Box ticked!

We have had a very long horrible day riding today and I have very little energy to write but I will do a quick one!

We spent a night in Agra so we could see the Taj Mahal. It was nice to leave the smog of Delhi although it didn’t really get much better.

Agra is a dump.

We found a place to sit that overlooked the taj and contemplated wether we would even bother going to see it… That’s how bad we are at being tourists. We’d heard about a sound and light display at the red fort last night and thought that if we did that, at least we could say we did something.

Seeing as we are planning on doing a 7 day trek in Nepal next week and haven’t done any excersie since we left home we decided to walk the 4km to the red fort for the 8.30pm start, as advertised on the website.

As usual the walk was dusty, noisy and polluted with both fumes and noise. Random holes to avoid, no street lighting, men pissing everywhere and starving cows and dogs roaming the streets – not really what you expect from the number one tourist attraction in India and the world.

We finally get to the red fort only to be told by the security guy that the show is finishing in 5 minutes…

‘But the website says it starts at 8.30pm?’

‘Yes I know’ with a waddle of the head

Dean tries to calm me down…

We got a rickshaw back – the first since we’ve been here as we avoid dealing with these guys like the plague…

‘Don’t use your horn’ I say ‘if you use the horn, we won’t pay’

I was in a bad mood… Dean was looking nervous…

I won’t go in to what happened when he predictably didn’t have any change for the fare…

Anyway! This morning we woke early and managed to do the Taj Mahal and the red fort before our checkout time at 12 noon… About 2 hours max! Boxes ticked, we got on the bike to head for Nepal.

The Taj Mahal and the red fort were really nice and we didn’t get hassled as much as all the horror stories told us. I wouldn’t go back again though and I wouldn’t urge other people to rush there unless they felt the need to tick that box. What the government does with all the money they make from the entrance fees I have no idea. The taj is an example of how some people have way too much money and really don’t care that people around them are starving… Nothing much has really changed…

This afternoon we rode through some of the poorest areas yet where the air smells like poison… A mixture of car fumes, diesel, sulphur, urine and chemicals…. I’m not sure what but it feels like we are riding through fly spray. Eyes and throats stinging and with black faces we finally found a hotel at 7pm tonight that would accept us.

The bed is as hard as floorboards and the mosquitos are waiting to pounce. No joke. Lucky I’m tired.

Bring on Nepal 😊

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