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Published: February 12th 2020
Travel in India, where do we start?!
We'd heard of the numerous scams, people telling you " that train isn't running today " that hotel burnt down last week , I take you to mine "
We heard them all. We had our train tickets booked and all the hotels too, we just needed to ' join' everything together when we were here.
In Delhi a tuk tuk driver dropped us off at ' the government tourist office' . We hadn't asked him to he just did! It turned out to be an agent. A very persuasive one.
He looked at our plans so far. He checked the train times were still on schedule and said it was good but he could help by providing a car and driver at each stop. He would collect us at the station and take us to our chosen hotel. Then next day a sight seeing tour all day and then drop us off at the station the following day.
He would co ordinate it all and keep checking train times. No hassle! He showed us letters from happy customers.
I was persuaded but Stan was skeptical. After a cup of chai and
after much discussion we decided to go for it.
After two days in Delhi it was obvious it would be difficult on our own. His charge £200 for two people for 12 days.
Organised trips cost anything up to £3,000 each so I was happy.
The first day with his help was in Agra. We had to get ourselves to the station in Delhi but from then on we should be looked after.
Our train was 6am. As we stepped out of the hotel in Delhi it was still dark and the air had a distinct nip.
The normally chaotic street was deserted. We walked along hoping to see a tuk tuk driver. Where were a the touts when you need them. Tuk tuk lined each side of the street but all was quiet
Just before we reached the main road someone must have heard our footsteps. He leaped put of his tuk tuk and shouted " tuk tuk?"
We clambered in, the seat was still warm where he'd obviously been sleeping. His charge 40 rupees each. ( about 40p) We felt sure he would try to rip us off but I was happy with that price.
were at the station just five mins later and found the platform, bought a bottle of water and sat down.The bottles had been lined up on the counter but he gave me one from under the counter.
That's when I broke the golden rule. I opened the water and took a drink.
Stan asked if I'd checked the seal. No I forgot! It looked OK and tasted on but you never know
Bottles are sometimes refilled and sold as mineral water.
I drank no more!
The train arrived and dead on 6am it pulled out of the station.
Soon after a man came around with a little tray with a packet of biscuits , a tea bag sugar and creamer. Closely followed by a man with cups and hot water.
I made myself some tea. It tasted like nectar.
Am hour later we got a hot meal and bread and jam ! Plus a bottle of sealed water.
When we stepped off the train at Agra there was a man holding up a sheet with our name printed on it. No hand written scams!
He took us to his car which was nice and clean and drove us to our hotel a.d discussed what to do the following day.
So far so good.
Tomorrow..... The Taj Mahal!!
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