Our tour guide Happy-Appy gathered us all together and we headed of the local metro at Karol Bagh. She bought a bunch of tokens and we got on the Metro. and got off at the Chandni Chowk market place.
Happy organized a group of cycle rickshaw drivers and we loaded ourselves in two by two and away we went. Alejandro (who is from Columbia and lives in Germany) is a little bigger than I am so instead of having both or us to haul around, we split up and each of us paired up with one of the small young ladies.
Can you imagine what is required to haul this steel beam.
There are splashes of colour everywhere.
Our destination, the Jama Masjid. It is India's largest mosque.
Anna is twenty and a real live wire. She has been back-packing in SE Asia for four months and will head off to Oz after India.
Tipping is customary in India and the night before, Happy suggested that we each contribute 2000 rupees (about $30) so that she could handle all the tipping of drivers, porters and guides. We all readily agreed. However each time that the tipping payment is done, Happy gets one of us to had over the money in a small envelope. It is very convenient.
Our line up of rickshaws. They waited for us to take us on the next segment of the tour.
Steps up to the Mosque. You have to pay to take photos inside and the light was so crappy with the pollution that I decided not to bother. You can look it up on the web yourself.
You have to remove your shoes and your arms and legs have to be covered. They supply scarves.
It was interesting to walk around the large open square.
Right outside the mosque is this shop where you can buy drinks and get an MRI on the side. One of the doctors in our group (from Launceston) was impressed / bemused. She and her husband do a lot of medical work in Central Australia with Aborigines. I think they have accepted me as an Aussie by now and not an American. I know too much about Oz.
We next walked to nearby Sheeshganji Gurudwara which is a Sikh Temple. Another tour group of cyclists were preparing themselves to visit the temple by removing shoes and putting on head covering.
The mother / daughter team of Jiang and Nan have removed their shoes and covered their heads. I had to do the same..
At this stage I can't remember everyone's names. My suggestion to Intrepid at the end of the trip is that every participant is supplied with a list of first names when we first meet. Most of us are terrible with names.
We walk in our bare feet to the entrance where you have to wash your hands and then walk through a small pool so that your feet are cleansed.
Inside the temple.
A group of three musicians were chanting and playing.
The temple was built in honor of a guru who was beheaded.
Happy took us out a back entrance to see an area where the temple creates free meals for anyone who needs food. It is a common practice for all Sikh Temples. This is the great advantage of being shown around by a guide who knows where the back door leads to.
Now that is a serious wok.
These were huge, about three feet high.
Mix for making nan I think.
It is scooped into a machine that forms the nan into the correct shape ready to be cooked.
I did not take a photo of them but there were a couple of dozen people squatting on the floor doing simple food preparation tasks such as shelling peas. It helps them feel closer to God.
Happy then took us to a nearby stall where she reckoned they make the best samosas in Delhi.
Meanwhile an ox and cart trundled past.
Happy in her lane. Although she was born in Lucknow, she grew up in this lane-way.
She recommended this stall because they cook with fresh ghee. She reckoned that a lot of the street food food poisoning comes from using every old and reused oil for cooking.
It was delicious.
Somebody was inside the door preparing theses vegies.
We also tried a little of Jalebi which is basically a small funnel cake dipped in honey. It was ultra sweet and unless you had a very sweet tooth it would be difficult to eat a whole one.
It was time to return to the hotel to freshen up and check out by 11:30 so that the hotel could get our rooms ready for the next guests. This time we took a tut-tuk to the Metro.
In the tuk-tuk.
I really enjoy riding in tuk-tuks. Because they are open air, they seem to be more liberating.
We then took the Metro back to the station near the hotel, gathered our luggage together and headed out to find food for the 19 hour train trip that night to Jaiselmer.