their culture will be gone - hard to keep it alive when you get to the next generation so far from home.
We've decided to go to Sri Lanka (SL) when we leave India (6th July) the lure of the beach and the surf for Andrew. Despite several newspaper stories saying the India to SL ferry was about to start (and one saying it had started) this all seems to be myth. Lots of talk not much actually happening -if you try and "talk turkey" about actually booking a ticket for e.g. you just get passed around. Looks like we'll have to ship in a container again -groan! No doubt it comes down to the right palms being oiled by the right amounts…twas ever thus!
Anyway in a day or so (after a quick trip back up to Chandigarh to pick up our hopefully repaired fridge) we head south towards Tuticorin to get the car shipped and us on a bus to Chennai and a plane to Colombo or …miracle of miracles...maybe the ferry will start! Can't wait to see SL again -one of our favourite countries to date. Once there we can finally courier our passports to Canberra (illegal in India) and get our Pakistan visas. Ah well…backwards to go forwards …we'll get there eventually.