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In the capital Delhi
Our trip from Shimla to Delhi was 13 hours long and we arrived in the capital late at night. The train had an AC and when the door was opened, from outside came such heat that a man cannot imagine, but must just taste it. Now we had to find a hotel to sleep as soon as possible. We went to the many auto rickshaws, which stay around the train station. Our team’s guide Paul Tilberry agreed with two Indians to take us to a hotel in the center of Delhi.
In the middle of the way to the hotel our auto-rickshaw’s petrol finished and the driver said he can’t go further. It was one of Indian driver’s tricks. Sang Kyun from our team (he is from South Korea) was asked from the driver to fill in the reservoir by petrol for 10-20 rupees, and then we can go on. Another trick that the taxi’s and auto-rickshaw’s drivers do is, they agree with hotels with high prices’ owners in advance. When a tourist who come to India for the first time and is not familiar with these tricks, get a taxi or auto-rickshaw, and say he want to stay in a certain hotel, usually the driver reply that this hotel haven’t enough free places or is in repair, in order the driver to take him to another hotel, with which he has an agreement. Or, after the driver see that the tourist is absolutely new in India, take him to the center of Delhi and purposely pass through streets that for sure a policeman will appear, raising hand will stop them and excitedly will explain something to the driver in Hindi. And then the driver in twisted English will translate to already scared tourist, that a big conflict between Hindus and Muslims has began and the whole region where they go is closed, that’s why the most safety way will be to go to another hotel, in order to be far from this tension. All this is just the next trick to get easy money from the naive tourists. After he has slept in the more remote and of course, more expensive hotel, the tourist will be advised for his safety, in the fastest way to leave Delhi, of course with a transport, arranged by his polite and “worried” hosts, but much more expensive than usual. They tried to do same trick to us, but unsuccessful, because we were warned already.
Late at night we accommodated in the hotel that we wanted. Because of the heat our sleeping was quite uneasy. The transition from the cool Himalayan climate to the heat of the plains was an unpleasant test for our bodies. While in Himalaya the temperature haven’t pass 32 C, in Delhi at the day reached 45 C. Same afternoon at 5 PM we got the train to Mumbai. We had to pass 1400 km way to south, which was 17 hours by train.
Here is the time to say some words about Indian trains. Every train composition consists of various classes, beginning from the super luxury 1 class with air condition, pass through 1 class without air condition, few kinds of 2 class and ends with the crowded 3 class, where were the poorest people and those who were from the lowest casts. Until few years ago it was permitted to travel even n the roof of the carriages. “Indian Government Railways” are the biggest employer in the world, as nearly 1.6 million people work there. Daily over 12 million people in India use railway transportation. Our tickets were for 2 class with AC, including meals - dinner and breakfast. Next day at 10 o’clock we arrived in Mumbai.