• Penelope Haines

We've arrived in India!

We finally reached our hotel in new Delhi today at what would be 5pm on the 28th February in New Zealand. In other words, we've been travelling, either flying or waiting in transit, for a total of 33 hours. The various time-zones have played merry havoc with our meal times. I don't know whether we've been having dinner or breakfast. Either way, they've been served with wine which has suited the ramshackle connection to reality that travelling entails.

I'm completely knackered, but too wound up to catch up on sleep, which is annoying as I didn't sleep on the aircraft.

Still, however tedious the journey, there's nothing like the excitement of reaching a new country, or of starting a fresh adventure. It's a bit like childbirth - all the pain that went before is forgotten in the joy of the moment.

Our plan is to rest up today, and start fresh on the tour proper tomorrow.

I've shown poor judgement in assessing the temperatures we can expect at this time of year. When we arrived at 6am this morning, it was only 12 degrees centrigrade. Currently, at midday, its about 20. I was expecting temperatures of 30 or above, so I may have come underprepared. There's a smog over the city that probably helps keep the temperatures down.

I learned today that India's population is now 1.3 billion people. China's is 1.4 billion. Not a lot of difference between these two nations and the strain this must put on their country's resources must be incredible.

On a brighter note, the animal count for today has comprised one grey squirrel, a dozen or so monkeys, one pig and several pi dogs. The monkeys were hanging around on the edges of the local town green belt - a large area of trees and jungle that borders the town.

Looking forward to exploring more tomorrow when we go into the older part of Delhi. So far, traffic and smog excepted, Delhi looks like a pleasant, modern city. Our hotel is comfortable, and our fellow travelers seem delightfully compatible, if Australian!

We had a shower which felt wonderful after the long hours of being on the plane. I tossed and turned for an hour or two, unable to settle. There's nothing like the imperative of "you must sleep" to kill any tiredness. Eventually though, exhaustion won, and I dropped into the deepest of sleeps for some 3 hours.

We ended the day with a great meal and good company. Feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed for tomorrow.

Park Hotel

Waiting in the lobby

Grey squirrel

Bed for weary travellers. The best sight I’d seen since we left home!