Monday, 22 October 2012

Delhi By Cycle

DAY 21 - Delhi By Cycle
We are grateful for the early start to our Shah Jahan Bike tour, which we foolishly thought would be well over by the time Delhi awoke.....Wrong....
The bright orange sit up and beg-for-your-life bikes are well maintained and comfy looking. There is a big saddle and no gears to worry about. Each comes fully equipped with all the latest safely features; an essential noisy bell and working brakes!




Ok deep breath, and they're off....through the small windy streets of the bazaar; a seeming catastrophe of auto-rickshaws, motorscooters, pedestrians, dangling wires, potholes and rubbish. The journey goes like this bell, brake, swerve, bell, brake, phew!! But it doesn't take long to get the hang of it and ringing our bells like old pro's we come across all sorts....




As the sun creeps higher in the sky we arrive in the wholesale Spice Market. The spices penetrate deep in our lungs, making us cough and sneeze. We are grateful to escape into the dark interior of the Gadodia warehouse and emerge sputtering onto the rooftop, pleased to have survived 'death by cardamom' and to be in the relative 'fresh air'....




From here we can look down on the early morning tradings of the spice market... And our guide, Daniel a history graduate fills us in on what life has been like in the area for hundreds of years.




It is calm and peaceful on the roof top..... down below is whole different story....




Back on our bikes I feel like I'm in a low budget Bollywood movie...with the rich Indian street life whizzing pass me on the big screen. I should be in a long flowing pink and gold sari....
I try to take in the sights, avoid collision, keep up with my group..... it's exhilarating and a complete sensory overload.
We leave Old Delhi for the respite of the calm, leafy wide streets of the Civil Lines district 'Anyone for Chai?' The old colonial past of whitewashed houses and manicured lawns are in complete contrast to a few km's away...




Refreshed and up for the next adventure we cycle up Chandi Chowk, a main thoroughfare of Delhi towards the Red Fort. Then onwards through the market streets thick with goats and towards the looming Masjid Mosque...This area is crazy busy and at times we are forced to stop and resort to pushing our bikes through the crowd...




Moving on, we pass a elephant lumbering into town in his sunday best for the weekend festival and celebrations, and peddle like crazy through a maze of increasingly crowded market alleyways to arrive at Karim's famous restaurant for our breakfast. We're hungry and the house speciality is the delicious slow cooked goat with naan and a coke. The menu gives an option for a whole goat - 24 hours notice required...




As we sit and exchange stories from the morning's ride, we all agree that we couldn't have wished for a better introduction to life in this great city than Delhi By Cycle..




What a brilliant tour...
Little Wandering Wren

Location:Delhi

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