Woke up on the train after the best nights sleep ever. Gaye was across from me and said I didn’t move all night. I hope I didn’t snore and keep everyone awake. The train was a little late getting into Delhi, but we had set off late and it was a 14 and a half hour journey after all.
Kim sent us a text. She just arrived in India. We are going to try and meet for dinner tonight or tomorrow.
We (Gaye, Pete, Rob, me, Frank and Pradeep) disembarked and got in a car to our first and final hotel, the Pooja Palace in the Karol Bagh. It’s weird to be back. I think I’ve learnt a lot since I was last here. I can’t say I’m very different, but I’m definitely richer.
Dropped off our stuff and said our farewells to Pradeep. It was really sad to say goodbye. Typically Pradeep made sure we had the number for our car in Saturday and left us with his mobile number in case we were stuck. Pradeep was the best guide and a great leader of a smashing team.
The rest of us arranged to meet at 7pm. Went to our room, freshened up and popped out. Had a quick coffee at the local Cafe Coffee Day and then onto the metro and over to Connaught Place. Its much cleaner and posher here, but full of a different type of rupee maker. Not honest and upfront, but underhand. We stopped by tourist information to get a map and walked.
We ended up at India Gate which was closed in preparation for the Beating of The Retreat, following the Republic Day ceremonies. India Gate is majestic. And very large.
We continued walking and jumped on a tuk to a five star hotel called the Taj Mahal where we had lunch. This is certainly a different India and I can tell you, as much as I love luxury, I’d give anything to be back in Chanderi or Alipura, or chatting to the Chai seller in some village on the way to somewhere. Because it seems to me, the less you have, the happier you are.
Caught the metro home. Met up with the others and we all went to Crossroads for dinner, in the Karol Bagh. It was lovely. We had a beer on the rooftop of the hotel and said our farewells to Frank, Gaye and Pete. I reflect on the trip. I hope we will, but I know we may never meet again. I know, though, that we will always be connected through the journey we have taken together.