March 31, 2011-
View from a rickshaw to Sector 43 bus station.
View from a rickshaw back to Sector 17 bus station (where we originated). So much for bad travel advice.
View from our Rishikesh-bound bus. This kid was taking pictures of us with his mom’s cell phone.
In between all this was roughly 7 hours of incessant honking, slamming on brakes, near-misses with huge transport trucks, stopped traffic, touts, bumps, and more honking…most of which I don’t care to remember. On the upside, there was gorgeous rural scenery and the whole trip cost roughly $4.
March 30th, 2011-
Matt took us to Chandigarh’s big tourist highlight: the rock garden. Built by a local artistic “visionary” and made of largely reused materials, this rock garden (entrance fee: Rs.15, a.k.a. US$0.33) is not to be missed. Does YOUR rock garden have waterfalls?
Or midget-sized gateways separating its various chambers?
Or Indian people who insist on taking a family photo with you?
Or menacing metal gnomes sentries?
Or funny mirrors?
(Hey there cowgirl.)
Or a CAMEL? (Photo credit: Brenna)
After all that rock garden adventure, we needed a nap. Unfortunately I discovered Brenna cheating on me with an inflatable penguin named Pedro.
Later that day, the cricket world cup semi-finals were on: India v. Pakistan. Apparently Indians don’t really care about winning the world cup so much as beating Pakistan, their long-time nemesis. The match took place just a few kilometers away from Chandigarh, so the streets were packed with fans and gawkers.
We Americans celebrated by eating. Kate’s friend from the internship program, Maria from Siberia, joined us. This time: South Indian “domas” and my first Chai Masala tea. YUMMMMMM. Best meal yet.
Our group caught the end of the match at a local pub. Kingfisher is the Budweiser of India.
Brenna got TRASHED for the cricket game! And by that I mean: we shared a beer and then went back to the hotel at 10pm to fulfill our jet-lag-sleep-urges.
India won. The various explosions and wild cheering coming through the window told it all.
March 29, 2011-
We grabbed a 4.5-hour-long “second seating” train form Delhi to Chandigarh for the bargain basement price of $3.50.
We were definitely the only white people on this train car.
First autorickshaw/moto-taxi/tuk-tuk ride.
After we found our friends Matt & Kate (Kate is doing an internship here, and Matt is her boyfriend visiting from Boston), we took even more autorickshaw rides! And I made even stranger faces.
YUM first Indian food dinner! Picture below is my “thali” (= a little bit of everything) with hot naan bread to the left. YUM YUM YUM.
I’m purposefully not eating any “sweets” on this trip (defined as chocolate and sugary snacks), but I made an early exception for these fruit-based Indian desserts. They were pretty weird (and most Indian sweets look equally or more weird), so I don’t think my goal will be a problem.